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Author Topic: Just how many Jews were really murdered by Hitler and associates?  (Read 29704 times)
Stand_watie
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« on: August 03, 2006, 12:57:05 AM »

I'm not really interested in a debate, unless there is a genuine large scale division of opinion amongst serious credible historians. What I am interested in is knowing the truth as best we can assess it.

Drudge is reporting an old interview with Mel Gibson (see exerpt below). I have heard six million my entire life. I have always thought in the emotional sense that holocaust reductionists were very likely to be motivated by anti-semitism, but in the logical sense that if a guy that I thought had the right educational background and scholarship, and I didn't have reasons to think that he were pro or anti-semitic presented to me that the real number were 14 million or 4 million, I'd be willing to give the argument a listen, with the caveat being that what ocurred isn't really any more or less morally repugnant to me whether it was 100 or one billion, and the fact that mentally retarded people, gypsies, gays etc also had the same thing done to them or that Stalin or Mao did worse in terms of total numbers.

So simply put, the question to readers of Nazi era history, is the six million figure that I'm familiar with the closest thing to truth that we can know - an exaggeration -or a diminishment of the actual size of the European Jewish holocaust of the 1930's/40's?

Again, I will repeat that I'm just as morally outraged if Hitler targeted and murded 100 thousand Jews as if he'd murdered 100 million (and I feel the same about Pol Pot's murder of wrong thinkers and the Hutsi murder of the Tutsi's), I'm just trying to get a feel for whether or not there is any kernel of truth in the numbers in the Holocaust revisionists, or if they are wholly made up.




http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=28713

Quote
MEL GIBSON: I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. And my dad also knows that there were internment camps where many people died. Now, his whole thing was about the numbers. I mean atrocities happened. The thing with him [my father] was that he was talking about numbers. I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it's four. I mean it's that kind of numbers game. I mean war is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million people starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union. Okay? It's horrible.
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Twycross
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 02:18:38 AM »

Well, according to Wikipedia, ~6 million is about accurate, perhaps a little on the high side, but accurate.

Wiki

Quote
The exact number of people killed by the Nazi regime may never be known, but scholars, using a variety of methods of determining the death toll, have generally agreed upon common range of the number of victims. Recently declassified British and Soviet documents have indicated the total may be somewhat higher than previously believed. However, the following estimates are considered to be highly reliable. The estimates:

5.16.0 million Jews, including 3.03.5 million Polish Jews
1.8 1.9 million non-Jewish Poles (includes all those killed in executions or those that died in prisons, labor, and concentration camps, as well as civilians killed in the 1939 invasion and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising)
500,0001.2 million Serbs killed by Croat Nazis
200,000800,000 Roma & Sinti
200,000300,000 people with disabilities
80,000200,000 Freemasons
100,000 communists
10,00025,000 homosexual men
2,500-5,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 02:39:34 AM »

The 6 million figure is widely regarded by most serious historians to be the most accurate number there is.

The Soviet Union is a bit of a wildcard, though, given the nature of the Soviet government and the nature of the war there.

Pre- and post-war census figures in Europe, compared to Nazi-kept records, so a pretty good job of verifying the numbers.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 06:19:05 AM »

The thing that I find most interesting about this debate is that some people think it actually matters.

How much more evil is it to murder 6 million people in the interest of ethnic "cleansing" than it is to kill 4 million? There comes a point (i dont know where it is) where you get to a sort of maximum level of evil and after that its just a matter of nitpicking the right numbers. The holocaust killed *enough* people, and thats pretty much were the debate ends as far as I am concerned.
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fistful
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 07:08:53 AM »

Too many.
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Mannlicher
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 08:36:45 AM »

agreed.  any amount is way too  many.  Stalin killed probably 20 million Russians though, and there is no memorial for them.................
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 09:04:14 AM »

Well thats because Stalin did it, it's ok to kill millions if you have a liberal agenda....I'm surprised no one told you!
;-)
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 12:31:26 PM »

The numbers regarding Jews killed most often cited (somewhere above 5mil) are likely correct.  The numbers cited by Twycross don't seem to include murders across the rest of Nazi-occupied Europe.  The rate of such murders varied by country; Austria wasn't hit that hard, France/Belgium/others were more affected by Nazi murder.

Past that, it sometimes gets difficult to sort out which are "war deaths" and which are murders.  I suspect the number of Nazi murders is very difficult to track along the "Eastern front" as it would require sorting out who were "murdered civilians" and who were "partisan combatants out of uniform" (which I for one regard as legitimate when in defense of one's homeland).  I rather doubt even Stalin's people had much of a clue as things turned into a meatgrinder in the Ukraine.

For that matter...it's not impossible that killings by Stalin were blamed on Hitler.  Stalin was killing people by the millions in the Ukraine long before the Nazis blew through.  Wouldn't surprise me if this continued under "cover" of the war.  There may even be a bit of this confusion in Poland; by late in the war, Stalin eyed ownership of Poland and set about eliminating possible "resistence" there.  Some of that is documented; it doesn't seem to have been directed at Jews much if at all though so you can't use that to try and recast Nazi murders of Jews.

It's hard to say whether the Soviet Union or Red China has committed more murders overall.  It's unquestioned who managed to geek the greatest percentage of their own nation's population: the Kmer Rouge(sp?) under Pol Pot.  At least 1/4 of the country of Cambodia was murdered, possibly 1/3rd.  Unbelievable but sadly true.
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jefnvk
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2006, 12:43:55 PM »

My biggest problem with the numbers: ask someone how many peopdied in the Holocaust.  the most widely given answer?  6 million Jews.  Sure, a valid number, but not the whole truth.  It has gotten to the point where people don't even realize that anyone else was killed.  While the Jews were the group with the highest death numbers, it still shldn't mean that the other millions of people should just be overlooked because they were all different groups of people.
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Preacherman
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2006, 01:04:57 PM »

The Wikipedia figures are within the range of accuracy, but leave out a great many other deaths.  For example, between two and three million Russian POW's died of deliberate starvation and neglect.  Well over a million civilians were killed in German bombardment of cities (Leningrad and Stalingrad being the most egregious examples in the East, but also Rotterdam, the Blitz on England, etc. in the West).  Forced labor drafts from occupied territories ran into the millions, many of whom (particularly from the Eastern Front) died of malnutrition, overwork, exposure, etc.  Slave labor accounted for many of these deaths.

The best estimate I've seen (and this is admittedly an estimate - we will never know the exact number for sure) is that between 12,000,000 and 15,000,000 people were killed by the Nazis, either directly or indirectly.  The Russians lost at least 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 dead, and the total might be as high as 30,000,000 - although a reasonable proportion of these deaths were caused by Stalin, through mass wartime deportations, the use of penal battalions where pre-war Siberian gulag detainees were treated as human minefield clearance devices, assault troops to absorb the initial defensive fire of the Germans before more conventional units broke through when the defenders ran out of ammunition, etc.

The accepted minimum figure for total WW2 fatalities, on all fronts and from all causes, is 55,000,000.  The actual figure may be as high as 80,000,, particularly given the lack of records for the Eastern Front and the Chinese campaign, where Japan slaughtered Chinese by the millions.  (Just as one example, after the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942, during their search for the US airmen who had landed in China, the Japanese forces killed approximately 250,000 Chinese as punishment.)  This total figure also includes those killed prior to the war, in the Chinese campaign, and also those millions who died after the war, including German and Japanese POW's held by the Soviet Union (19 out of 20 never came home), the millions who died of starvation and displacement in the Eastern Front and China, etc.  It's a pretty horrifying total . . .

An excellent overview of the human cost of the war is found in the final episode of that definitive series, The World At War.  The episode is simply titled "Remember" - and if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you don't have any understanding of mass human suffering.  They were the first to put the total as high as 55,000,, back in the 1970's, and this is now regarded as conservative, following the opening of Soviet archives after the fall of Communism, and the unsealing of government records during the 1990's.
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grampster
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2006, 01:16:37 PM »

A shining example of when evil stalks the earth.  How soon we forget, or worse, ignore.
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fistful
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2006, 02:53:26 PM »

Is there some time when evil ain't stalkin' the earth?
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2006, 05:33:31 PM »

Quote from: jefnvk
My biggest problem with the numbers: ask someone how many peopdied in the Holocaust.  the most widely given answer?  6 million Jews.  Sure, a valid number, but not the whole truth.  It has gotten to the point where people don't even realize that anyone else was killed.  While the Jews were the group with the highest death numbers, it still shldn't mean that the other millions of people should just be overlooked because they were all different groups of people.
This is something that I like to point out as well. A lot of people were killed in the holocaust beyond the jews. Many of them simply for their political or social views. The most tragic were probably all the mentally handicapped children who didnt even understand what the hell was happening to them. I have pointed this out to anti-semites as well when they claim that the 6million figure is vastly inflated, I ask them what about the other 6 or so million of non-jews that were killed, why did the "Jewish Consipiracy" include all of them?
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The Rabbi
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2006, 11:17:15 PM »

Conversations like this always make me uncomfortable.
I would point out that while the Nazis certainly killed many "undesirables" their primary target was Jews.  The whole concentration camp and extermination program was directed first and foremost at Jews.  They used it for others, too, but that was not the primary focus.  And these Jews were, at the outset, German citizens who had done nothing illegal, had made no choices at all.  In fact, unlike other genocides, this one did nothing to improve Germany or the policital standing of its leaders.  Stalin killed peasants in the Ukraine and Pol Pot killed anyone with an education out of a calculated political or economic advantage.  Hitler killed Jews because he hated them.  This is so even though they were among the most productive in the society, and had been among the most loyal citizens.  Many Jews died fighting for Germany in WW1 (my wife had more than one great uncle killed that way).  This was the uniqueness of the Holocaust: a modern industrial society at the pinnacle of artistic and scientific achievement turning against its own citizens.  When we compare Stalin, Pol Pot, etc etc to the Holocaust we lose the meaning of that event and dishonor those who so died.
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Ezekiel
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2006, 02:33:38 AM »

This topic always makes me think of something else.

In the tiny county in NE Oklahoma that I am from, there are eight different Indian Tribes.  Slightly further south is all Cherokee land.

Yes, it is true that a removal policy enforced during the 1830s caused the significant portion of Cherokee-types to walk from Tennessee or northern Alabama to just inside the Oklahoma border under armed guard.  (Trail of Tears, etc.)

It is also true that members of the previously removed eight tribes consortium in NE Oklahoma include the Ottawa (my tribe) and the Modoc.  The Modoc are from California.  The Ottawa are from the Great Lakes area.  (You know, like Ottawa, CANADA.)

They didnt send U-Hauls for us.

Yet we, too, are in Oklahoma: with no trace of social hand-wringing.

Moral?  The Cherokee have better press agents.

Apply as required to the Holocaust.  50 Million other folks need better publicity.
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Zeke
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2006, 06:56:42 AM »

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/

More information than a rational human can fathom.

Lesson I learn is governments kill and they do it with varying degrees of efficiency.  I think it a mistake to focus on one group.  As horrible as what Hitler did, I have a hard time giving Stalin a pass when he deliberately on his personal orders starved Ukranian peasants.  I've seen figures as high as 10 million died at Stalin's signature.  Are we to value those lives less than the ones who died over Hitler's signature.  I think the reason why we use Hilter's misdeeds as the standard of evil is that his regime is the one that left detailed records which the rest of the world has been able to review.  Other killer societies weren't nearly as detailed in record keeping or the victors have not investigated those records.
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Iain
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2006, 07:21:20 AM »

The Rabbi is right as to why the Holocaust is the most prominent of the 20th century genocides. A determined and organised attempt to eliminate one race of people does deserve a special notoriety.

The discussion that bothers me as much as the haggling over the exact figure is the conversation about which is worse. Both 'sides', in this instance the left and right, feel the need to claim that the bogeyman that they childishly equate the others views to is actually worse on some objective scale that can be measured in human skulls.
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fistful
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2006, 07:48:33 AM »

Quote from: The Rabbi
 Hitler killed Jews because he hated them.  This is so even though they were among the most productive in the society, and had been among the most loyal citizens.
I don't know a lot about the NAZI ideology, but I am told their rationalle for killing Jews was not alleged racial inferiority, but racial competition.  That is, the NAZIs believed the Jews had evolved to a point that they were too good at competing for resources, and thus must be eliminated for the good of the German people.  There are at least two sad flaws in such thinking.  One, that one race is more fit for the struggle than another.  The second is the notion of loyalty to one's race, as if the races are, or should be competing with one another, or that one owes some loyalty to others of the same color.
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Mannlicher
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2006, 09:27:34 AM »

I guess the bottom line is that the number that died in the holocaust is not whats important.  What IS important, is the fact that they died for no reason, other than hatred.
The Armenian genocide was as horrible.   I am not sure that any one group has more of a claim on victimhood.  Mankind has been slaughtering its own since the cave men days.  It is not going to stop in our lifetime.
All we can do, as individuals, is to watch what is happening, and try to do the right thing.  I wish I could advise one and all what 'the right thing' is, but I can't.  The answer to that resides in each of us.  Frankly, I have little hope.
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2006, 02:22:36 AM »

Quote from: fistful
Is there some time when evil ain't stalkin' the earth?
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Sindawe
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2006, 04:19:15 AM »

Quote
I don't know a lot about the NAZI ideology, but I am told their rationalle for killing Jews was not alleged racial inferiority, but racial competition.  That is, the NAZIs believed the Jews had evolved to a point that they were too good at competing for resources, and thus must be eliminated for the good of the German people.
Interesting.  I'd not heart THAT particular rational cited as a reason for the Holocaust.  All the post-mortem analysis I've read of Nazi Germany, and the propaganda from that regime points to their belief that the Jews were an inferior race and corrupting influence on the Aryan race.
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2006, 08:06:51 AM »

For the best possible overview of the Nazi attitude toward and dealings with the Jews, see Martin Gilbert's "The Holocaust".  It's a ghastly book to read, and one I definitely don't enjoy - but it's the single best account of the horrors of the 1933-1945 slaughter.  It fully details the attitude of Hitler and the Nazi Party, including excerpts from all the laws and regulations of the period, the statements of officials, etc.  It also completely dispels the myth that the Wehrmacht was actually apart from the slaughter of the Jews, which was done by the SS and other organizations:  it cites actual field orders, etc. compelling the Wehrmacht to support (and in some cases participate in) the murder of the Jews.  A terrible book - but an indispensable one.

See http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805003487/qid=1154811645/sr=1-10/ref=sr_1_10/103-2141276-4213431?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 for further information.
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Ezekiel
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2006, 07:38:22 PM »

Quote from: Iain
A determined and organised attempt to eliminate one race of people does deserve a special notoriety.
Yet so many "self-righteous" Americans fail to care/realize/cope with or understand the idea that more people were killed, over time, HERE then the Holocaust (easily): to create what many support as the greatest government ever.

The Nazi Holocaust is finished.

The "American" model is ongoing, if more subtle.

Sure, "I'm an American and think our model is best."

Such is far, far from the Utopia advertised.

"The World hates us for a reason."

It is self-righteousness, more than policy, in many cases.

"We're hypocrites."
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Zeke
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« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2006, 01:00:17 AM »

Quote from: Preacherman
For the best possible overview of the Nazi attitude toward and dealings with the Jews, see Martin Gilbert's "The Holocaust".  It's a ghastly book to read, and one I definitely don't enjoy - but it's the single best account of the horrors of the 1933-1945 slaughter.  It fully details the attitude of Hitler and the Nazi Party, including excerpts from all the laws and regulations of the period, the statements of officials, etc.  It also completely dispels the myth that the Wehrmacht was actually apart from the slaughter of the Jews, which was done by the SS and other organizations:  it cites actual field orders, etc. compelling the Wehrmacht to support (and in some cases participate in) the murder of the Jews.  A terrible book - but an indispensable one.

See http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805003487/qid=1154811645/sr=1-10/ref=sr_1_10/103-2141276-4213431?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 for further information.
I remember reading the book at one time but cannot recall it fully.  In the book Hitlers Willing Executioners the author (Goldhagen) demonstrates (conclusively to my thinking) that most Germans tacitly agreed that there was a "Jewish problem" that needed a solution, and that the problem was that Jews were a pernicious influence on society in general, representing an alien "Asian" strain that was corrupting.  Virtually no one disputed this basic belief and differed merely on how to solve the "problem" either through assimilation or some other way.
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2006, 12:53:03 PM »

Quote from: Ezekiel
Quote from: Iain
A determined and organised attempt to eliminate one race of people does deserve a special notoriety.
Yet so many "self-righteous" Americans fail to care/realize/cope with or understand the idea that more people were killed, over time, HERE then the Holocaust (easily): to create what many support as the greatest government ever.

The Nazi Holocaust is finished.

The "American" model is ongoing, if more subtle.

Sure, "I'm an American and think our model is best."

Such is far, far from the Utopia advertised.

"The World hates us for a reason."

It is self-righteousness, more than policy, in many cases.

"We're hypocrites."
oh my, now thats one scary world view, friend.
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