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2017 Word of the Year

Sonderkommando

[zon-der-kuh-man-doh; German zawn-duh r-kaw-mahn-daw] /ˈzɒn dər kəˌmæn doʊ; German ˈzɔn dər kɔˈmɑn dɔ/
noun, (in World War II Nazi concentration camps)
1.
a group of prisoners assigned to collect belongings and dispose of the bodies of other prisoners who had died or been killed.
Compare Kapo.
Origin of Sonderkommando
< German: special detachment, equivalent to sonder- separate, special + Kommando detachment, mission, command < Italian commando; see command, commando
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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