The Janowka Sonderkommando 1005


The Janowska Sonderkommando 1005 was formed on June 15, 1943, when forty people were taken out of the camp, ostensibly for a road building detail. For the next several months up to 120 prisoners were assigned to the death brigade, which incinerated tens of thousands of bodies. Among their grisly tasks was to grind the bones that remained after the burning process in a special machine that used steel balls to pulverize the bones. The prisoners worked 8-10 hours a day. While they marched to and from work in the ravine they were forced to sing, often accompanied by the camp orchestra. On November 19, 1943, after the final liquidation of the Janowska camp, a group of the surviving Sonderkommando members revolted. They succeeded in killing a few guards, and a number of their members escaped.


Source: USHMM