Part 1: The Sonderkommando revolt
By Dimitri Vorris
...One action will stand out alongside the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and that is the Revolt of the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz-Birkenau on October 7, 1944. This was an uprising in which Sephardi and Greeks Jews both helped plan and execute and left a memorable list of heroes and martyrs to posterity. Their victory was dual: it was a psychological victory over the Nazis who now feared the Jews in the camps and hastened their declining confidence in winning or even surviving the war and secondly, they died as free men in the tradition of Greek noble death, an outcome that has become part of western tradition, namely to fight against all odds until the very end and deny the enemy the opportunity to loot and gloat.
Feature film project "Sonderkommando", depicts one of the most heroic pages of humankind history. The world forgets not only that Sephardic Jewry suffered during the Holocaust too, but that Jews were brave enough to revolt and fight under the most hopeless circumstances. These historical events have striking similarities with Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fighting the Battle at Thermopylae. The major difference is that, in this film, you don’t have an elite army fighting an Empire, but imprisoned, entrapped, everyday people in a death camp. They are hungry, tortured, abused, sick, ailing, armed only with an ingenious plot and self-made guns and explosives. Against the Empire of the Third Reich. They are performing the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man and woman.
"Sonderkommando" is a film about the riots at the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is based on real historical events. “Sonderkommando” depicts a story that has never before been told cinematically—that of the Sonderkommando uprising at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, in which 300 Jewish prisoners (men and women) plotted to overthrow the SS and blow up the camp’s crematoria. The Sonderkommando were camp prisoners who were forced to aid their Nazi tormentors in the process of killing fellow prisoners (cremating the bodies etc.) Every four months most of them were gassed down by the Nazis in order to eliminate eyewitness testimonies later.
I feel very strongly that this film needs to be made and the story of the Sephardic Jewish plight needs to be told. The Sonderkommando revolt was a shining moment in WWII and Jewish history and the time is ripe to alert the world as to who these people are, why their history is so unique and important and why their dead must be remembered and their living must thrive. Anti-semitism is on the rise. The world remains unaware.