We Wept Without Tears
Tomorrow, the 27th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day is set aside each year to remember the approximately six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, since, as Elie Wiesel said, “For us, forgetting was never an option. Remembering is a noble and necessary act.”
We Wept Without Tears: Testimonies of the Jewish Sonderkommando from Auschwitz, by Gideon Greif, preserves the memories and experiences of those Jewish prisoners who were forced by the Germans to facilitate the mass extermination. Though never involved in the killing itself, the Sonderkommando were compelled to be “members of staff” of the Nazi death-factory. The book, translated for the first time into English from its original Hebrew, consists of interviews with the very few survivors who witnessed first hand the unparalleled horror of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
“This is a book that must be read by all who dare draw close to the killing, those who dare to come close–as close as non-survivors can come–to the inferno,” says Michael Berenbaum. The book provides direct testimony about the “Final Solution of the Jewish Problem” and documents the helplessness and powerlessness of the one-and-a-half million people, ninety percent of them Jews, who were brutally murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.