Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter

Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter* – Sonderkommandos, Kapos & Trawniki – Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives is a must read for everybody. It’s a fantastic book with clearly presented details and horrifying pictures. The difference between the Nazi and Trawniki (collaborators) smiling at the camera and the pictures with Jews is staggering. What I liked the most about this book is that the information is presented in a clear and non-judgemental way, without any sensationalistic remarks. The images speak for themselves when it comes to the horror of reality, so there is no need for anything else.

Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter

There are pictures, from a Christmas party or with them having fun, it looks like normal, healthy work relationships; while at the same time they were torturing and killing Jews, gays, and others. It was very interesting to read about the three groups of people helping the SS and the Nazi: Sonderkommandos, Kapos, and Trawniki.

Sonderkommandos were Jews, most of them, who had very little choice when it came to their work. They would gather the luggages the people had with them, allocated the work, and also ran the gas chambers and crematoria.

Kapos were supervising the Sonderkommandos, many of them were from violent criminal gangs and they were brutal. Making sure they pleased the SS, they could enjoy a much better lifestyle than the others in camps, with better rations and also some privacy.

Trawniki or Trawnikimänner were Central and Eastern European collaborators who were from Russian POW camps. They underwent training and ideological radicalisation in SS camps before being used in camps. These were the most brutal and with the best lifestyle, but still not similar to the SS.

Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword Military
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): European History
Pages: 128

About the author: Ian Baxter is an author and photographic collector whose books draw an increasing following. Among his many previous titles in the Images of War Series are Hitler’s Boy Soldiers, Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Advance, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Retreat, The Crushing of Army Group (North) and the SS Waffen Division series including SS Leibstandarte Division, SS Totenkopf Division At War. He lives near Chelmsford, Essex.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “Nazi Concentration Camp Overseers by Ian Baxter”

  • This does sound like an interesting book, though I’m not sure I’m up to reading something like it right now. I’ve read several books (fictional) regarding American slavery recently and topics like this can really wear me down.

    I tend to agree with your reply to Yvonne and also agree that it’s unfortunate and regrettable. (and I don’t think Hamas is the only group that has stated they’d like to wipe Israel off the map) By the same token, the situation at the southern border of the US is horrific, yet one for which I see no clear solution.
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    • I understand what you mean, reading about topics like these gets a bit too hard at times, because of the emotional distress.

      Yes, Hamas are not the only ones wanting to destroy Israel and not only, but Jews everywhere. Israelis have bomb shelters and this incredible Iron Dome. I was amazed by their defence capabilities. Hamas blends its people between civilians, with no protection, it’s obvious that civilian casualties will happen, even if they call before they launch an air strike, unlike Hamas, of course. I read a long article about this by Sam Harris and it was spot on.

      The situation in US with the migrants is very similar with that in Europe and there are no solutions, unless the situation in their countries of birth get solved. US and Europe can’t cope with the amount of people coming in or, even more, needing to relocate because of financial difficulties and violence in their countries. It’s so incredibly sad what is happening around the world.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that situations need to be resolved in people’s nations of birth. Genuine refugees should be helped without a shadow of doubt, however economic migrants should really be trying to change and advance the system in their own countries.

  • This sounds like a very interesting read. It is really hard to comprehend how someone could have done these “jobs”.

  • OMG! Just the definitions of those three words – Sonderkommandos, Kapos & Trawniki – is enough to give me the shivers. Maybe mot so much the Sonderkommandos. who were coerced into their roles and duties, but I’m not sure how the Kapos and Trawniki groups managed to sleep at night!
    That is why I can never really understand why, given the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish population during the war, they now insist on proliferating bloodshed in the Middle East today, with the Lebanese. And do they really have no idea how ironic it makes events of the past, when they come out and openly declare that they want to wipe the Lebanese off the face of the earth!
    I’ll stop there and wish you a peaceful weekend! 🙂

    • From what I saw it is the other way around, with the Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organisation by many, including EU since 2000-something, saying that they want to wipe all Jews from the face of the Earth. The conflict from this week was started by Hamas and I think Israelis should be able to defend themselves. If the Jews wanted to wipe out Hamas and all Palestinians they are in position to do so, but they want to avoid bloodshed (more or less), hence they notify the people of the targets they are going to strike and so on.
      Loss of life is unfortunate and regrettable, of course.

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