One factor complicating demographic calculations is the very large scale migrations of Jews before, during, and after WWII within and out of Europe. The records of these Jewish migrations are uncertain and incomplete.
For example, there were very large scale emigrations of Jews from Russia, the Soviet Union, Poland, and other Eastern European countries due to factors such as restrictions on Jewish influence, persecutions, and wars/civil wars, long before National Socialist Germany occupied territories in these countries during WWII.
One explanation for the increased support for the NSDAP has even been argued to be a large influx of Jews to Germany from countries such as Poland, which had implemented anti-Jewish policies after the independence after WWI.
National Socialist Germany actively promoted Jewish emigration (see World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism).
The Soviet Union during the war on a large scale relocated Jews (and others) to areas beyond the zone of later German occupation (in particular those considered useful for the war effort).
WWII was followed by large scale Jewish migrations and emigrations.
Early history of the number six million Jews
Numbers play an important part in Judaic ritual practices and Kabbalah. The number six has been stated to have importance for reasons such as the six days of work and creation according to the Hebrew Bible.
Several analyses have argued that the six million number has religious/occult/Kabbalistic origins. For example, it has been argued that there is a prophecy stating the return of the Jews to the Promised Land after the loss of six million of their people. However, that this prophecy was mentioned or was prominent before WWII has been questioned. Regardless, Jewish population/death numbers that are multiples of six, such as 600,000, have been claimed in association with various important Jewish historical/mythical events, such as the Exodus (the founding myth of Israel) and several mass killings of Jews during revolts.
Revisionists argue that a claimed six million Jews who have suffered is a claim that has been stated long before the Second World War and was stated repeatedly since at least 1889. It was also a stated claim regarding the number of Jews killed during Second World War before the war over and long before any demographic information was available. Zionists are argued to have promoted this number in order to increase Jewish support for and emigration to Israel.
“Don Heddesheimer’s compact but substantive “First Holocaust” documents post-WWI propaganda that claimed East European Jewry was on the brink of annihilation, regularly invoking nowadays well-known buzzwords like “extermination,” “holocaust,” and the now famous and almost talismanic six million figure. It gives details how that propaganda was used prior to WWII in order to agitate for minority rights for Jews in Poland, and for Zionism and Bolshevism in Poland and Russia; and demonstrates how Jewish fundraising operations in America raised vast sums in the name of feeding Polish and Russian Jews, then funneled much of the money to Zionist and Communist constructive undertakings — including banks, unions, and kibbutzes — rather than to starving Jews. “The First Holocaust” also includes eye-opening testimony from American diplomats and military attachés stationed in Poland and Russia that contradicted Jewish persecution claims between the two world wars.”
An anti-revisionist criticism is that also other numbers regarding Jewish suffering were stated before and during the war. However, that is a straw man, with revisionists not arguing that the six million number was only the number that has ever been claimed, but instead that the six million number (and more generally, other numbers that were multiples of six) was a frequently mentioned and prominent claim regarding Jewish suffering, long before the war and during the war, despite lack of supporting evidence, and used for various forms of exploitation, as stated above.
Religious number associations have continued also more recently, such in 1988, when the American Reform movement published The Six Days of Destruction by Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Albert Friedlander. Claimed narratives from Holocaust survivors are juxtaposed with the six days of creation found in Genesis.
In the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Hall of Remembrance “has 6 sides which represent the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, and the 6-pointed Star of David, which is the Jewish emblem. […] The floor is polished marble in a hexagonal pattern. The 6 walls of the Hall of Remembrance have black marble panels, engraved with the names of the major concentration camps in Poland and Germany. The 6 death camps, where the Jews were gassed, are on a separate panel. […] The 6-sided skylight at the top of the Hall of Remembrance is shown in the photo above. The number 6 is of great importance in the story of the Holocaust. After the Jewish population of Palestine reached the magic number of 600,000, the country of Israel was born in 1948.”
On Holocaust Memorial Day, it has become a quasi-religious ritual to light six candles for the six million Jews allegedly killed (while ignoring the non-Jews).
Six million Jews at the Nuremberg trials
Six million Jewish deaths as a more “official” number originates from the Nuremberg trials.
The Holocaust revisionist Mark Turley, author of book on the Nuremberg trials, has stated that “The number of victims, usually fudged to six million, which has remained broadly consistent within the dominant narrative ever since, had an interesting genesis. Richard Overy stated that ‘the World Jewish Congress supplied the tentative figure of 5.7 million dead and this was used by the prosecuting teams in drawing up the indictment.’[13 ] Overy referred here to a meeting between the WJC and Jackson in New York on June 12th 1945. By reading the minutes of the meeting we see that not only did the WJC suggest that figure, based on estimates drawn from ‘official and semi-official sources’, but stated that, ‘the indictment should include leaders, agencies, heads of government and high command… Any member of these bodies will be considered guilty and subject to punishment, unless he can prove he was not a member or became a member under duress.’ In addition they also emphasized that, ‘The Jewish people is the greatest sufferer of this war’ and they ‘stressed the magnitude of the Jewish tragedy which transcends the sufferings of other peoples.’ […] As we know that the WJC had already suggested the figure to Jackson, it only requires a modest leap of faith to propose that it may, in turn, have been passed on to the interrogators who would have used it to shape their interrogations.“
During the International Military Tribunal, the six million number claim was based on the hearsay statement of Wilhelm Höttl, who likely was promised more lenient treatment in exchange for “confessions”. He claimed to have heard this number from Adolf Eichmann, who conveniently was missing from this trial and who thus could not respond to the allegation. Dieter Wisliceny made a similar claim, but stated four to five millions. Eichmann later denied both of these allegations.
Argued transportation impossibility and implausibility
Adolf Eichmann, a transportation expert involved in organizing the deportations of Jews during the war, also stated that the Nuremberg demographic claims were impossibly high due to the transportation problems this would have caused.
A related revisionist argument is that if the goal was to kill the Jews, then there would have been no need to make very difficult and resource consuming transports from all over Europe to Poland, instead of killing more locally. One possible reason for moving to Poland could be to conceal the claimed mass killings, but concealment could have been done at more local locations, and revisionists argue that the “extermination camps” in Poland were located at places where concealment could not occur. See Holocaust material evidence: Argued implausibly poor choices of alleged killing methods.
National Socialist camp death records and postwar death certificates
The “International Tracing Service” is an internationally governed organization that was originally associated with the Red Cross and set up as a registration and tracing service for missing persons. The organization has also gained additional missions. The Red Cross is no longer associated with the International Tracing Service.
The organization has a document collection which includes National Socialist documents such as the National Socialist deaths records for certain camps for certain time periods (and which include both Jewish and non-Jewish deaths). The demographic numbers stated in these records are very low compared to the politically correct numbers, even if including estimates regarding the missing time periods. These National Socialist camp death records and their low stated numbers are discussed in more details in later sections.
Another measure is due to the organization assisting with issuing official death certificates for camp prisoners. Up to 1993, the organization released lists of these on request, but after criticism stopped with this. The last publicly available list stated certified numbers of deaths that were even smaller than the numbers in the above mentioned death records. Such official death certificates require unquestionable supporting documentation and are not intended to be used for more exact demographic estimates. However, even considering this, the number of camp deaths according to this measure is very low compared to the politically correct numbers.
See also International Committee of the Red Cross: The Red Cross and the Holocaust / WWII.
Argued inconsistencies and absurdities regarding treatment and registration on arrivals to the camps
Generally, the Holocaust camps are by revisionists not argued to have been holiday resorts and in particular in some camps and during some time periods there were problem such as poor sanitation, epidemics, insufficient rations, hard forced labor, and abuses. There were also argued large scale efforts to improve conditions as well as investigations and convictions for abuses. See also the article on Konrad Morgen on SS investigations and punishments of wrongdoings in the camps.
Allegedly, all Jews, able to work or not, were gassed immediately on arrival to the “Aktion Reinhard” camps. This has been argued to be an absurd claim, considering that numerous documents state that the German industry was in constant and desperate need of manpower during the war and that many measures were taken in the labor camps in order to maintain the work force and keep it in a condition fit for work. More generally, claims that able workers anywhere were deliberately killed is argued to be absurd claims for similar reasons.
For other camps, such as Auschwitz, a prominent part of the politically correct version is instead that those not fit for work, such as the young and the elderly, were gassed immediately on arrival to the camps. It is furthermore argued that these individuals were never registered, which would explain why the number of registered deaths in the camp records is so small compared to the politically correct number of deaths. Revisionists have argued that there do were various sorting processes for reasons such as work allocation. However, those unfit for work were not killed, which is argued to be proven for reasons such as those registered including many young and old individuals (10% of those registered belonged to age groups that should supposedly have been gassed immediately on arrival without registration), children and elderly in the death records of registered prisoners, “Holocaust survivors” who were children in the camps, and German reports stating that large shares of camp prisoners were unable to work.
Photo of children at Auschwitz after liberation. Today this photo is often shown in association with Joseph Mengele, implying that the children were twins to be used in his alleged twin experiments, but most of the children on the photo were not twins.
See the section “Non-killings and releases of camp prisoners at “extermination camps”” on revisionist criticisms involving why Auschwitz prisoners and potential witnesses were not killed when the Germans left the camp, if Germans had committed mass killings and other atrocities at the camp.
A criticism of the photo could be that it was to some degree staged by the Communist propaganda unit taking the photo, although this arguably implies that other alleged Holocaust photographs may not be reliable. Regarding revisionist criticisms of claimed Holocaust photographs more generally, see: External link.
Thomas Buergenthal, Yanina Cywinska, and Eva Kor are some of the more well-known examples of individuals stated to have been very young when they arrived at Auschwitz, but who despite this were not killed. There are also many other examples of very young individuals not being killed on arrival. Somewhat older individuals include Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel, who were also not killed on arrival to Auschwitz. Another example is Auschwitz documents stating the arrival at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944 of a group of around fifty Jewish women who were elderly, ill, or mothers with small children, including children as young as 6 years old. They were not gassed, but instead transported to a nearby camp.
Non-revisionists may argue that the presence of old and young at camps such as Auschwitz is due to certain groups of non-Jews and Jews being exempt from the selections, certain transports being missed by the selections, mistakes during selections, miraculous survivals during attempted gassings, etc. However, this implies presence of gross inconsistency and incompetency regarding the registrations and treatment on arrival, not just between different camps, but also at the same camp.
Examples of Germans reports stating that large shares of the Auschwitz prisoners being unable to work include “an internal German telex message dated September 4, 1943, from the chief of the Labor Allocation Department of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA), reported that of 25,000 Jewish inmates in Auschwitz, only 3,581 were able to work; or a secret report dated April 5, 1944, by Oswald Pohl to Himmler, reporting that there was a total of 67,000 inmates in the Auschwitz camp complex, of whom 18,000 were hospitalized or disabled“. The first report thus stated that only a small minority of the inmates were able to work at this “extermination camp” which supposedly ruthlessly killed those unable to work.
Furthermore, Auschwitz contained a hospital for prisoners and with records showing that the camp spent enormous amounts of money caring for sick prisoners. Between 10 September 1942 and 23 February 1944 alone, 11,246 inmates underwent surgery at Auschwitz. Some of the first microwave devices were sent to Auschwitz for delousing and disinfecting purposes, instead of sending them to German soldiers on the Eastern Front. In part such measure (and the Zyklon B delousing and crematoria) are argued to be responses to early epidemics in the camp and demonstrate that the camps were not extermination camp and that those unable to work were not killed.
Also, accurately registering the numbers transported, arrived, and allegedly gassed at the camps would likely have been needed for various logistical purposes, such as calculating the amount of transportation capacity, fuel, and food needed for transportation; the amount of Zyklon B needed for the alleged gassings; and the amount of coal needed for cremations. In addition, the Höfle Telegram and the Korherr Report indicate that there do were records of everyone transported and all arrivals at camps, including at camps such as the “Aktion Reinhard” camps, despite the supposed gassings of everyone on arrival.
See also Holocaust documentary evidence: Spies, cracking of all German message codes, and other intelligence gathering activities on other criticisms of the alleged immediate gassings without this being recorded in official statistics. One example is top-secret German radio messages deciphered by the British during the war. They include messages from Auschwitz which stated daily prisoner statistics and which mentioned illness as the main cause of death. There were no references in the decrypts to gassings. These statistics are argued to fit well with the low numbers stated in the Auschwitz death records.
Very widely differing claims on the number of deaths at different Holocaust camps
Non-revisionist authorities are argued to give very widely differing numbers on how many Jews (and non-Jews) were killed at the different Holocaust camps (and from other causes), but despite this in the end agree on a total number of approximately six million Jewish deaths.
See sections in articles on individual Holocaust camps for lists of such very widely differing claims.
There are also very widely differing numbers for non-camp locations such as at Babi Yar.
One claimed reason for the widely varying numbers is a claimed lack of registration of those gassed. See the section “Argued inconsistencies and absurdities regarding treatment and registration on arrivals to the camps” regarding this.
Revisionists have instead argued that the camp records are generally accurate regarding camp demographics and deaths (although such records may have problems such as not covering some time periods) and have estimated much smaller numbers of deaths in the camps than the politically correct numbers.
4 million killed at Auschwitz claim
The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission alleged in reports that 4 million had been killed at Auschwitz. These reports were accepted as valid evidence at the Nuremberg trials.
The Auschwitz Museum is notorious for in 1990, after the fall of Communism, suddenly changing the claimed 4 million killed at the camp to 1.5 million. Politically correct sources such as Wikipedia now state 1.1 million.
Non-revisionists have dismissed the 4 million revision for reasons such as this supposedly mostly only concerning if non-Jews were killed or not, not necessarily affecting the important six million Jews number, and there having been earlier criticisms of the 4 million number. Revisionists have argued that this ignores that the 4 million killed at Auschwitz allegation was a central allegation during the Nuremberg trials, was later repeated by major non-revisionist historians such as Eugen Kogon, and was an important part of the allegations made by several of the absolutely most important “confessors” and “witnesses” on Auschwitz (such as Rudolf Höss).
See also Holocaust convergence of evidence: Jürgen Graf on the 4 million number killed at Auschwitz argued to explain the presence of several absurdities in “witness”/”confessor” testimonies on Auschwitz, such as impossibly short burning and gassing times, argued to have been claimed by “witnesses”/”confessors” in order to fit with the 4 million killed claim. Also, the 4 million claim, after having been established as a “fact”, was later used as a justification for that other claimed absurdities on the Holocaust must have been correct, such that 10 people can be put into the space of one-half of a cubic meter.
Other “official” downward revisions of deaths
In 1986, “experts” claimed 1.38 million deaths at the Majdanek camp. More recently, the curator of the camp museum have stated just 59,000 deaths—a reduction of 96%.
After the war, 1,300,000 deaths were claimed for the Chelmno camp. More recently, this has been reduced to 152,000 deaths.
After the war, numbers such as 546,000 deaths were claimed for the Maly Trostenets camp. More recently, the claims have been reduced to numbers such as 40,000 deaths.
For a long time, victim numbers such as 700,000 killed was the politically correct view on the Jasenovac camp, but the estimates have now been reduced to lower than 100,000.
See the article on the Western Holocaust camps on these camps no longer considered to have been “extermination camps”.
See also the section “Specific groups of non-Jews” on “mainstream” reductions regarding the numbers of certain non-Jewish groups claimed to have been killed at the camps.
Argued impossibility and implausibility of not revised camp demographics
Regarding the still claimed remaining “extermination camps” which have not had their “official” death numbers greatly revised downwards (or only had partial revisions, such as Auschwitz), Holocaust revisionists have made many criticisms, such as these large deaths numbers being argued to be impossible considering the limited capacity of the camps, such as regarding crematoria capacity, amount of fuel for cremations, amount of available Zyklon B, burial space, available “gas chamber” volumes, and many other factors. See the article on Holocaust material evidence.
Non-killings and releases of camp prisoners at “extermination camps”
The Holocaust revisionist Jürgen Graf has written that “The orthodox historians must be deeply embarrassed by the release of 20,000 inmates from Majdanek “extermination camp,” each one of which must have been a witness to the cruelty of the “mass exterminations,” if any such exterminations ever took place there; or by the fact that the National Socialists released large numbers of inmates in the summer of 1944, in the midst of the alleged extermination of the Hungarian Jews. They cannot explain either why the Germans, during their withdrawal from Auschwitz-Birkenau, left 4,299 inmates behind, almost all of them Jewish, each of whom would have been an accuser of the Third Reich if the official version of Auschwitz squared with the historical facts.“
In particular, revisionists have questioned why Sonderkommando members at locations such as Auschwitz were not killed, since they were allegedly witnesses to the gas chamber killings and there was allegedly a German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust.
See also Alleged German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust on other criticisms of this alleged conspiracy.
Revisionist views on causes and number of deaths at different camps
Holocaust revisionists have argued that the highest recorded deaths figures for Auschwitz and Majdanek occurred in 1942-43 and reflect deaths due to diseases such as typhus, which various German countermeasures then decreased. The highest recorded deaths figures for the Western Holocaust camps instead occurred at the end of the war and reflect catastrophic conditions in Germany at this time (caused by factors such as the Allied bombing of German infrastructure), which caused large scale epidemics and malnutrition in the camps (and elsewhere in Germany). Another argued contributing reason was overcrowding of the western camps due to the eastern camps having been evacuated, after Germany complied with an Allied request to move prisoners from the camps near the front into Germany’s interior. See also Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies on the Allied bombings of Germany.
The Holocaust revisionist Thomas Dalton in a 2014 article discussed estimates by different revisionists regarding the number of deaths at individual camps and from other causes. See the linked article regarding this.
Demographic criticisms of the six million killed Jews claim
Revisionists argue that demographic investigations clearly shows that Jewish deaths during WWII were nowhere near six million.
The World Almanac
An early revisionist criticism cited certain editions of The World Almanac and stated that estimated number of Jews before and after WWII did not change greatly. Critics have dismissed this as the postwar estimates simply not yet being updated.
The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry
However, scholarly revisionists do not rely on this comparison, but on extensive and detailed research such as in the book The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by Walter N. Sanning. Revisionists argue that this research and related arguments have not been answered.
Revisionists thus argue that the main non-revisionist demographic calculation regarding the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust uses a method which can be summarized as starting with the last pre-war census number of Jews in a country and subtracting the first post-war census number of Jews. This is argued to grossly overstate the number of civilian Jews killed by Germans. Jews are often depicted only as civilians killed by Germans, but many Jews were killed as military personnel or as partisans. Others were killed by factors such as Allied bombings or diseases/starvation/cold exposure (in part due to extensive Allied bombing of infrastructure). In particular the Soviet Union (where many Jews lived or fled to from Poland) killed many of its own citizens through mismanagement and persecutions before, during, and after the war. (Jews in the Soviet Union are argued to have lost much of their former influence in the years before the war during the alliance with National Socialist Germany and the Great Purge which reduced the number of Jews in the upper echelons of the NKVD secret police from 40% to 4%.) Many Jews in the Soviet Union were evacuated/deported to eastern areas, such as Siberian labor camps (the Gulag camp system) and other eastern locations before, during, and after the war. In particular, the Soviet Union conducted massive evacuations/deportations eastwards of Jews and other groups during war. Many Jews may have been unable to leave the Soviet Union after the war and assimilated. Some Jews died of natural causes also during the war. Assuming official population numbers, around half a million would have died of natural causes during the course of the war, even if ignored by National Socialist Germany. In many cases the estimated pre/post-war numbers of Jews in a country are argued to be incorrect, due to factors such as the censuses used for these estimates occurring long before/after the war and ignoring large scale Jewish emigrations between these dates. Other problems are argued to be double counting and unrealistically high birth rates in order to inflate the pre-war numbers. The post-war numbers are argued to be too low, due to causes such as Jews preferring to not reveal themselves as Jews in various censuses and registrations after the war, as well as the census numbers in the Communist countries being unreliable for political reasons.
In short, explanations for the difference between Sanning’s estimates and non-revisionist estimates based on censuses include adjusting or not for:
- Jewish migrations.
- Postwar censuses, in particular the post-war Communist censuses, understating the number of Jews.
- Many Jewish deaths being due to other causes than Germans killing civilian Jews (and many of these deaths occurring in the non-occupied Soviet Union).
- Double counting.
- Unrealistic birth rates.
Worldwide Jewish population estimates
Regarding “official” worldwide Jewish population estimates, unlike the estimates in the early postwar editions of the The World Almanac, these estimates were later “updated” and state the argued loss from the Holocaust during the WWII years. However, Sanning argued that the Jewish populations outside the Soviet Union are stated by these estimates to have increased very rapidly in the first few decades after the war, at a rate normally seen only in developing countries or in rural population. Nearly everywhere in the world, Jews are almost completely urbanized and belong mostly to the middle and even the upper classes, both of which are factors would lead one to expect at most only a low rate of population increase. This was argued to indicate that something is very wrong with these estimates.
2017 article by Sanning
Sanning in a 2017 article provided updates on further research since the publication of his book. “In particular, newly available data about the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union and its successor states are of interest in this regard. They indicate that Sanning was correct in assuming that Soviet post-war census data about the number of Jews who survived World War Two were unreliable. The number of Jews who have emigrated since the 1970s, plus the demographic collapse Jewry experienced after the war due to an extremely low birth rate, compels the conclusion that many more Jews survived the war in the USSR than previously assumed.”
Revisionists have further argued that the Korherr Report on Jewish populations trends in 1943, made by the reputedly best statistician in Germany, confirms Sanning’s statistics. The politically correct view is that Korherr used “code words” to hide the Holocaust, but revisionists have criticized this, since the writings were intended for Hitler’s and Himmler’s eyes only and this was also rejected by Korherr who stated he had no knowledge of a supposed ongoing extermination of Jews.
Another check is by examining statistics regarding the fate of Jewish notable persons during the war. Revisionists argue that the results are very similar to those found by Sanning.
Still another method is by looking at the official data regarding the very large number of “Holocaust survivors”. This has several difficulties making more exact calculations difficult, but revisionists argue that these statistics support that the 6 million number is by far too high.
Yad Vashem in Israel collects names of claimed Holocaust victims. Revisionists have argued that anyone can send in claimed names, or large groups of claimed names, and that examinations have shown that many of the claimed killed individuals have been found to be alive after the war, counted multiple times, or simply missed by, for example, persons once inhabiting the same general area, but with no proof of death, and those missing may simply have emigrated elsewhere. Even a close relative may often wrongly have believed that their relative(s) were killed, for reasons such as the relative(s) becoming dispersed during the war and camp transfers, having migrated, changing name in order to not be recognized as a Jew or other reasons, and/or no extensive search for the relative(s) being made due to the belief that almost all Jews in camps were killed (an argued negative consequence of the argued Holocaust propaganda).
Revisionist views on how many died
Sanning argued that the Jewish world population decreased by around 1.25 million during the time period of the Second World War and of this around one million died in Soviet areas from causes such as fighting in the Red Army or in Siberian labor camps (with uncertainties regarding these numbers in the hundreds of thousands). The book Richard Korherr and his Reports calculated on the basis of Korherr’s data that the Jews lost approximately 1.2 million of their number during World War Two, some 750,000 of them in Germany’s sphere of influence. German Rudolf stated in Lecture on the Holocaust that he holds to be probable that something like half a million Jews died in areas under German control. Thomas Dalton has stated roughly 570,000 deaths.
Revisionist views on the number of Jews in German controlled areas
Sanning argued that no more than 3.5 million Jews were ever under German control during World War Two.
Wannsee Protocol and Korherr Report
See Wannsee Conference: Demographics aspects and Korherr Report.
Tens of thousands of additional camps and ghettos “discovered”
In 2013, it was announced that researchers had “discovered” many tens of thousands of camps and ghettos previously not part of the standardized politically correct Holocaust version. Now a total of 42,500 ghettos and camps were stated, mostly forced labor camps, and mostly located in Poland and adjacent areas further to the east.
This thus provides numerous new locations to which Jews were deported (possibly after first transiting through the traditional “extermination” camps but without being killed there as Holocaust revisionists have argued) and demonstrates that important aspects of the earlier orthodox view on the Holocaust were grossly incorrect.
“Where did they go?”
A very frequent objection to revisionist arguments is that revisionists cannot describe in detail what happened to the Jews who were transported to the “extermination camps” but who were (according to revisionists) not killed.
As noted in previous sections, there were numerous other camps in Poland and adjacent areas to which deportations occurred and possibly after first transiting through the “extermination camps” without being killed.
Documentary evidence, such as transport records, contradicting the politically correct version are argued by revisionists to have been destroyed. Not just the Allies, but also the Germans may have destroyed such records, but with different motivations. For example, “Aktion Reinhard” was according to revisionists a plunder operation involving stealing Jewish property, which the involved Germans likely had an interest in concealing.
A seldom mentioned aspect is that also non-revisionists cannot exactly answer the question “Where did they go?” This is demonstrated by, for example, non-revisionists stating very different numbers of deaths at different camps, as discussed in the section “Very widely differing claims on the number of deaths at different Holocaust camps”. This is by non-revisionists claimed to be due to causes such as the allegedly very incomplete camp death records and more generally due to many German documents having been destroyed by a German conspiracy in order to hide the Holocaust. See also the article on the Alleged German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust.
Thus, both revisionists and non-revisionists state that documents are missing, that cover-ups occurred, and that demographic estimates are uncertain.
That it is not possible to exactly document the movements of individuals does not mean that they must have died or that they must have been killed in gas chambers.
Revisionists have also argued that non-revisionists cannot explain what happened to the corpses resulting from the supposed mass killings. The alleged burning of some of the corpses on pyres would still leave behind massive amounts of remains. See Holocaust material evidence: Corpses.
Another argued problem for the non-revisionists is explaining where the very large numbers of “Holocaust survivors” came from, if the Jews under German control were almost all killed (see the section “Other methods”). A related argued problem is the origin of the very large number of Jews in camps for displaced persons in Europe, including in Germany, during the postwar period.
In 2000, Jewish organizations demanding compensation stated that there were still around 1 million living Holocaust survivors. A demographic estimate based on this is that in 1945 there were between 3.5 and 5 million Holocaust survivors.
In 1987, the German Federal Ministry of Finance had received compensation claims from around 4.4 million Holocaust survivors.
Revisionist views on the fate of the Jews argued to be deported to the occupied Soviet Union
Questioned correctness/authenticity of the Korherr Report and the Höfle Telegram
Demographic estimates stating high numbers deported to the occupied Soviet Union (or killed at locations such as the Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka camps in the non-revisionist version) are based primarily on the Korherr Report and the Höfle Telegram. However, the correctness/authenticity of these deportation numbers/documents have been questioned, as discussed in the articles on these documents and the “External links” listed there.
5.7 million Soviet POWs in German captivity
Germany is estimated to have captured around 5.7 million Soviet soldiers. The imprisonment of these would from certain aspects (such as certain logistic aspects) have been a larger issue than the less than 2 million Jews (possibly much less) which revisionists argue were deported to the occupied Soviet Union.
Recently “discovered” camps and ghettos in the occupied Soviet Union
See the section “Tens of thousands of additional camps and ghettos “discovered”” on these camps and ghettos, many of which were located in the occupied Soviet Union. In addition, there may be still “undiscovered” camps and ghettos.
In 1943, Professor Eugene M. Kulischer, a member of the International Labour Office at Montreal, Canada, published a book entitled The displacement of population in Europe. For his work the author used the assistance of 24 institutions – Jewish, American, Belgian, Czechoslovak, Finnish, French, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Turkish, Yugoslav, as well as the International Red Cross. In it he also discussed the deportations of Jews. “But, generally speaking, deportation to the east is for the Jews the equivalent of the recruitment for work in the Reich to which the rest of the population of German-controlled Europe is subject, and their removal further and further eastwards is doubtless connected with the need for supplying the army’s requirements near the front. For the Polish ghettos are not the last stage in the forced eastward migration of the Jewish people. On 20 November 1941, the Governor General, Hans Frank, broadcast the information that the Polish Jews would ultimately be transferred further east. Since the summer of 1942 the ghettos and labour camps in the German-occupied Eastern Territories have become the destination of deportees both from Poland and from western and central Europe; in particular, a new large-scale transfer from the Warsaw ghetto has been reported. Many of the deportees have been sent to the labour camps on the Russian front; others to work in the marshes of Pinsk, or to the ghettos of the Baltic countries, Byelorussia and Ukraine.“
The German Organisation Todt was responsible for numerous large scale building projects. The labor force included large scale use of forced laborers. As such, a revisionist theory is that many Jews were used as forced laborers by Organisation Todt in the occupied Soviet Union. This including for purposes outside of camps and ghettos, such as for building roads and fortifications. Documents classified as secret and involving Organisation Todt in the occupied Soviet Union were systematically destroyed at the of the war. However, various forms of evidence are argued to support the theory.
See also Wannsee conference: Related document on a message intercepted by British codebreaker stating that deported Jews, guarded by Organisation Todt, were to be used for constructional undertakings in the occupied Soviet Union.
The politically correct view on the Einsatzgruppen is that they mostly killed Jews already present in the Soviet Union at the time of the German invasion and that this mostly occurred before the “extermination camps” started operating. Thus, even if accepting the politically correct view on the Einsatzgruppen, this can not explain what happened to the deported Jews.
New data indicating many more surviving Jews than previously assumed
See the section “2017 article by Sanning” on new data indicating that the Soviet post-war census data about the number of Jews who survived World War Two were unreliable and that many more Jews survived the war than previously assumed.
Soviet deportation theory
Accepting the Korherr Report as generally correct, the revisionists Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, and Thomas Kues have in recent articles and books described various sources supporting the deportation of Jews to the occupied Soviet Union. This contradicts the politically correct version of the Holocaust according to which these Jews were killed or remained in camps in Poland. As one example of many, the authors list eleven witnesses (both Jews and non-Jews), who have stated the presence of Dutch and French Jews in Minsk, which contradicts the politically correct version. The authors in addition stated that “For the most part, the existence of the above-mentioned witness statements have been revealed to the world via sparse footnotes in isolated exterminationist publications. How many more such testimonies are gathering dust in archives, ignored by orthodox holocaust historians?“
However, this also raises the question of what happened to these Jews after the war. “It must be pointed out that of the less than 2 million Jews – some 423,000 of them non-Polish – who were deported to the Occupied Eastern Territories, a considerable percentage no doubt perished during the period 1942–1945 due to starvation, epidemics and various other causes. We remind our readers here of the staggering mortality ratios among the POWs in the east (on both the German and the Soviet side). […] War-related hardships moreover did not end in 1945, as many people died in the immediate post-war era, especially in underdeveloped Eastern Europe, from epidemics, hunger and cold that was the result of collapsed infrastructure, destroyed agriculture and inadequate housing.“
Regarding the fate of those who survived this: “While a number of the surviving deported Polish Jews may have been assimilated into the local Russian, Belorussian or Ukrainian Jewish communities, with which they shared much in common, or even managed to return to Poland and from there on to other countries in the west or to Israel, a large portion of them, together with the surviving deported Western Jews, were kept as prisoners behind the Iron Curtain and most likely deported to and hidden away in northern Russia or Siberia, so that Stalin could consolidate the myth of the extermination of Jews in “gas chambers.”” These Jews are argued to likely have been taken to camps they were never intended to leave (and likely to camps outside the normal Gulag camp system from which some people returned and therefore not included in the ordinary Gulag documentation). The authors also stated evidence in support for and replied to various objections to this theory, such as Jewish sources stating large scale deportations of Jews to unclear final destinations in the postwar period in the Soviet Union:
See Soviet deportation of some of the Jews allegedly killed during the Holocaust theory regarding more details.
Deported Dutch Jews
A demographic group argued to be problematic for Holocaust revisionists is the deported Dutch Jews, a group with a very low recorded percentage of Holocaust survivors (5%), and with this number claimed to be far too low to be explained by causes such as starvation, disease, and emigration during the war and postwar period.
However, Jews from Western Europe, who likely often had no contacts or connections in Eastern Europe/the Soviet Union, who likely often not were able to speak the local languages, and who possibly often were highly educated but not in areas needed during chaotic conditions, may have had particular difficulty surviving the war and postwar period, generally acknowledged to have caused enormous casualties even among the local populations in Eastern Europe/the Soviet Union.
The survivors may have heard of the Dutch famine of 1944–45 and preferred to emigrate to other countries (such as Palestine/Israel and the United States) rather than to return to presumed very harsh conditions.
Argued Dutch collaboration with National Socialist Germany may also have caused a reluctance to return. More generally, various prewar/war experiences may have increased support for Zionism and preference for emigration to Palestine/Israel.
Some of the Jews present in the Netherlands before the war had recently emigrated there from other countries (such as from National Socialist Germany) and thus may have had no strong reason to return. This argument applies to an even greater extent to the deported French Jews, only 22,691 Jews from the 67,693 deported from the Drancy camp actually had French citizenship. Furthermore, some of the Jews having citizenship had gained this only recently (such as due to gaining citizenship due to being born in France but with non-citizen Jews as parents) and others may have had lost (or assumed they had lost) their local community/relatives during the war and again have had no strong reason to return.
See also the article on the Dutch Jewess Anne Frank and the thirteen persons associated with hers, some of who died of causes such as disease, but none of who were gassed.
Very few of the Dutch Jews deported to Sobibor are stated to have returned to the Netherlands, with one version stating only 18 returnees. However, various witnesses have stated that many more Dutch Jews were not killed at Sobibor, but instead transited elsewhere. Examples include “Cato Polak, deported on March 10, 1943, remained in Sobibór one or two hours and was then transferred to Lublin with 30 women and 12 men. […] Sientje and Jetje Veterman, sent to Sobibór on April 6, 1943, were sorted out together with 28 other women for work and transferred to Trawniki with them. […] Elias Alex Cohen, deported to Sobibór on March 17, 1943, spent only a few hours in the camp and was sent to Lublin with 35 other Jews. […] Jules Schelvis writes that ‘in Sobibór, after the arrival of transports, the fresh work forces for Dorohucza’ were ‘selected.’ At Dorohucza, 5 km from Trawniki, was a labor camp where peat was cut. According to Schelvis, at least 700 Dutch Jews were transferred there directly after their arrival in Sobibór […] Dorohucza was only one of many Jewish labor camps, which overlay the Lublin district like a dense network. Edward Dziadosz and Józef Marszałek count no fewer than 110 of them. […] It is characteristic that nearly all the Dutch Jews, who had been transferred from Sobibór to another camp, returned home by way of Auschwitz-Birkenau; instead of being liquidated as bearers of top-secret knowledge, they survived even this ‘extermination camp.’“
Another explanation is that Stalin did not allow the Dutch Jews to return from Eastern Europe/the Soviet Union, as discussed in the section “Soviet deportation theory” and Soviet deportation of some of the Jews allegedly killed during the Holocaust theory.
The fate of the Hungarian Jews during and after the war (especially those stated to have been deported from Hungary to Auschwitz in 1944) have been discussed by several revisionists. Views on the war period have included exaggerated deportation numbers, some Jews escaping to countries such as Romania, some Jews being used as forced laborer in the occupied Soviet Union, and deportations to non-Auschwitz camps (including in Germany, possibly after transiting through Auschwitz). Theories on the end of the war/postwar period have included some Jews choosing to not return to Hungary, some of the Jews assumed to have died due to gassings at Auschwitz actually having died due to various other causes and at other locations (such as due to disease/starvation in the Western Holocaust camps), and some Jews being seized by the Soviet Union and never seen again, see Soviet deportation of some of the Jews allegedly killed during the Holocaust theory, in particular the section “Statements by deported Jews” on a statement by a deported Hungarian Jew.
Five million killed non-Jews claim
A frequent claim is that five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust (seen as targeted, genocidal killings, typically in camps, rather than general war deaths). This would give a total of eleven million deaths. However, the five million number has been criticized also by politically correct sources. This is likely related to this claim being problematic for Jewish Holocaust uniqueness claims. The five million non-Jews number has in a 2017 article been stated to have been invented by Simon Wiesenthal in the 1970s. Wiesenthal told a colleague, who had stated that Wiesnthal was telling a lie, that “‘Sometimes you need to do that to get the results for things you think are essential.” Wiesenthal chose the five million number carefully, since he wanted a number large enough to attract the attention of non-Jews who might not otherwise care about Jewish suffering, but not larger than the six million Jews number. However, “say those close to the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, its progenitor, it is a number that was intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but which now is more often used to obscure it.” Instead, a current politically correct view, emphasizing Jewish Holocaust uniqueness, is that the number of non-Jews who died in the concentration camps is at most half a million and that those non-Jews should not be included in the term “the Holocaust”, which should be exclusively for Jews only.
Furthermore, claims of many millions of non-Jewish deaths existed long before the 1970s. One example is the 1946 film Die Todesmühlen (Death Mills). It was made to be shown to German audiences by the U.S. Office of Military Government for Germany. The film claimed 20 million killed. This would imply 14 million non-Jews killed. This is much larger than six million killed Jews. Compared to such numbers, the claim of five million killed non-Jews was actually a reduction, which increased relative Jewish importance by making Jews the largest group.
See Holocaust uniqueness regarding such claims.
Specific groups of non-Jews
The estimated number of Gypsies who died in the camps has been argued to have seen a drop from 500,000 to 50,000. Revisionists have argued for still smaller numbers, with the Auschwitz death records stating 11,843 deaths.
The estimated number of homosexuals who died in the camps has been argued to have seen a drop from 500,000 to perhaps 5,000.
The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission alleged that 840,000 Soviet POWs were killed at the Sachsenhausen camp. Wikipedia now states 30,000 deaths at the camp. A revisionist estimate is 22,000 deaths.
The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission alleged that Finland during the Continuation War deported the whole Soviet population of the territories occupied by Finland into concentration camps, where 40% had died according to the commission’s data. This is now admitted to be a fabrication.
See Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Holocaust on the number of killed Jehovah’s Witnesses, initially stated to be 60,000, more recently reduced to a stated 200 – 300.
Claimed killings of non-Jews in general
More generally, National Socialist Germany has been accused of mass killings of several non-Jewish groups. These may or may not be counted as Holocaust killings.
See the below articles: