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Dispute over German Archives

This Washington Post article about the difficulty of access to German archives dealing with the Holocaust reminds me of a question I sometimes have when I hear about the Holocaust. How many Holocaust survivors cooperated with the Nazi death camp guards as “capos“? These were Jews who assisted the German prison guards in suppressing their Jewish fellow prisoners. While I would guess they were not favorably viewed by the other prisoners, they could grant favors. There was an example of this in the movie, “The Pianist.” As one review notes, the star “was saved from transport to the death camps by a Jewish capo.”

If, in fact, many Holocaust survivors were capos, they would probably never admit it. It would be interesting if these archives could shed any light on this issue.

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