On October 7, 1944, several hundred Sonderkommando prisoners assigned to Crematorium IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau rebelled, after learning that they were going to be killed. The prisoners killed three guards and blew up the crematorium and adjacent gas chamber, using explosives smuggled in from a weapons factory by female inmates. They attacked the SS with makeshift weapons: stones, axes, hammers, other work tools and homemade grenades. At this stage, they were joined by the Birkenau Kommando I of the Crematorium II, who had also overpowered their guards and broken out of the compound. Several SS men and a Kapo were killed. Hundreds of prisoners escaped, but were all soon captured. The revolt was crushed and almost all the prisoners involved in the rebellion were executed. The Jewish women who had smuggled the explosives into the camp were publicly hanged in early January 1945.
Gassing operations continued until November 1944, at which time the SS, on orders from Himmler, disabled the remaining gas chambers. The SS attempted to destroy the gassing installations and crematoria as Soviet forces approached in January 1945.