My French is not very good, but what I read in the above quote is that Lucy Dawidowicz in 1975 gave an estimation (total for Auschwitz) of two million.
Scott Smith wrote:
Lucy Dawidowicz (1974) claimed 2-4 million at Auschwitz, not 3-4 million as I stated.
Did she say "2-4", or something like "a Soviet investigation commission said 4, but I think it was half of that at most"?
The French text I quoted suggests the latter rather than the former.
Scott Smith wrote:
Martin Gilbert (1980), Auschwitz and the Allies, p. 337 claimed "minimum" "two million Jews" and "two million" others, i.e., Poles, Russians, homosexuals, etc.
If so (I'm reasonably skeptical of anything that comes from the keyboard of Mr. Smith), this would mean that Gilbert didn't take into account the results of historical research that had been going on for almost three decades when he wrote his cited book.
William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon and Schuster New York, 1960
How many hapless innocent people - mostly Jews but including a fairly large number of others, especially Russian prisoners of war - were slaughtered at the one camp of Auschwitz? The exact number will never be known. Hoess himself in his affidavit gave an estimate of ‘2,500,000 victims executed and exterminated by gassing and burning, and at least another half million who succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total of about 3,000,000’. Later at his own trial in Warsaw he reduced the figure to 1,135,000. The Soviet government, which investigated the camp after it was overrun by the Red Army in January 1945, put the figure at four million. Reitlinger, on the basis of his own exhaustive study, doubts that the number gassed at Auschwitz was ‘even as high as three quarters of a million.’ He estimates that about 600,000 died in the gas chambers, to which he adds ‘the unknown proportion’ of some 300,000 of more ‘missing’, who were shot or died of starvation and disease. By any estimate the figure is considerable.
Emphasis is mine. The figure of 1,135,000 victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, given by Höß at his Warsaw trial, is in line with most posterior estimates by historians:
- Dr Josef Kermisz, from the Jewish Historical Commission in Poland, wrote in 1949 that this Commission had evaluated the number of victims of Auschwitz at 1 500 000;
- Gerald Reitlinger in 1953 estimated at 800 000 to 900 000 the number of Jewish victims of Auschwitz;
- Raul Hilberg, in The Destruction of European Jews, 1961, estimated the number of Jewish victims of Auschwitz at 1 million and the total number of victims of Auschwitz at 1.1 million.
- Helmut Krausnick declared in 1964, at the process against former members of the Auschwitz staff in Frankfurt, that the total number of victims of Auschwitz was between on million and one and a half million;
- Georges Wellers in 1983 provided an estimate of 1.3 million Jewish victims at Auschwitz and a total of 1.5 million victims of the camp;
- Franciszek Piper, in a study that started in 1980 and the results of which were presented in 1991 and 1994, gave as the total number of victims of Auschwitz a minimum of 1.1 million and a maximum of 1.5 million.
The fact that Höß gave this figure in the depositions at his Warsaw trial and in his memoirs is one of the strongest indications against the allegation that either were in any way influenced by his captors. Would the Poles have tortured or otherwise influenced Höß into providing a figure that countered the one upheld by the Polish government at the time (and until 1990)? As John C. Zimmermann writes in his online article How Reliable are the Höss Memoirs:
Höss was directly challenging the credibility of his captors. He simply could not have written this under duress. Rather, if he was being forced to write these memoirs the 4 million number would certainly have turned up. Also, this shows that his memoirs were not tampered with by the Polish or Soviet authorities. This could explain the reason - though the author has no information to this effect - the Höss memoirs were not released by the Poles until 1958, more than eleven years after they were written.
Source of quote: http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... s-memoirs/