Why Six Million?

How do we know the number?

Everyone knows that six million Jews died in the Holocaust.‭ ‬How do we know it‭? ‬Because everybody else knows it.‭ ‬The figure has been accepted as accurate and without question since as long ago as‭ ‬1945.‭ ‬But are not  this universal knowledge,‭ ‬certainty and immutability rather unique‭? ‬How many Ukrainians died in the Second World War‭? ‬How many civilians died in the sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad or in the bombing of Tokyo‭? ‬How many have died in the‭ ‬2003‭ ‬invasion of Iraq and its consequences‭? ‬Nobody really knows,‭ ‬and in this last case you will find figures differing almost by a factor of‭ ‬10‭ ‬depending on how you interpret the question,‭ ‬how you gather your evidence,‭ ‬from what sources and who is publishing it,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Yet Iraq has beeen open to access by the media and by investigative bodies to an immeasurably greater extent than was the case in Eastern Europe in the Second World War and its aftermath.‭ ‬How many Germans died in the evacuation of the Eastern territories in‭ ‬1945‭? ‬You will find figures quoted in a range of‭ ‬500,000‭ ‬to‭ ‬3,000,000,‭ ‬usually more informed by political bias than by demography.

The six million figure is broken down quite differently depending on who is doing the calculations,‭ ‬with,‭ ‬in the most extreme case,‭ ‬Lucy Dawidowicz giving‭ ‬1,300,000‭ ‬Jewish deaths for the Majdanek camp and Raul Hilberg less than‭ ‬100,000‭ ‬of whom‭ ‬50,000‭ ‬were Jews.‭ ‬The‭ “‬official‭” ‬total for Majdanek today is‭ ‬78,000‭ ‬dead,‭ ‬all groups combined.‭ ‬These historians have struggled to reach the Holy Grail of Six Million,‭ ‬with Dawidowicz stopping just short at‭ ‬5,900,000,‭ ‬Hilberg managing only‭ ‬5,100,000‭ ‬and the first in the field,‭ ‬Gerald Reitlinger,‭ ‬falling very short indeed at‭ ‬just over 4,000,000,‭ ‬which perhaps explains why he has fallen into oblivion.‭ ‬Figures for individual camps are regularly revised downward,‭ ‬but the Six Million remains intact and sacrosanct.

The origins of the Six Million

Though the ‬meme‭ ‬of‭ ‬"Six Million Jews‭" ‬can be traced back to the 19th century, it first gained prominence during WW1‭ ‬in America.‭ ‬It concerned Russian Jews:‭ ‬at that time the six-million story‭ ‬repeatedly‭ ‬focussed upon what was allegedly happening in Russia‭ ‬-‭  ‘‬the‭ ‬six million Jews in Russia‭’‬ etc.1915.

  • The Sun NY: six million Jews are being persecuted... 4 June 1915
  • New York Times:‭ ‬Six million souls will need help when war is ended...‭ ‬18‭ ‬October,‭ ‬1918.
  • New York Times:‭ ‘‬6,000,000‭ ‬are in peril‭’ ‘‬6,000,000‭ ‬souls‭ ‬..‭ ‬are going to be completely exterminated‭ – ‬article about Ukrainian Jews,‭ ‬8‭ ‬September,‭ ‬1919.
  • New York Times:Terrible plight of Jews, "worst sufferers in the War": 6,000,000 souls are in dire poverty, starvation..., 12 November 1919

Don Heddesheimer’s book,‭ ‬The First Holocaust:‭ ‬Jewish Fundraising Campaigns With Holocaust Claims During and After World War One‭ ‬details‭ ‬the slew of‭ ‬Jewish atrocity propaganda even‭ ‬from‭ ‬before‭ ‬World War I.‭ ‬The First Holocaust features a remarkable‭ ‬collection of press clippings and propaganda articles dating back to‭ ‬the‭ ‬late‭ ‬19th century‭ ‬whereby‭ ‬claims of the suffering and imminent‭ ‬extermination of European Jewry were used for fundraising.‭ ‬The magic six million number may have got going around the time of the First International Zionist Congress of‭ ‬1897.

The 1930s and 1940s

The story‭ ‬gradually‭ moved‭ ‬from the US to Europe‭ ‬and in the‭ ‬1930s came to focus upon what Germany‭ ‬was doing.‭ ‬The‭ ‬Holocaust of‭ ‬European Jews‭ ‬concept first‭ ‬appears in‭ ‬1936:‭

  • New York Times‭ ‬31.5.36:‭ ‘‬The European‭ ‬Holocaust‭’

In February‭ ‬1943‭ ‬the Reader’s‭ ‬Digest announced that six million‭ ‬Jews were being massacred‭ (‬in an article‭ by the Jewish Hollywood script-writer Ben Hecht,‭ ‬a supporter of Jewish terrorism in Palestine‭)‬.‭

Finally in‭ ‬1945,‭ ‬"Six million Jews are dead‭" ‬was‭ ‬proclaimed at Nuremberg.  ‬ ‬The total of six million‭ ‬was not the result of any statistical assessment,‭ ‬but the culmination of this mythical story that‭ ‬had been gathering momentum‭ ‬through the first half of the‭ ‬20th century.‭ 

Stories of "Six Million" in the press 1900-45

Between 1900 and 1945, at least 167 references have been found in newspapers and elsewhere to "six million Jews ", usually in a context of  danger, most frequently of mortal danger:

  • 1900‭ ‬-‭ ‬Stephen S.‭ ‬Wise,‭ ‬New York Times,‭ ‬June‭ ‬11,‭ ‬1900:‭  "‬There are‭ ‬6,000,000‭ ‬living,‭ ‬bleeding,‭ ‬suffering arguments in favor of Zionism.‭"‬
  • 1902‭ ‬-‭ ‬Encyclopaedia Britannica,‭ ‬10th Edition,‭ ‬Vol.‭ ‬25,‭ ‬1902,‭ ‬page‭ ‬482:‭  "‬While there are in Russia and Rumania six millions of Jews who are being systematically degraded‭ ‬...‭"
  • ‬1902 -‭ ‬Samuel W.‭ ‬Goldstein,‭ ‬New York Times,‭ ‬November‭ ‬27,‭ ‬1902:‭  ‬ ‭"‬PLEA FOR ZIONISM‭ ‬...‭ ‬In answer I would say:‭ ‬Does Dr.‭ ‬Silverman represent the‭ ‬6,000,000‭ ‬Jews in Russia,‭ ‬300,000‭ ‬in Roumania and the‭ ‬1,000,000‭ ‬in Galicia‭?"
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  • ‬1944‭ ‬-‭ ‬Nahum Goldmann,‭ ‬Jewish Western Bulletin,‭ ‬December‭ ‬8th,‭ ‬1944:‭   " ‬...‭ ‬apart from Jewish losses in combat service,‭ ‬5,500,000‭ ‬Jews have been killed in Germany and German-occupied tesritories‭ [‬territories‭] ‬since the outbreak of the awr‭ [‬war‭]‬.‭ ‬These figures exceed the number anticipated even by the most pessimistic.‭ ‬...‭ ‬Yes,‭ ‬the Germans murdered close to six million Jews‭ ‬...‭ "
  • ‬1944‭ ‬-‭ ‬Ilya Ehrenburg,‭ ‬Soviet War News,‭ ‬December‭ ‬22nd,‭ ‬1944:‭    "‬In the regions they seized,‭ ‬Germans killed all Jews,‭ ‬from the old folks to infants in arms.‭ ‬Ask any German prisoners why his fellow countrymen annihilated six million innocent people‭ ‬...‭ "
  • ‬1945‭ ‬-‭ ‬New York Times,‭ ‬January‭ ‬8th,‭ ‬1945:‭   "‬6,000,000‭ ‬JEWS DEAD.‭ ‬The Jewish population in Europe has been reduced from‭ ‬9,500,000‭ ‬in‭ ‬1939‭ ‬to‭ ‬3,500,000.‭ ‬Of the‭ ‬6,000,000‭ ‬European Jews who have died,‭ ‬5,000,000‭ ‬had lived in the countries under Hitler's occupation.‭"

Click here to see the full list of 167 references

At Nuremberg,‭ ‬where the US delegation was predominantly Jewish, it was affirmed‭  ‬that six million Jews‭ ‬had been exterminated.‭ The SS agent‭ ‬Wilhelm Höttl‭ ‬declared‭—‬on condition that his life was spared‭—‬ that he had heard such a story from‭ ‬Adolf‭ ‬Eichmann in August‭ ‬1944.‭ ‬That statement was dated‭ ‬5‭ ‬November,‭ ‬1945.‭ ‬His affidavit stated that four million were killed in camps,‭ ‬the other two million were killed in other ways,‭ ‬e.g.‭ ‬shot in the East by the‭ ‬‘Einsatzgruppen‭’‬ But Eichman‭ ‬later denied it. ‬No counting of the dead took place.‭
No statistical study was ever undertaken to attempt to determine the number of missing Jews.‭

All that happened,‭ ‬was that a German SS officer had his life spared on condition that he came out with the magic number,‭ ‬and he did so.‭ ‬He cited the word of another,‭ ‬who later denied it.‭ ‬Thereby the mantric number lived on,‭ ‬and the world believed it.

In January‭ ‬1945‭ ‬the Soviets liberated Auschwitz,‭ ‬taking with them the death-records,‭ ‬the so-called‭ ‘‬Death Books.‭’‬ In May of that year they declared that four million had been murdered at Auschwitz,‭ ‬and people believed this,‭ ‬for they‭ ‬(the Soviets‭) ‬had the records,‭ ‬though the Soviets did not specify how many were allegedly Jews.‭ ‬Finally in‭ ‬1989‭ ‬Mikhail‭ ‬Gorbachev made public these death-books,‭ ‬and it turned out they had the deaths‭ ‬of only twenty-nine thousand Jews recorded ‬at the Auschwitz camp.‭

Some real numbers

  • In all the lands ever occupied by the Nazis,‭ ‬there were‭ ‬probably fewer than‭ four‭ ‬million Jews,‭ ‬including the multitude of survivors.‭
  • ‬How many died in the camps‭?‬ The primary source here‭ ‬is the‭ ‬Arolsen Archives,‭ ‬set up after the War by the‭ ‬International Red Cross,‭ ‬which has thrice published its total of WW2‭ ‬camp mortality.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1979,‭ ‬its total‭ ‬recorded deaths for thirteen camps was‭ ‬271,501‭; ‬in‭ ‬1984,‭ ‬that total was given for fifteen labour-camps,‭ ‬amounting to‭ ‬282‭ ‬thousand.‭ ‬Then finally in‭ ‬1991‭ ‬for the fifteen camps it was‭ ‬296,071‭ ‘‬officially certified deaths in German concentration camps‭’‬.
  • ‬There were mainly PolAuschwitz
                          prisoners by categoryes,‭ ‬Russians and Jews in the German labour-camps,‭ ‬and around‭ ‬40%‭ ‬were Jewish,‭ ‬giving a total of‭ ‬120‭ ‬thousand deaths.‭ ‬There were probably around ten percent of camp inmates unregistered at any given time,‭ ‬so let’s increase that total to‭ ‬130‭ ‬thousand deaths.‭ ‬But,‭ ‬to err on the side of caution,‭ ‬let’s quote the careful writer Georges Thiel,‭ ‬who estimated‭ (‬based on the Arolsen totals‭) ‬that there was‭ ‬‘a theoretical maximum of‭ ‬200,000‭ ‬authenticated deaths of Jews in all the German camps for the whole National Socialist era.‭’ (‬Heresy,‭ ‬in twenty-first century France,‭ ‬a case of insubmission to the‭ “‬Holocaust‭” ‬dogma,‭ ‬2010,‭ ‬p.73‭)‬.‭ ‬He was sent to jail for expressing this sensible view.‭ Some would put that total higher:‭ ‬thus‭ ‬the‭ ‬US took records from the Dachau camp after liberating it after the war,‭ ‬and they submitted at Nuremberg a total of‭ ‬25.6‭ ‬thousand dead,‭ ‬which we may compare to the‭ ‬18.4‭ ‬thousand for Dachau given by the Red Cross/Arolsen‭ ‬-‭ ‬that is‭ ‬40%‭ ‬more.
  • Between five and six‭ ‬million‭ ‘‬Holocaust-survivors’ have come forward to take cash from Germany.‭ ‬It has paid out one hundred billion Deutschmarks overall. That figure was reached in‭ ‬2002:‭ ‬(‘Germany Has Paid Out More Than‭ ‬$61.8‭ ‬Billion in Third Reich Reparations‭’‬ Institute for Historical Review,‭ ‬17,6)‭ ‬to‭ ‬some four million of‭ ‬these.‭ ‬They are mostly Jewish.‭ ‬There were various estimates around the turn of the century,‭ ‬of one million‭ ‘‬holocaust survivors‭’ ‬receiving compensation from Germany.
  • From‭ ‬the Jewish Week‭ ‬28‭ ‬November‭ ‬2003:‭ ‬Sergio DellaPergola,‭ ‬a demographer for the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,‭ ‬found‭ ‬1,092,000‭ ‬Holocaust‭ ‬survivors worldwide.‭ ‬Lawrence Eagleburger,‭ ‬chairman of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims,‭ ‬commissioned this survey,‭ ‬to help in distributing the yearly‭ ‘‬humanitarian‭’ ‬funding.‭ ‬The sheer number of these alleged survivors has totally undermined the claims made at Nuremberg of mass extermination.‭ ‬It is high time Germany ceased paying out that money‭.
  • We have finally found one‭ ‬real figure of six million Jews:‭ ‬the number who have to-date applied to Germany for reparations,‭ ‬as alleged Holocaust-survivors.‭

Let us hope that‭ ‬future‭ ‬scholars will be allowed to investigate the WW2‭ ‬figures of Jewish deaths in German labour-camps objectively,‭ ‬using primary-source documents,‭ ‬without having their careers terminated.‭ ‬Essential sources here are the British-intelligence decrypts,‭ ‬for the‭ ‬numbers in the camps‭ ‬1941-42,‭ ‬the Death-Books of Auschwitz and the Arolsen Archives.‭