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nickterry
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Post by nickterry » 19 May 2006 17:43

It is a very hard task to find in the Web lower (than 100,000) estimate.
I highlighted the keyword here - Web. The Internet's output tends to maximise estimates, not minimise them.

Firstly, there were never 20,000 foreign Jews in the Minsk ghetto, only 7000.

As for the overall numbers, here's Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p.625

Die urspruengliche Einwohnerzahl des Minsker Ghettos wahrscheinlich geringer war als in Ueberlebendenberichten und der Literatur ueberwiegend angegeben.

(the original number of inhabitants of the Minsk ghetto was likely smaller than given in survivor reports and the literature)

5.1.42 the Minsk Stadtkommissar estimated only 15-18,000 Belorussian Jews along with 7000 German Jews. (Gerlach pp.625-6, citing Janetzke an Rosenberg, 5.1.42, StA Hannover 2 Js 499/61, Sonderheft 3, p.15ff)

killed until then:
10,000 Jewish men in Drosdy internment camp, summer 1941
5000 in August and September 1941 from ghetto
2000 from Drosdy internment camp, October 1941
14,000 from ghetto in November/December 1941 = 31,000

Hersh Smolar, the Minsk Ghetto, p.52, a survivor memoir, gives 80,000 as number registered in 1941. But the same source also gives an estimate from the Judenrat that 30,000 had been murdered by the end of 1941.

1942: (Gerlach, pp.690ff)
January-February - possibly 3000 Jews killed
2-3 March 1942 - 3412 killed
28 to 31 July 1942 - 10,000 killed, including 6500 Belorussian Jews and 3500 Central European Jews
= up to 13,000 Belorussian and 3500 Central European Jews

September 1942: 9472 Belorussian Jews alive according to Janetzke again, 2600 Central European Jews as well. (others died of hunger).

This suggests that Janetzke was under-estimating in January, but not by that much.

The discrepancy would be:
- 9472 alive in September
- ca 13,000 murdered in 1942
- ca 31,000 murdered in 1941 = 55,000 Jews

.... so there is a discrepancy of 25,000 between these figures and the number of 80,000.

Grossmann/Ehrenburg, Black Book, p.333, cites survivor saying 75,000 registered in 1941

In 1939 there were 70,998 Jews living in Minsk, plus refugees, would have been 90,000 - how many fled? There are few documented cases of resettlements of entire ghettos into the Minsk ghetto, such as occurred at Warsaw and Lodz.

The best estimate of escapees and survivors from the Minsk ghetto is 3-4,000. Higher number of 10,000 sometimes given, but this would mean 1 in 8 of the higher number successfully escaped, I don't believe that.

Best estimate would be 60,000 Belorussian (and western Belorussian/Polish) Jews were interned in the ghetto in 1941, of whom up to 46,000 were murdered by the summer of 1942, probably a little less (the January-February 1942 actions are eyewitnessed only, no documents). A certain number starved to death, 3-4000 escaped, some survived deportations.

One additional thing: the Minsk ghetto was used as a holding centre for e.g. Soviet POWs who were Jewish, such as Aleksandr Pechersky, who led the Sobibor revolt. So there is an unknown number on top of the 'natives', that have not been taken into account.

Some (ca 1000) of the deportees from 'Minsk' in the autumn of 1943 came from labour camps in Smolensk, Bobruisk and Mogilev.

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Post by Sergey » 22 May 2006 09:34

http://www.holocaustcenter.org/Holocaust/1942.shtml
Aug/Sept-42
...
Gassings near Minsk of Jews deported from Theresienstadt.
How many Jews in Belorussia were gases?

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Post by nickterry » 22 May 2006 11:13

Sergey wrote:http://www.holocaustcenter.org/Holocaust/1942.shtml
Aug/Sept-42
...
Gassings near Minsk of Jews deported from Theresienstadt.
How many Jews in Belorussia were gases?
Relatively few. Some of the July 1942 'action' were gassed and some were shot. Elsewhere, gas vans tended to be used more against 'politicals', ie Soviet partisans and partisan supporters arrested by the SD and held in SD prisons, they were then periodically gassed in so-called 'prison clearances'.

A big exception is the use of gas vans to destroy the Smolensk ghetto (inside the RSFSR obviously) in July 1942.

Most other 'actions' in Belorussia were carried out by mass shootings, right through to 1943. The other big exception would be the final deportations from Lida and Minsk in September 1943, to Sobibor.

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Post by Sergey » 22 May 2006 15:20

nickterry wrote:
Sergey wrote:http://www.holocaustcenter.org/Holocaust/1942.shtml
Aug/Sept-42
...
Gassings near Minsk of Jews deported from Theresienstadt.
How many Jews in Belorussia were gases?
Relatively few. ...
But why? I think that gasing was relatively difficult method. And another question. If it was possible to gas Jews in Belorussia they why some were sent to extermination camps to be gased on arrival?

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Post by nickterry » 22 May 2006 17:43

Sergey wrote:But why? I think that gasing was relatively difficult method. And another question. If it was possible to gas Jews in Belorussia they why some were sent to extermination camps to be gased on arrival?
gas vans didn't have the capacity of gas chambers. The survivors of the Lida ghetto could be killed within 1-2 days, whereas gas vans would have taken longer. Also, the final deportations to Sobibor were in the course of completely evacuating Belorussia of last remaining large Jewish labour camps.

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Post by Sergey » 23 May 2006 11:20

nickterry wrote:
Sergey wrote:But why? I think that gasing was relatively difficult method. And another question. If it was possible to gas Jews in Belorussia they why some were sent to extermination camps to be gased on arrival?
gas vans didn't have the capacity of gas chambers. The survivors of the Lida ghetto could be killed within 1-2 days, whereas gas vans would have taken longer. Also, the final deportations to Sobibor were in the course of completely evacuating Belorussia of last remaining large Jewish labour camps.
Nick!

I don't understand why Nazis evacuated Jews from Belorussia to Sobibor.

I appeal to a common sense. Nazis were brutal murderers but nobody would say that they were stupid. The main method of killing in Belorussia was shooting. Almost all victims in Belorussia were killed namely by shooting. So what was a reason to send Jews from Belorussia to extermination camps to be gased on arrival if they could be killed without any transportation (moreover Garmans needed trains for military puposes)?

http://holocaust-info.dk/sobibor/sobibo ... ations.htm
Generalkomissariat Belorussia Lida .... September 18-19, 1943 .... 2,700
.....................................................Minsk .... September 18-22 .... 6,000
Nazis killed even more human beings during one action. Btw, what are the biggest murder-actions in Belorussia?

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Post by nickterry » 23 May 2006 11:34

Sergey wrote: Nick!

I don't understand why Nazis evacuated Jews from Belorussia to Sobibor.

I appeal to a common sense. Nazis were brutal murderers but nobody would say that they were stupid. The main method of killing in Belorussia was shooting. Almost all victims in Belorussia were killed namely by shooting. So what was a reason to send Jews from Belorussia to extermination camps to be gased on arrival if they could be killed without any transportation (moreover Garmans needed trains for military puposes)?
http://holocaust-info.dk/sobibor/sobibo ... ations.htm
Generalkomissariat Belorussia Lida .... September 18-19, 1943 .... 2,700
.....................................................Minsk .... September 18-22 .... 6,000
Nazis killed even more human beings during one action. Btw, what are the biggest murder-actions in Belorussia?
Germans needed trains coming from the west to the east to bring up supplies and reinforcements/replacements. They needed trains from the east to the west to bring back Ostarbeiter, evacuees and other prisoners. No logistical problem at all.

As to why evacuate the final survivors, because they were few in number and could be dealt with easily. The same happened in Lithuania at the same time. Moreover this was at a time when Russian/Belorussian political prisoners and partisan suspects were being evacuated west to 'normal' KZs (but also Majdanek and Auschwitz). There are more than 80 such transports identifiable for 1943-44.

Biggest mass shootings in Belorussia were probably those at Brest (16 to 20,000) and Pinsk (16 or 26,000) in 1942 - both cases there are contradictory sources. Each 'action' took more than 1 day. At Minsk the numbers reached 10,000 several times, but there was no one big action.

for sources and information see
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... lesie.html

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Post by Sergey » 23 May 2006 12:29

nickterry wrote:Biggest mass shootings in Belorussia were probably those at Brest (16 to 20,000) and Pinsk (16 or 26,000) in 1942 - both cases there are contradictory sources. Each 'action' took more than 1 day. At Minsk the numbers reached 10,000 several times, but there was no one big action.


So as for concrete actions then we have only estimates (a difference between 16,000 and 26,000 is 10,000). So how precise is a number of murdered Belorussian Jews - 250,000?

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Post by nickterry » 23 May 2006 13:33

Sergey wrote:
nickterry wrote:Biggest mass shootings in Belorussia were probably those at Brest (16 to 20,000) and Pinsk (16 or 26,000) in 1942 - both cases there are contradictory sources. Each 'action' took more than 1 day. At Minsk the numbers reached 10,000 several times, but there was no one big action.


So as for concrete actions then we have only estimates (a difference between 16,000 and 26,000 is 10,000). So how precise is a number of murdered Belorussian Jews - 250,000?
it's a minimum figure, taking the lower end of the estimates and, where there are two kinds of sources available, preferring German documents over eyewitnesses.

It's also provisional, since I need to check through the localities one more time. Highest calculation is 298,000, so it may come in ?260? 270? 255? 000 - time will tell. For the moment, 'at least a quarter of a million' is enough.

By the way, Brest and Pinsk are in western Belorussia not eastern Belorussia, so are not included in the 250,000 figure. The estimates I used for the western Belorussia/eastern Poland figure for these towns came out under the maximum possible estimates. One must also remember that there were several other actions in Brest and Pinsk in 1941, one case 3950 (documented) the other 4500 (documented), but, for example, the Pinsk massacre may have been even larger, since there was no attempt to count all the victims during what happened over two days, only part of the victims. Bodies were lying all around the town (there are photographs). The highest estimate for the 1941 Pinsk massacre is 9000, some think 6000, because there are other German documents tending in that direction. Most historians think the 1942 Pinsk massacre was 26,000, which is supported by other evidence, but the document is simply unclear - it is plausible to argue it was only 16,000, because of the way it is worded.

In the case of Brest, there are 12,000 surviving passports for Jews in the Brest ghetto above the age of 14. How many under the age of 14? We are not sure. A German report registered more than 17,500 Jews in November 1941, and there are many contradictory tendencies; sometimes Jews were brought in from outside to a big ghetto, sometimes they escaped, sometimes they died of hunger in the ghetto (which is still criminal). But the two main German sources, one says 16,000 and it may refer only to those brought by train to Bronnaia Gora, the rest might have been shot on the spot because they were unable to move, the other says 18,000 were disposed of in all, which sounds like a rounding-up of the 17,500 registered number, doesn't it? Eyewitnesses say between 17 and 20,000, well, eyewitnesses do overestimate a little, so the lower figure is confirmation, the higher figure unproven.

Now, perhaps, you see why historians do not like to make precise calculations, because it means making firm judgements on a case-by-case basis, and not everyone shares the same judgements. For example, the author of the figure of 298,000 in eastern Belorussia, Emanuil Ioffe, judges things differently than I do, so while I agree with his calculations most of the time, I disagree some of the time. Whereas Aleksandr Kruglov, who writes on the Ukraine, is methodologically using the same approach as me, i.e. German documents reconciled with eyewitness statements and exhumation protocols, so his figures are I think more accurate.

Ultimately it is a matter of presentation: people want an instant answer, they get an instant round figure. If they want more detail, they should go read books. You're Russian - Ioffe, Kruglov, Altman, Smilovitsky all write in Russian. But of these only Kruglov uses all the German sources available. That's why one has to also read the English and German authors (Dean, Gerlach, Cueppers, Chiari).

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Numbers presented by Anti-defamation League

Post by Sergey » 29 Aug 2006 13:42

http://www.adl.org/holocaust/print.asp

ADL offers a country-by-country accounting of Jewish deaths. The first number is Estimated Pre-Final Solution Population. The second one - number of annihilated Jews. The third - percent.

Poland................3,300,000.....3,000,000...90
Baltic countries......253,000........228,000...90
Germany/Austria....240,000........210,000...90
Protectorate............90,000..........80,000...89
Slovakia..................90,000..........75,000...83
Greece....................70,000..........54,000...77
The Netherlands.....140,000........105,000...75
Hungary.................650,000........450,000...70
SSR White Russia..375,000........245,000...65
SSR Ukraine*......1,500,000........900,000...60
Belgium..................65,000..........40,000...60
Yugoslavia..............43,000..........26,000...60
Romania...............600,000........300,000...50
Norway.....................1,800..............900...50
France..................350,000..........90,000...26
Bulgaria..................64,000..........14,000...22
Italy........................40,000............8,000...20
Luxembourg..............5,000...........1,000...20
Russia (RSFSR)*...975,000........107,000...11
Denmark...................8,000................—...—
Finland.....................2,000.................—...—
TOTAL................8,861,800......5,933,900...67

How correct are these numbers?

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Re: Numbers presented by Anti-defamation League

Post by nickterry » 29 Aug 2006 14:35

Sergey wrote:http://www.adl.org/holocaust/print.asp

ADL offers a country-by-country accounting of Jewish deaths. The first number is Estimated Pre-Final Solution Population. The second one - number of annihilated Jews. The third - percent.
How correct are these numbers?
Not very.
Poland................3,300,000.....3,000,000...90
Polish Central Statisical Office calculated 3,351,000 Jews in Poland as of August 1939.
# of victims = min. 2.7 million.
Baltic countries......253,000........228,000...90
about 10,000 too high.
Germany/Austria....240,000........210,000...90
pre-final solution population excludes forced emigrants. Slightly off by ca. 10,000
Protectorate............90,000..........80,000...89
See the reference thread for a more precise figure
Slovakia..................90,000..........75,000...83
ditto
Greece....................70,000..........54,000...77
slightly too high, also excludes Bulgarian annexed territories.
The Netherlands.....140,000........105,000...75
too high by a few thousand (100-102,000)
Hungary.................650,000........450,000...70
pre-final solution population too low for *wartime* population, death toll about right.
SSR White Russia..375,000........245,000...65
about right, maybe slightly too low.
SSR Ukraine*......1,500,000........900,000...60
too high for victims.
Belgium..................65,000..........40,000...60
waay too high for victims.
Yugoslavia..............43,000..........26,000...60
absurd figures for both 'pre-final solution population' and for # of victims
Romania...............600,000........300,000...50
# of victims overlaps with Hungary by ca. 90,000.
Norway.....................1,800..............900...50
# of victims marginally too high
France..................350,000..........90,000...26
outdated figures, 75,000 = accepted number
Bulgaria..................64,000..........14,000...22
all were formerly Greek citizens in Thrace and Macedonia, overlapping somewhat wiht Greek toll.
Italy........................40,000............8,000...20
slightly too high.
Luxembourg..............5,000...........1,000...20
about right
Russia (RSFSR)*...975,000........107,000...11
# of victims marginally too low, or it excludes victims in Crimea, which was Ukrainian territory *after* the war.
Denmark...................8,000................—...—
Finland.....................2,000.................—...—
technically, 100 or so Danish Jews died, 8 refugees were deported from Finland of whom 1-2 survived.

TOTAL................8,861,800......5,933,900...67

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Re: Numbers presented by Anti-defamation League

Post by Sergey » 29 Aug 2006 15:21

Hi Nick!

Frankly speaking I suspected that nubmers are not quite correct.
nickterry wrote:
Russia (RSFSR)*...975,000........107,000...11
# of victims marginally too low, or it excludes victims in Crimea, which was Ukrainian territory *after* the war.
As I'm Russian then it would be interesting to know numbers for Russian regions captured by the Germans. I don't understand where the Germans were able to find so many Jews on captured Russian terriroty. Unlike Ukraine and Belorussia where the Jews lived in country-side and in small towns, the Jews in Russia were concentrated in the big cities (Moscow, Leningrad) and they were mainly evacuated. So (let's exclude Crimea) a number 107000 for RSFSR looks as too high.

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Re: Numbers presented by Anti-defamation League

Post by nickterry » 29 Aug 2006 17:15

Sergey wrote:Hi Nick!

Frankly speaking I suspected that nubmers are not quite correct.

As I'm Russian then it would be interesting to know numbers for Russian regions captured by the Germans. I don't understand where the Germans were able to find so many Jews on captured Russian terriroty. Unlike Ukraine and Belorussia where the Jews lived in country-side and in small towns, the Jews in Russia were concentrated in the big cities (Moscow, Leningrad) and they were mainly evacuated. So (let's exclude Crimea) a number 107000 for RSFSR looks as too high.
No, it's an absolute minimum, and most probably one is talking of 144,000 victims, *of whom not more than 107,000 were RSFSR residents before 1941*. The excess comes from refugees and evacuess out of Belorussia and the Ukraine.

Altman, Zhertvy nenavisti:

alas, I have figures for prewar population which don't exactly match the postwar oblast boundaries, so if a line is left blank, it is in the neighbouring line.

Einsatzgruppe A and Army Group North
Leningrad/Novgorod oblast 6200-7100
together out of 219,453 in Leningrad oblast in 1939

Einsatzgruppe B and Army Group Centre
Pskov/Kalinin oblast 6450-700 out of 14,461
Smolensk oblast 17 600- 19 000 out of 33,020**
Moscow/Kaluga/Tula oblast 400-650 out of 303,433
Bryansk/Orel oblast 18 000- 23,200 out of 35,500**
= 42,450 to 49,850 victims

Einsatzgruppe C and Army Group South/B
Kursk/Belgorod oblast 2350-3000 out of 7359
Voronezh oblast 1100 out of 11,105
Stalingrad oblast 360-400 out of 9,623
= ca. 3810 to 4500 victims

Einsatzgruppe D and Army Group South/A
Crimea 25 000 out of 65,452

Krasnodar krai 20 500 -22 000 out of 7351***
Rostov oblast 22 000- 26 800 out of 34,700 ***
Stavropol krai 19,700-25,000 out of 7791***
Kalmyk Republic 1500- 1800 out of 1355 ***
Severnaia Osetia 3000-3300 out of 1714 ***
Republic Kabardniou-B 30-50 out of 3414
= 68,700 to 78,900

total = 144-170,000

**The higher totals for central Russia are swollen by Belorussian refugees who never made it to the Soviet side of the front; much of the region was also overrun by mid-July, so fewer could escape.

*** The excessive totals for the Caucasus regions are because very large numbers of evacuees from e.g. Odessa were settled there in 1941, and not evacuated again in 1942. Cf Andrej Angrick, Kiril Feferman and Altman for details.

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Post by Sergey » 29 Aug 2006 20:10

Nick!

Note that if we exclude Crimea, Moscow and Leningrad then according to your source there were only 167393 Jews in the regions of RSFSR that were occupied. Also note that numbers of killed in Leningrad and Moscow areas were not huge. So it appears that almost all Russian Jews in the mentioned regions were victims of the Holocaust. It contradicts common sense. Some areas were occupied for a short period and not completely. Many Jewish males (and also females) were in the Red army. Many were evacuated into Siberia and Central Asia.

Territory of RSFSR was not invaded immediately after 22 June 1941and Russian Jews knew pretty well their possible fate. So I'm sure most of them escaped Hitler's henchmen.

I suppose that these numbers include also partisans, communist party activists and so on.

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Post by nickterry » 29 Aug 2006 21:36

Sergey wrote:Nick!
Note that if we exclude Crimea, Moscow and Leningrad then according to your source there were only 167393 Jews in the regions of RSFSR that were occupied. Also note that numbers of killed in Leningrad and Moscow areas were not huge. So it appears that almost all Russian Jews in the mentioned regions were victims of the Holocaust. It contradicts common sense. Some areas were occupied for a short period and not completely. Many Jewish males (and also females) were in the Red army. Many were evacuated into Siberia and Central Asia.
Look at the percentages. In the north and the centre, nowhere lost more than 2/3s of the numbers - and as stated, these also include refugees from Belorussia. These areas were overrun very swiftly, mostly by July 1941 - and the Bryansk/Orel area west of these two twosn was half overrun by August 1941. There is a noticeable 'tide mark' along the frontline circa September 1941. West of this line you have Russian cities and towns such as Smolensk, Roslavl, Monastyrshchina, Velizh, Demidov, Starodub, Klintsy all of which had ghettos with sizeable populations, so that they lost up to 1-3000 each. In Monastyrshchina and Smolensk, which were towns along the main highway, there were many refugees from Minsk. The same would have been true elsewhere. For every one leaving, there might be another one arriving from the west.

East of the September 1941 frontline you have cities such as Orel - where 230 were killed out of many times that number pre-war population - and Vyazma - 117 killed - or Rzhev - 100 killed.

In many places, the % was very small indeed. Very few proportionately were caught in the Voronezh-Stalingrad region which was only occupied in 1942. More were caught in Belgorod-Kursk, but the breakthrough in October 1941 was sudden and unexpected - and there was no policy of evacuating Jews because they were Jews.

What you have to remember is that Soviet evacuation policy was very uneven in 1941, as is now proven. Preference was paid during July and early August for Leningrad and Moscow - since these had much more valuable industrial plant than the smaller cities. Only in August did a more general evacuation ensue. It was seen as defeatist in some areas to evacuate. Many men and women were held back in the fighting zone to work as labourers building fortifications and the like. Party members were mobilised to join militias, the opolchenie, as were the police and even the fire services.

In the south, it is simply a fact that many tens of thousands of evacuees from Odessa, the Crimea and the Ukraine were dipersed in the Caucasus - and were caught during Operation 'Blau' in the summer and autumn of 1942.
Territory of RSFSR was not invaded immediately after 22 June 1941and Russian Jews knew pretty well their possible fate. So I'm sure most of them escaped Hitler's henchmen.
No. Soviet Jews as a whole were told nothing about Hitler's antisemitic policies. Many Jews in Belorussia expected the Germans to be as well-behaved as in WWI, while in Russia they simply didn't know at first. By the end of the summer, yes they did know, by rumours only, not by state news sources, which is why the areas that were overrun in the autumn were empty of all but those that could not move - the elderly, mothers with small children, the infirm, etc. Yet these categories can become quite numerous. Normally, 40% of a population does not work - and therefore is not automatically capable of fleeing under its own power, as fit young men and women can do.
I suppose that these numbers include also partisans, communist party activists and so on.
No they don't include these numbers, if you refer to non-Jews, by and large. There might be some such overlap in the Caucasus - if anywhere requires double-checking, it is there. But the massacres of Jewish evacuees in Stavropol, Krasnodar, Cherkassk, Rostov after its recapture, Maikop and many other towns in the Caucasus has been established very thoroughly by German courts which prosecuted the members of Einsatzgruppe D.

Incidentally, out of 5.1 million Jews in the whole of the Soviet Union as of 22.6.41, the number who served in the RKKA was 501,000. This included refugees, evacuees, conscripts serving in 1941, officers from before the war, everybody. 137,000 were killed and another 60,000 captured almost all of whom died or were executed.

The killed in action are not included in the deaths, but in a number of places, Jewish prisoners of war selected from the POW camps and killed by the SD, are included. This is explicitly the case, for example, in Vyazma. So the numbers are not all 'locals'.

You can find an interesting two-volume work about the fate of Jewish POWs online, by Aron Shneer, 'Plen', which also gives much information about Soviet POWs in general, about the Holocaust, and about Jewish soldiers.

http://www.jewniverse.ru/RED/Shneyer/index.htm

Sergey, I urge you to buy Ilya Al'tman's Zhertvy nenavisti - it will tell you a lot about the whole of the Soviet Union, the ghettos, the actions, the resistance, the reactions, and more. And it will save me answering some of your questions!

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