JHC Public Lecture

Topic: Fight for Yidishkayt: Jewish Insight on the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz-Birkenau
Christin Zühlke, PhD student at the Centre for Research on Antisemitism, Technical University Berlin, Germany and ELES Research Fellow

The lecture will relate the role the Sonderkommando – Auschwitz slave labourers who were assigned to work in the gas chambers and crematoriums.

Christin will focus on the Yiddish manuscripts written by Leyb Langfus, Zalmen Lewental and Zalmen Gradowski, all Sonderkommando members. They and others were forced labourers from the beginning of 1943 until late 1944. All three participated in the uprising by members of the Auschwitz Sonderkommando on 7 October 1944. Christin Zühlke’s lecture will provide an insight into the last moments of Auschwitz victims. Passages from the manuscripts affirm the victims’ Jewish identity, their Yidishkayt and attempt to reclaim their humanity and dignity.