This is a theme that has being doing the rounds of Holocaust Denial for many years. Nothing in this article written by Mr Wear or taken from his book is new. It is a theme that has been debunked…even by at least one major Holocaust denier himself! So, let us look at the so called “facts” given to us.
Firstly, before going through Mr Wear’s article, we must look at the types of sources used. The vast majority of them are from Holocaust deniers themselves or from newspaper articles. Newspapers, for all their usefulness in providing us with news, are not known for their accuracy when it comes to historical facts. Holocaust deniers like Nick Kollerstrom are well known for their distortion of sources and outright lies when it comes to the use of primary sources. Other sources like Mike King are so poor that even any Holocaust Denier with a brain cell will not use them.
So now to the article itself. The article takes up the silly “6 million was mentioned before WW2 even took place and is some mythical number from the Jewish religion” gambit as well as a look at the 4 million Auschwitz number, the post war reparations payments offered to victims of Nazi oppression and finally the good old Sanning “there were no Jews around to murder anyway” theory.
Did 6 Million Jews Die in World War II?
Well…the numbers will never really be know, due to the nature of the murder, but then we will never know an accurate number for a variety of mass murders, from the Stalin purges and the victims of the Holodomor to the numbers of dead Chinese during Mao’s revolution. Historians have however come up with a range of numbers of victims which have changed over the years as more information and sources have become available. In the 1950s Reitlinger came up with a number of 4.5 million and in the 1960s, Hilberg increased that number to 5.1 million Jewish victims. They based that number on sources they had access to. Both men underestimated when it came to the numbers of Soviet Jews who died during the Einsatzgruppen actions after 1941. This was plausible, as the records and information kept in the USSR did not become available in the west until the fall of the Berlin wall and the opening of Soviet archives to western historians. Today, the most accurate number comes for German historian Wulfgang Benz. who, after studying the demographic works from historians of all the countries affected by the holocaust has arrived at a total of 6.2 million. When Mr Wear states:
However, an analysis of the 6 million Jewish wartime deaths shows that this figure is not the result of any careful investigation, research or calculation.
he is simply not telling us the truth. Firstly, the 6 million number is not some number that has always been set in stone and secondly it is a number that has come about by extensive research by historians from all over the world, but especially Europe.
History of the 6 Million Jewish Deaths Figure.
The 6 million figure of Jewish deaths had been used and predicted long before the end of World War II.
Indeed it has…but then so has the 5 million figure, 3 million figure and a non specific figure in the millions…but you will never hear Holocaust deniers like Mr Wear tell you that fact. The excellent scourge of all things Holocaust denial, HOLOCAUST CONTROVERSIES looked at this issue in detail. I take my next statements from the article by Jonathan Harrison.
Many of the newspaper articles in Mr Wears article write about the numbers of Jews under threat during times of pogroms and hardship in the old Russian empire at the turn of the 20th Century. The reason why 6 million is mentioned becomes clear when you look at the population of Jews in the old empire which included Poland: 6,060,415. The 6 million number has nothing to do with some mythical religious number, just the numbers of Jews living around eastern Europe at that time. Mr Wear and other deniers seem to have a problem with historical CONTEXT. It is a common method of distortion and lies used by Holocaust deniers.
Let’s now look at some of the 6 million claims specifically.
The figure of 6 million Jewish deaths was used by Martin H. Glynn, the Governor of New York.
Wrong Mr Wear. Glynn mentions that 6 million adults are under the threat of death as well as 800,000 children. To me that is more like 7 million…but then Holocaust deniers have real problems when it comes to numbers.
In an article appearing in the June 25, 1940 issue of the Palm Beach Post, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, who was the administrative committee chairman of the World Jewish Congress, said “if the Nazis should achieve final victory 6 million Jews in Europe are doomed to destruction.” Not a single Jew had been interned and Hitler was still pleading for peace. Yet the so-called Holocaust and the 6 million Jews doomed to destruction was already established
What? Goldmann was talking about what WOULD happen if the Nazis won the war, no doubt based on what had happened to the German Jews between 1933 and 1939. Nobody had even come up with the word Holocaust (with a capital H) at that time. Interestingly enough Goldmann was correct in his assumption. He obviously had a good knoweldge of the numbers of Jews likely to come under Nazi control in the near future.
The number of 6 million appeared again on January 4, 1945, when the Jewish chief of Soviet atrocity propaganda, Ilya Ehrenburg, stated that this is the number of Jews that had died in World War II.
Ah…Ilya Ehrenberg, the Nazi and neo Nazi whipping boy. Here we have an excellent example of Mr Wear’s dishonesty when it comes to sources. Here is one of the sources for this statement:
Hoffmann, Joachim, Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945, Munich: Herbig, 1999, pp. 390-393
Well let us put aside the fact that Hoffmann is not the most creditable historian in the world. However, the book is obviously IN GERMAN. Mr Wear has admitted to me on several occasions that he doesn’t understand German! Why has he put in a source he has never actually read?! So let’s go on to Ehrenberg’s number:
How Ehrenburg and Lestchinsky came up with their numbers fully four months before the end of the war is anyone’s guess.
Assuming that Hoffmann has been accurate in his statement about Ehrenberg (many deniers tend to make things up.) isn’t it obvious why the 2 men came up with the number? They did indeed…take a guess. They estimated. The fact that the number matches the latest detailed calculations is a coincidence. Nothing more, and nothing less.
The figure of 6 million Jews who died in World War II reappeared at the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg. The number of 6 million used at the IMT is based primarily on the hearsay evidence given by the written deposition of German SS-bureaucrat Wilhelm Höttl. The verbal but never cross-examined testimony of Dieter Wisliceny, who said that 5 million Jews had died during the war, is also used to substantiate the figure of 6 million. These two men claimed that they heard these statements from Adolf Eichmann, but Eichmann later disputed that he ever made these statements.
Well perhaps Mr Wear might like to tell us where and when Eichmann disputed these statements, and the context in which he might have denied them. He certainly won’t get that information from his source:
Aschenauer, Rudolf (ed.), Ich, Adolf Eichmann, Leoni, Bavaria: Druffel, 1980, pp. 460-461, 473-474, 494.
As we know…Mr Wear does NOT understand German!
But I leave the last word to Holocaust Denier German Rudolf when commenting on the pre WW2 use of the 6 million in the book “The First Holocaust”:
The third deals with Jewish fundraising campaigns during and after the FIRST World War, and therefore if only for chronological reason does not deal with the Jewish Holocaust of the SECOND World War.
Why 6 Million Is an Overstated Number
Mr Wear proceeds to try to tell us why by using some unusual sources.
Stephen F. Pinter
…was stationed in Germany after the war and spoke to survivors in German and Austrian concentration camps. So he never went anywhere near Poland then or the USSR where most of the murders took place. Really Mr Wear? This is evidence that 6 million were not murdered by the Nazis? How exactly?
Now we arrive at the issue of reparations payments post war. Here is Mr Wear’s take on the issue,
the New York Jewish publication Aufbau documents in 1965 that 3,375,000 inmates, the vast majority of whom were Jewish, had survived the German camps and were receiving reparations from Germany.
Well, the actual Aufbau page can be found here:
The key article is in German entitled “Der Boden des Fasses ist Sichtbar”. Perhaps Mr Wear might like to tell us in this article where it mentions Jews at all and he might also like to tell us where it states that most of the 3.4 million claimants were Jewish. In reality, of course, the German government has never differentiated by race or religion. ALL victims of Nazi oppression including Jews and non Jews alike have been able to apply for reparations payments. Let me make this clear. The German Government has never published a breakdown of its claimants according to religion, race or nationality.
Now just because 3,375,000 people made a claim for reparations up to 1965 ( 4,384,138 by 1987 ) it does not mean to say that 3,375,000 people actually were successful in their application. They were not. Around 1.7 million people by 1965 had their applications upheld, and yet again, there is no indication at all as to how many of these were Jewish. So when Mr Wear says this in bold:
How could there be 3,375,000 survivors of the German concentration camps receiving reparations from Germany 20 years after the war was over if Germany had mass murdered 6 million Jews?
Firstly he is wrong about exactly how many actually received payments, and he is wrong in implying that all the people apply for and receiving payments were all Jewish. By 1987, there were 2,014,142 people who had succeeded in their claims application. By stating this:
As of January 1984, there were 4.39 million successful individual restitution claims under the terms of the German Federal Compensation Law (BEG) of 1953 and 1956.
Mr Wear is lying.
…and don’t forget the crucial issue here, the 2 million number includes both Jews and non Jews.
For an interesting debate on this topic at Axis History Forum take a look here.
Norman Finkelstein, the author of The Holocaust Industry,
I have never understood why Holocaust deniers love to focus in on Mr Finkelstein except because he attacks Israeli policy regarding Palestine and he attacks in his opinion the “fat cats” who make money out of the Holocaust. In reality, he makes it quite clear in his book on p 5 that apart from his parents, “every family member on both sides were exterminated by the Nazis”. Norman Finkelstein, nor his mother whose tongue in cheek quote Mr Wear uses are Holocaust deniers.
The Holocaust story also originally claimed that about 4 million Jews died at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
This particular denier canard was busted well over a decade ago and I am surprised that such a “modern historian” as John Wear would still spout it. To put the 4 million in some sort of context, in 1945 on the liberation of Auschwitz, the Soviets carried out an investigation into the murders carried out there. After speaking to 200 prisoners and after studying captured documents left behind, the Soviet commission estimated that Auschwitz could have murdered 4 million people if used on a daily basis from 1942 to 1944. The types of deaths were the result of shootings, death by hunger, poisonings and torture. That 4 million figure was maintained by the Soviet authorities until the fall of the Soviet empire.
The 4 million Auschwitz figure however, was never believed by the vast majority of historians who studied the Holocaust in the west. As early as the 1950s, the first major Holocaust historian, Gerald Reitlinger was openly doubting the Soviet 4 million figure:
The world has grown mistrustful of “rectified coefficients”, and the figure of 4 million has become ridiculous. Unfortunately Russian arithmetic has blurred the stark and inescapable fact that 800,000 to 900,000 human beings perished at Auschwitz in its gas chambers and in its camps.
The Final Solution, G Reitlinger, Sphere Books Ltd, (1953) Edit* 1971 edition. p 500.
Raul Hilberg in his opus “The Destruction of the European Jews” of 1971, describes 600,000 being murdered between May and October 1944, raising the number to 1,000,000 in subsequent editions of his book in the 1980s.
Edit..Clarification…My reference is a 1973 edition of the Hilberg book and not 1971. To the 600,000 dead between May and October 1944 must be added the Jewish deaths from 1942. This corresponds with Hilberg’s 1 million figure for Jewish deaths at Auschwitz. My thanks to The “Rabbit of Inlé” for pointing me in this direction. Needless to say, the point remains the same; there was no acceptance of a 4 million figure for deaths at Auschwitz in the 1960s.
Dr Piper has spent decades working out the numbers murdered at Auschwitz. His figure of 1.1 million in total of which around 965,000 were Jews, is noted as being the most accurate. He did not just decide to lower the original 4 million number simply to “maintain the credibility of the Holocaust story”, but based his new figure on detailed examination of sources carried out in the freedom of a post Soviet controlled Poland.
As the total number of Jewish deaths is based on the research of western historians, the Soviet 4 million figure is irrelevant and so is this ludicrous conclusion by Mr Wear:
Since the figure of 6 million Jews who died in German camps is based on the 4 million Jews who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau, one would think that the 6 million Jewish deaths in the German camps should be lowered to about 3 million.
Mr Wear then gives us the opinion of a certain Mr Ivan Lagacé, “manager of a large crematory in Calgary”.who claims that it would have been impossible to cremate such huge numbers of bodies in the crematoria of Auschwitz. Mr Lagacé is in charge of a large crematoria where rules dictate that bodies can only be cremated one at a time. He seems to be ignorant of the fact that cremating several bodies at the same time in the same muffle was common in Auschwitz where the legal niceties and moral scruples were not an important issue to the SS there.
Finally to the guru of the “now you see them now you don’t” method of Holocaust denial, we have the mysterious Walter Sanning. He wrote one book in a futile attempt to get rid of Jews from German influence by making out that they were all shipped off to the USSR at the start of the war, or they all buggered off to the USA and other countries in the 1930s. The conclusion he makes is that 6 million cannot have died because the Germans could not get their hands on 6 million Jews. Mr Wear would have us believe:
The book The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry by Walter Sanning is probably the most scholarly study ever written of 20th century Jewish demography, especially in its analysis of World War II related Jewish population changes.
Er…nope, it isn’t. A thorough debunking of Sanning’s methodology has been made at Holocaust Controversies where author, Jonathan Harrison has this to say in his introduction to several articles on Sanning:
One way to tell the difference between a scholar and a Holocaust denier is to examine how they select and treat their sources. A researcher who willfully limited his range of sources, made no attempt to check their veracity, and exercised a lack of critical judgment, would not get pass first base if he had to submit his work for peer review in the academic community. He would thus be a non-scholar, or even, as it were, an anti-scholar. It is our contention that all Holocaust deniers routinely commit these sins of anti-scholarship. Furthermore, these anti-scholars are also prone to lying and deceit to cover up their shoddy use of sources.
To illustrate this point, we have put together a six-part study of the methods used by the denier Walter Sanning in his The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry.
The above link will take you to a thorough debunking of the work of Walter Sanning.
…and finally; MrWear has us believe that Reitlinger supports Sannings theories:
“In Southern Siberia the death-rate was very high for…Jews….”
Note the use of the three dots. I wonder what Mr Wear left out?
Here is the quote in full:
In Southern Siberia the death rate was very high for Poles, Lithuanians, Rumanians and Jews alike. but it is disputable whether such losses, if they can ever be known, should be laid at the door of the Final Solution. Apart from this unknown quantity, I conclude that the number of jews who perished in the old Poland was between 2,350,000 and 2,600,000. Out of this number at least half a million had died of hunger and epidemeics before the systematic extermination began.
No, Mr Wear, Gerald Reitlinger does NOT support Walter Sanning’s conclusions. That, sir is yet another lie.
*with thanks to the Rabbit.