Monday, July 22, 2013

When Death Ceases To Scare You...

One of the Army Rangers who was part of the Blackhawk Down disaster in Mogadishu returns, and discusses how he confronted his fears:

Return to Black Hawk Down from Return to Black Hawk Down on Vimeo.

In many of the Nazi extermination camps, the guards didn't do the disgusting work of removing dead bodies from the gas chambers.  After all, they were covered with feces (at death, your anal sphincter stops holding everything in), and who wants to face the evil that they do?  Instead, other inmates did the bulk of the unpleasant work of removing dead bodies, knocking out gold teeth, and then feeding the bodies into the crematoria.   These inmates would be the last victims of the day -- and they had to know that they were unlikely to be allowed to return to the general population with what they had seen.  But the fear of death was enough to get many of them to do this awful work, in the hopes of living a few more hours.

1 comment:

  1. At least at Auschwitz, they would not be the last victims of the day. These inmates were called the "Sonderkommando" and were housed in special housing, given high quality food, alcohol, and other privileges in exchange for doing this gruesome duty. As best as I can recall, they served a few months before being executed and replaced by a new group.

    Interestingly, despite having access to all sorts of things that could be useful to bribe guards and having explicit knowledge of the fate that awaited them, only one Sonderkommando unit revolted (in October 1944). They were successful in killing some SS guards and did some damage to the crematoria, but were all killed eventually.