Sonderkommando Auschwitz III
They Wept Crocodile Tears. A Critical Analysis of Late Witness Testimonies
In response to the rise of Holocaust revisionism in the first half of the 1980s, Israeli Historian Gideon Greif decided to record and publish the recollections of former Auschwitz inmates who claim to have served in the so-called Sonderkommando. This inmate unit is claimed to have been charged with assisting the SS in mass-murdering Jewish deportees in the infamous gas chambers, and obliterating the victims’ bodies on pyres and in cremation furnaces. Greif claims that many surviving members of this unit refused to testify in the immediate postwar era, presumably because not even their fellow Jews would believe their outrageous stories. In 1995, Greif published his collection of testimonies in German, and ten years later also in English under the title We Wept without Tears.
If fellow Jews sympathetic to their co-religionists already doubted the veracity of these testimonies at a time when the witnesses’ memories were still fresh, one can imagine how critical scholars would evaluate depositions made many decades later, when memories had inevitably deteriorated and were to a large degree replaced with impressions created by the biggest historical propaganda campaign the world has ever seen.
This book critically reviews the statements by the former Auschwitz inmates interviewed by Greif (Josef Sackar, Abraham and Szlama Dragon, Jaakov Gabai, Eliezer Eisenschmidt, Shaul Chasan and Leon Cohen). The scope of this study is extended by including the testimonies of three Jews who had been deported to Auschwitz from Greece, among them the memoirs of Shlomo Venezia, whose various testimonies were publicized in Italy with great fanfare during the 1990s and early 2000s. This review of Sonderkommando testimonies is rounded out by a critique of several brief depositions by a few further witnesses hardly known to historiography.
The author shows that all of these testimonies, just like those analyzed in the other two volumes of this trilogy, fly in the face of documented and forensically proven facts, are riddled with internal inconsistencies, and in many aspects contradict other witness statements and the orthodox narrative. They are studded with historical and technical absurdities taken straight from propaganda fables long-since-rejected as untrue even by mainstream historians. In the author’s assessment, all these witnesses fall into three main categories: intentional liars, braggarts and morons.