“..Statistics are remote ..they are unfeeling and they are never accurate in The Holocaust ..especially when it relies upon ..overtly secretive nature of Nazi collation.” Patrick Dempsey. (der Einsatzgruppe and The Destruction of European Jewry)
We simply cannot promote the vagaries of any consensus related to the statistical analysis covering The Holocaust of the Jewish People. First and Foremost! We are making statements which might ensure the sweeping away of Human lives from the tenets of an Historical event we are here to present, represent and recall. The basis for accepting the 6,000,000 Jewish losses is in itself flawed and given that barely 3,500,000 Jews remain from what The Wannsee Conference assessed where available to Hitler for Slaughter, a highly marginal difference is presented. That difference is clearly expressed in 1950, but merely 5 years after The Holocaust would cease to claim more Jewish Victims, 7,793,300 Jewish lives would appear to have been lost from Europe.
Also, given the status of post War atrocity against the Surviving Jewish People, we establish a further precedent which for many a nation, which is prepared to admit to such losses as cannot be contemplated? I myself cannot imagine what an erroneous exercise we are involved in which would not encounter the emotional turmoil such a proposition as an estimate of Survivors must ensure. Surely what we have lost will never come to terms with what we seek to establish in that loss in terms of an assessment which can never be completely accurate?
“..Sonderkommando 4a in collaboration with Einsatzgruppe HQ and 2 Kommandos of police regiment South ..executed 33,771 Jews in Kiev on September 29th. and September 30th. 1941.” OSR 101.
We take BabiYar as a prime example of this, and knowing that SS Standartenfuhrer Paul Blobels’ SK4a must have physically counted those 33,771 Jews of Kiev as they marched toward the ravine. However, we cannot then account for the fact that some Jewish Mother’s, hiding their Children on their Person were counted singularly and not as a Parent with Child. So Operation Situation Report Number 101 might well present the 33,771 Jews as they were counted, but might surely have missed those Jewish Children as they were concealed? As we look to the actual People who know the statistics of The Holocaust, and these are those Jews and their Community’s who were swallowed up by Hitler’s resolve to deliver them to his Final Solution, can we ever know truly what they experienced.
For me, there are those Survivor’s, who will best attest to the losses and afford their personalised assessment as to what they have truly lost. These are Jews generally, who have had 6,000,000 of their own People ravaged and torn from their midst. These Survivoral Jews will also offer us an emotional discourse which we must follow. True, there are Historians of The Holocaust who have been offering us the objective view point of their own struggle, as Jews. That this is mixed with an emotional immediacy, and that of an endurance we cannot begin to imagine, commends them further in their effort to deliver to us, their Truth. Then, what some depict, like Richard Korherr, the SS’s Statistical Inspector in his own analysis, reckons that his figures made available a reservoir of over 10,000,000 Jews for the final push to resolve Hitler’s Final Solution.
“..total Jewish population of ..world ..estimated at 17,000,000 in 1937. Of these ..over 10,000,000 were in Europe.” Richard Korherr.
This figure does somewhat differ from The Wannsee Conference total of 11,293,300 Jews which Heydrich and Eichmann asserted would be added to what History knows is The Holocaust. So when I speak, and I praise highly here those like Yitzhak Arad, Yehuda Bauer, Lucy S. Dawidowicz and Yisrael Gutman, I know of their emotional attachment and their Historical perspective is both ground breaking and objectively delivered. There are indeed so many Writer’s and even Historians, and so many more that I have had the pleasure to communicate with, that I commend. I willingly make use of all those whose extensive knowledge has been placed before us.
Then there are those, like myself, who seek to trawl past the inordinate catalogue of grief and atrocity to find that balance which affords a testimony to the Memory of those 6,000,000 Jews whose discourse is fast fading from what is such a recent History. I do not only speak here of the loss for those who Survived, which is an unaccountable travesty beyond compare, but I remonstrate with the negligence of History which so seeks to displace 6,000,000 Jews from the narrative which is, Their Holocaust. I have no wish either to join the largely ineffective debate over the final analysis which is a numerical exercise and both Statistical in staing the relationship of figures and on the margins of isolating the very humanity that has been lost.
“..Jewish Question ..Ukraine ..more difficult ..in ..cities ..Jews ..major part ..population. ..more than 50%. ..elimination ..profound ..consequences ..military economy. ..systematic shooting ..Jews ..by ..Order Police. ..in public ..assistance ..Ukrainian militia ..members ..Wehrmacht. ..Aktionen ..men ..women ..children ..all ages ..manner ..carried out ..appalling. ..executions involved. ..150,000 to 200,000 Jews ..executed in ..Ukraine.” Peter Heinz Seraphim.
All too many Historians, both Jewish and otherwise, have derived differing views as to the accuracy of what has been delivered up in terms of the numbers lost. There are countless reports and evidences which will give us an idea that systematically, 6,000,000 Jews have been lost to us. But perhaps there are are far more lost than we have been able to calculate, those Jews who were caught up in the debris of the evidence, the Jews of testimony and those Jews who have delivered their first hand assessments. With the likes of Richard Korherr, Professor Peter Heinz Seraphim and SS Sturmbannfuhrer Hermann Julius ‘Hans’ Hoefle, all of whom offer us their view which is consistent with being arbitrary, we have no means to corroborate any final assessment with impunity.
Conversely, we require the statistics as they were produced to give us the means to examine what Hitler and his entourage not only attempted in this Final Solution but wholly managed in the final resolve which is The Holocaust. Allied intelligence too had formulated its own knowledge with the interceptions of wireless communications between der Einsatzgruppe in the field and those like Hoefle who operated in and amongst the Death Camp system at Aktion Reinhard. Hoefle, who would become Kommissioner for Jewish Resettlement Warsaw Ghetto, was ideally placed to afford us the snapshot we have so far gained. Hoefle’s commitment is certain and as he was also part of Stroop’s force tasked with quashing Jewish efforts during The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, his was not purely a bureaucratic effort.
Of course Hoefle was ideally placed to deliver an assessment which was factually based, though possibly distorted by the accounting system which was so hastily shelved and then destroyed upon the realisation that their goal would remain unachieved in its totality. But no amount of Statistical analysis, and again we are drawn toward Seraphim and Korherr who both gave Hitler the accounts he demanded, to find a way through this statistical maze. For these also could not acknowledge the fuller extent of the Annihilation, given the bridge between the killing space and the reception area of the final receipt of that Destruction at Hitler’s desk. But Hoefle did at least leave us a specimen of Hitler’s clear intention and it was bureaucratically liaised across the airwaves.
“..Einsatz Reinhardt. SS und Polizeifuhrer Lublin sends the Befehlshaber der Sipo Cracow a report on Einsatz Reinhardt for the 14 days up to January 31st. 1942. Increase to December 31st. 1942 for
i) Lublin (read Majdanek) 12,761,
ii) Belzec 0,
iii) Sobibor 515, and
iv) Treblinka 10,335,
Final Totals for the year ending on December 31st. 1942 are:
i) Lublin (read Majdanek) 24,735,
ii) Belzec 434,508,
iii) Sobibor 101,370, and
iv) Treblinka 71,355,
totalling 1,274,166.” SS Sturmbannfuhrer Hermann Julius ‘Hans’ Hoefle.
So, while we are given a clear insight into the destructive capacity, with this telegram from SS Sturmbannfuhrer Hoefle, the eventual assessment cannot be as definitive as it has been proposed. This Hoefle Telegram which was as we know, intercepted by British ‘intelligence’ and contains a final figure of 1,274,166 Murdered Jews for The Aktion Reinhard Camps alone. Given the lowest of the x3 estimates I will present, this is way below anything we might come to accept by some margin. Between 1,500,000 and 1,700,000 Jews were Murdered in the x3 Death Camps of Aktion Reinhard and this is closer to the truth of that devastating effect these x3 Death Camps impacted upon final catastrophe of The Holocaust. For my own Book, Hitler’s Belzec, I have assessed that some 884,700 Jews were Destroyed there.
Given the assessment which relates to each community consumed on a Monthly basis, 434,508 for Belzec, and as of December 31st. 1942 is speculatively way too low. There are some formative figures too which I would give and these have the most credence to their overall assessment of the tragedy. Especially placed before you are those assessments that would deliver to us The Aktion Reinhard Camp details as the have been presented to History. Those assessments, for which we will assess what Hoefle knew, and by dint of the interception of his Telegram to his immediate superior SS Standartenfuhrer Franz Heim, what the Allied nations also knew, will carry a burden of knowledge few can comprehend.
Heim, the deputy commander of the Security Police and SD for the General Government in Cracow is handed notice of what is the Final Death Toll from these x3 Death Camps, and including Majdanek also. But we know also that in excess of 1,700,000 Jews had their lives taken from them in the midst of The Aktion Reinhard Death Camps alone. But as we are fully aware, strenuous attempts to decipher correct figures from any documentation has been impossible to establish. Given that the Nazi attempts to destroy as many of their actual records as possible was successful, and so as not to the betray the truth of their efforts to the coming scrutiny of History, we must sift through the debris of ash that remained. However, that very scrutiny has been understood and undertaken by many and I will offer up the assessments made by a further x3.
1) Raul Hilberg has been the formative authority on the entire Destructive process in The Holocaust from early on. He assesses the murderous toll of Destruction at 1,500,000 Murdered Jews at:
a) Belzec 550,000 Murdered Jews,
b) Sobibor 200,000 Murdered Jews, and
c) Treblinka with 750,000 Murdered Jews.
2) Yitzhak Arad, the Authority on The Aktion Reinhard Death Camps, assesses at 1,700,000 Murdered Jews as a closer value to our overall loss than has been presented so far with an assessment for:
a) Belzec with 600,000 to 700,000 Murdered, and these are at lease best estimates tabulating Ghetto and Community Census with Judenrate records and alongside Train manifests. All of which conclude with what is an estimate that cannot be fully quantified as all records remain incomplete and hidden to History.
b) Sobibor with 250,000 Jews Murdered, and
c) Treblinka with 763,000 Jews Murdered.
3) Martin Gilbert has extensively trawled all these resolutions and assesses the Final Total to be 1,690,000 Murdered Jews at:
a) Belzec with 600,000 Murdered Jews,
b) Sobibor with 250,000 Murdered Jews, and
c) Treblinka with 840,000 Murdered Jews,
and of course no assessment has proved definitive. As records and assessments have been made where People once resided and where they were brutally Murdered, they cannot portray the fuller evidence of what was actually achieved. The correlation of both assessment and consensus, which leaves both the Community stripped of its People, and the Destructive process open to a failing in the overall need to be accurately evaluated, leaves a Jewish loss without certainty as to Their Total Losses.