the bravery of those fallen to fascism

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Counterfire's Sean Ledwith commemorates International Holocaust Day in surviving the death factory, about the Combat Group Auschwitz (KGA):

Communist activists from different parts of Europe who found themselves in that living hell somehow managed to assemble a covert network of resistance that sought to provide physical and mental support to fellow prisoners in the blackest pit of the Holocaust. [...]

As the German war machine rampaged across Europe, leftist prisoners from other countries arrived in massive numbers. The KGA made an explicit effort to overcome nationalist prejudices within the prisoner population, even though the instinct to prioritise self-preservation must have been overwhelming for most.

"In October 1944," Ledwith writes, "the KGA became aware that members of the Sonderkommando (Jews forced to bury the bodies) were planning an insurrection:"

The Communist cell considered that the action was doomed to defeat and did not want to jeopardise their fragile operation in a lost cause. However, neither was the KGA willing to turn its back on fellow-prisoners making a stand against arbitrary terror. Therefore, when the Sonderkommando launched their attack on the SS, it was with machine guns, knives and grenades supplied to them by the KGA's network outside the camp. Tragically, the entire 450-strong force of insurrectionists lost their lives-but they did manage to take four SS guards down with them. [...]

The astonishing heroism and daring of the KGA may seem to some like a drop of resistance in an ocean of horror; but their defiance of the most malicious regime the world has ever seen is a powerful antidote to the stereotype of all victims of the Holocaust trudging helplessly to their fate. We should also take away the message that if revolutionary activism was possible there, it is possible anywhere.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 26, 2018 2:18 PM.

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