Weeping Without Tears, Gideon Greif, We Wept Without Tears: Testimonies of the Jewish Sonderkommando From Auschwitz – Hebrew
Gideon Greif’s new book should be read by all who dare to draw close to the inferno of the Holocaust. It is the result of thirteen years of ongoing interviews with surviving members of the Sonderkomando of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the interviews succeed in giving the reader their voices. Greif is respectful of the truth that they have to tell, seldom correcting or contradicting, but always prepared to probe. The Sonderkommando were intimate with killing and dying, observing the murders closely and over a long period of time. They were with the condemned in their last moments – in the undressing room and lining up to enter the gas chambers – and moments after they were gassed, when their bodies were removed from the chambers and they were processed. The Sonderkommando relate how they adjusted to their job. Death took on the routine humdrum character of a daily assignment, yet specific deaths are recalled precisely when they were individualized. And still, much is left unsaid. It is in the intersection between the said and the unsaid, between what is told and what cannot be told that much of the power of this book is to be found.