Scrapbookpages Blog

March 10, 2014

20 million people killed by the Nazis, according to the USHMM

A reader of my blog recently stated this in a comment:  “There were over 20 million people who were killed in total by Nazi atrocities from the 1930s until Germany’s surrender.  That does not  include casualties of the various allied and Soviet armies.”

This was news to me, but I wouldn’t put anything past those evil Nazis.

I was curious about where the figure of 20 million came from, so I did a google search and found this news article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9906771/Nazis-may-have-killed-up-to-20m-claims-shocking-new-Holocaust-study.html

A photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was included in the article.  I have copied the photo, along with the caption, which you can see below.

 Washington's Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP


Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP

The official name of “Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum” is United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).  I visited the USHMM several years ago, and wrote about it on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/USHMM/

I do not consider the USHMM to be a reliable source of information, but that’s just me; others might have a different opinion.

I don’t think that a photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is appropriate for an article about 20 million people being killed.  Sachsenhausen was a Class 1 camp for political prisoners, not a death camp.

You can read about the significance of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Auschwitz/Auschwitz12.html

The Soviets, who liberated the Sachsenhausen camp, claimed that Sachsenhausen was a death camp and that 100,000 people had been killed there.  Now that figure has been officially reduced to 30,000 deaths.  Did the USHMM subtract those 70,000 deaths from the 20 million total?

I took the photo below, on  my visit to the Sachsenhausen camp.  It shows the gate into the camp.  That’s how I know that the photo, which was shown in the article, was taken at Sachsenhausen.  The Arbeit Macht Frei sign was only put on Class I camps, where prisoners had a good chance of being released.

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

This quote is from the article cited above:

The millions disappeared into a Nazi imprisonment and killing machine that covered a bloody swathe of Europe and appears to have been far more deadly than has been thought.

Up until now, the Holocaust is thought to have consumed between five and six million Jews, with an estimated further six million other people also murdered by the Nazi regime.

The new figures of 15 to 20 million, which have astonished some Holocaust historians, come after thirteen years of painstaking study at Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum. Historians at the museum brought together and studied the huge amount, and often disparate, files and research on the Holocaust.

The research covered some 42,400 camps and ghettos across Europe, and also included forced-labour camps and Nazi “care” centres where pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their child killed right after giving birth. It also drew in camps, prisons and killing grounds used by Nazi puppet regimes in countries such as France and Romania.

The number of locations is almost double previous estimates made by the same institution and, all told, they may have imprisoned and killed between 15 to 20 million people.

Note that the USHMM story is that pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their baby killed after giving birth.  I have blogged about babies being born in the Nazi camps several times: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/pregnant-at-auschwitz-the-story-of-miriam-rosenthal/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/its-a-miracle-seven-babies-slipped-through-the-nazi-killing-machine-at-dachau/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/holocaust-survivor-who-was-born-in-auschwitz/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/holocaust-survivor-was-born-in-mauthausen-concentration-camp/

This serious mistake, by the USHMM, regarding the fate of pregnant women and babies, is enough for me to question the whole article.

The largest “death camps” in  the Holocaust were Auschwitz and Majdanek. The number of deaths at Auschwitz has been downgraded, from 4 million to 1.1 million, and  the number of deaths at Majdanek has been downgraded, from 1.5 million to 78,000.  Were these deaths subtracted from the 20 million total?

Sorry, but I don’t believe the new total of 20 million people killed by the Nazis.  False in one, false in all.  Next time, don’t tell us about mothers being forced to have an abortion in the “death camps.”