Shlomo Venezia, 29/12/1923 - 01/10/2012

There are few Italian Jewish survivors of the Holocaust left to tell their story today; even less are those who survived working in the Sonderkommando, carrying out the cremations of Nazi victims murdered in the gas chambers. Just last week, we lost another. Shlomo Venezia died at his home last Monday, 1st October, at the age of 88.
I never met Shlomo, and admittedly, I am yet to read his memoir, but there is no doubt that he was a man of remarkable courage. He chose not to speak about his experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau for almost 30 years, but eventually found a voice when anti-Semitism reared its ugly head once again in Europe. None of us from later generations will ever be able to comprehend the things he saw and did so as not to be killed by the SS.
Shlomo was an antidote to the Holocaust deniers that, today, write venomous accounts of what they claim 'did not happen' and was one of just a handful that could ever give us an insight into what life in the Sonderkommando was like.
My respect for Shlomo is endless, and I wish him nothing but eternal peace after all he endured.

You can read an obituary to Shlomo from the New York Times here.
Details of Shlomo Venezia's memoir, 'Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz' can also be found here.