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michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 17 May 2006 02:32

It also means being aware of how the numbers are defined. Hungary is the best example possible - depending on where the borders are drawn pre, during or postwar, you will get different answers. Nobody can doubt or dispute that nearly 430,000 Jews living in 1944 Hungarian borders were deported to Auschwitz in three months, or that 320,000 were killed on arrival, but it is perfectly possible to be unsure whether these 430,000 or 320,000 were originally Slovak, Hungarian or Romanian nationality.
On the contrary, both those numbers are open to challenge.

The 430,000 number does have a basis in the reports made to the Hungarian Government by Ferenczy, the commander of the Hungarian Gendarmerie who was actually responsible for rounding up the Jews and putting them on the deportation trains, and in similar reports by the German plenipotentiary in Hungary, Veesenmeyer, quoting figures which must have been derived ultimately from Ferenczy.

However, those reports do not specify that the deportees were sent to Auschwitz, but only to the Reich, leaving open the possibility that some of the deportation trains went directly to destinations in Germany, rather than to Auschwitz.

A more reliable indication of the number of Hungarian Jews actually sent to Auschwitz is provided by the records held at the railway station at Kassa (Kosice), the point at which the deportation trains were handed over by the Hungarian Gendarmerie to the German authorities. Those records list each arriving train, its place of origin, and the number of deportees on it. The total number of deportees on all the trains listed comes to about 390,000, which is most probably the true number of Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz in May-July 1944.

The difference between that 390,000+ and the 430,000 reported by Ferenczy and Veesenmeyer most probably consists of deportees sent directly to destinations in the Reich, mainly Austria.

The 320,000 figure is not documented anywhere, but is purely a calculation made on the basis of a number of unproven assumptions. Essentially it derives from a calculation of the number of Hungarian Jews selected for labour, which may or may not be correct, the resulting figure being subtracted from a presumed number of Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz, which may or may not be correct, yielding a figure of 320,000 which is assumed to be the number killed on arrival, which assumption may or may not be correct.

The calculation of the number of Hungarian Jews selected for labour is made on the basis of a document of unknown origin which purports to list the number of male Jews selected for labour from various transports arriving at Auschwitz during a period in 1944. There is reason to believe that this document was compiled on the basis of genuine German records, and hence can be used as a yardstick, although it is not certain that it is comprehensive, ie the numbers given in it must be assumed to be minima.

According to the above document, the number of male Jews selected for labour from transports arriving from Hungary totals around 50,000. As stated, that figure must be presumed to be a minimum, since the comprehensiveness of the document used is uncertain due to its unknown origin.

That figure is then doubled to about 110,000, on the assumption the males selected for labour constituted half the total number of Jews thus selected, ie that a similar number of females were selected for labour. That is in itself an unwarranted assumption, since more young female Jews for for labour were deported from Hungary than young fit males, since the greater part of the latter had been conscripted by the Hungarian Government for labour service within Hungary and hence withheld from deportation. Hence it is probable that the number of female Hungarian Jews selected for labour exceeded by an an unknown factor the number of male Hungarian Jews so selected.

The above figure of 110,000 is deducted from the figure of 430,000, the number of Hungarian Jews assumed to have arrived at Auschwitz (which as we have seen is almost certainly an exaggeration), yielding a figure of 320,000 which is assumed to be the number killed on arrival.

What is known for certain about the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz is that very large numbers of the deportees were not subject to selection on arrival, but were held in Birkenau as unregistered depot-prisoners, sometimes for several months, pending assessment of their suitability for labour. As the camp filled up and became overcrowded, space was created by regularly weeding out the unfit depot-prisoners and killing them in the gas chambers of Crematorium VI. At the same time there was a regular process of selecting the depot-prisoners fit for labour, and either registering them within the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex or transferring them unregistered to other places of forced labour. While the two afore-mentioned processes were underway, over a period of several months, an unknown number of depot-prisoners died from hunger, disease or exposure and were never recorded either in the statistics of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex or of any other camp or place of forced labour.

Thus, of the nearly 400,000 Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz, it can be said that the majority were held initially as depot-prisoners, with an unknown number being selected for killing on arrival (but certainly far fewer than 320,000).

Of the depot-prisoners;

- a known number was selected as fit for labour and registered within the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex;

- an unknown number was selected as fit for labour and sent unregistered to other destinations;

- an unknown number was selected out at various times as unfit for labour and killed in the gas chambers;

- an unknown number died while awaiting selection.

Of the depot-prisoners registered within the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, an unknown number died or was killed after becoming unfit for further use as labour. Of those sent to other destinations, an unknown number may have been sent back to Auschwitz for "euthanasia" after becoming unfit for further use as labour; in addition, an unknown number, probably the majority, died while being used for labour from hunger, disease and exhaustion.

In summary, it is known that of the total number of Jews deported from Hungary in 1944, consisting of the nearly 400,000 sent to Auschwitz and a futher 50,000+ sent directly to other destinations in the Reich, at least 150,000 survived until the end of the war, and either returned to their homes or went elsewhere.

It may therefore be reliably assumed that the majority of the deportees perished before the end of the war, and that the number of those who perished may have been close to 300,000. It is however quite erroneous to assert that 320,000 deported Hungarian Jews were definitely killed on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The number of Hungarian-Jewish victims is commonly exaggerated by adding to the documented Jewish population of the expanded Hungary of 1944 (about 700,000) a figure of 100,000 persons of Jewish origin, to arrive at a total of 800,000 persons subject to the anti-Jewish measures. However, that figure of 100,000 persons of Jewish origin or descent is purely a guesstimate made a Hungarian official, and there is no documentary proof that they ever existed, or that if they existed they were identified, tracked down, and deported or subjected to other anti-Jewish measures.

Accordingly, estimates of the number of Hungarian-Jewish victims derived from an assumed population of 800,000 (including the mysterious 100,000 persons of Jewish origin) are in fact grossly inflated, and may be too high by up to 100,00.

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Post by Sergey » 17 May 2006 07:53

Michael!

Thank you for interesting post and valuable information (though you use suggestions and supposition too as many others).

I would like to ask you and other our friends about Budapest (Hungarian capital). The majority of Hungarian Jews were deported with one very important exception - Budapest. What would be a reason?

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Post by nickterry » 17 May 2006 12:56

Sergey wrote:Michael!

Thank you for interesting post and valuable information (though you use suggestions and supposition too as many others)
Indeed he does. So let me correct my off-the-top of my head remarks and explicitly state:

15,000 Jews were sent to Strasshof near Vienna, not registered in any KZ, this number is from the 434 or 437,000 (TWO sources, Veesenmeyer and Ferenczy) Hungarian Jews deported.

No other destinations are known nor would they make any sense, since those sent to KZs, as was the documented case with all other Hungarian Jews, if they had come direct from Hungary and not via Auschwitz, would mean more did not leave Auschwitz, thus creating the likelihood that the clothed but unregistered prisoners in the Depot died like flies. It's simple maths - deduct from one, you have to add to the other.

Up to 76,000 Jews (again a Hungarian source) were deported not to Auschwitz but to German KZs and to Austria in autumn 1944.

So if one is being particularly anal, the numbers would be 419 to 422,000 deported to Auschwitz and circa 300,000 killed there on the spot, with 40% of the 110-120,000 selected dying before liberation and 60% surviving, i.e. a grand total of at most 72,000 survivors out of 419-420,000 sent via Auschwitz, with around 350,000 dying in German hands.

Plus, of course, a further 40% dying from the autumn deportations, from fascist death squads in Budapest during the autumn-winter of 1944, and of course let's not forget Kamenets-Podolsk.

All told, up to 450,000 Hungarian Jews died from outright persecution and violence, and another 100,000 are missing - many war-related losses on Hungarian soil and strictly speaking not 'Holocaust victims'.

Michael is incorrect also on the Hungarian Jewish population's composition post-Vienna treaties, also concerning the surplus of Jews registered as such under the racial laws - there were 30,000 in Trianon core Hungary alone.

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Post by Mr Holmes » 17 May 2006 14:45

Perhaps we will be able to better gauge the numbers issue in light of the following announcement:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19 ... 09,00.html


Largest Nazi victim archive to open
From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Berlin

May 17, 2006


ELEVEN nations that share custody of millions of files on victims of the Nazis agreed today to open the archives to researchers more than 60 years after World War II.
"These amendments will permit the rich documentation preserved at headquarters of the ITS (International Tracing Service) in Bad Arolsen to be opened to researchers and historians," the countries' representatives said in a statement after a meeting in Luxembourg.

The world's largest archive of its kind, based in the central German town of Bad Arolsen, covers the fates of 17.5 million forced labourers and concentration camp inmates and has until now been open only to them and their relatives.

This fact had led US academics to accuse Germany of trying to cover up its past.

But in April, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said Berlin was now prepared to give the go-ahead for broader access to the 47 million often macabre documents.

The decision required the approval of all 11 countries that have held control of the files in the post-war period.

Germany in particular had been reluctant to give researchers access to the archives, which offer a chilling, detailed account of Nazi wartime atrocities for fear that it would compromise the victims' privacy.

At the meeting, representatives said that provisions would be taken to ensure the dignity of individuals covered in the files.

"Access to the archives and documents preserved by the ITS will take adequate protection of the personal data into account," the statement said.

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Post by Sergey » 17 May 2006 14:58

Sepp Dietrich wrote:Perhaps we will be able to better gauge the numbers issue in light of the following announcement:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19 ... 09,00.html
Germany in particular had been reluctant to give researchers access to the archives, which offer a chilling, detailed account of Nazi wartime atrocities for fear that it would compromise the victims' privacy.
It is not that simple. I have mentioned it before on this thread that

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060514/ap_ ... N5bmNhdA--
Much of the information on Jewish victims in Bad Arolsen already is duplicated in the huge archives at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem and the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
So some reseachers have (and had) access to many documents before.

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Post by Mr Holmes » 17 May 2006 15:01

My apologies, I should have paid more attention. Never mind me.

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Post by michael mills » 18 May 2006 01:03

All told, up to 450,000 Hungarian Jews died from outright persecution and violence, and another 100,000 are missing - many war-related losses on Hungarian soil and strictly speaking not 'Holocaust victims'.

Michael is incorrect also on the Hungarian Jewish population's composition post-Vienna treaties, also concerning the surplus of Jews registered as such under the racial laws - there were 30,000 in Trianon core Hungary alone.
I would agree that of the around 700,000 Jews living in the expanded Hungary of 1940-44, some 400-450,000 perished before the end of the war, mainly due to German action, although a minority of the deaths were due to the harsh conditions of the Hungarian Labour Service (administered by the Hungarian military) and to massacres carried out by the Hungarian Nyilas in the winter of 1944-45.

There were around 200,000 survivors of the 400,000 Jews of Hungary in its pre-war borders.

Estimates of the survivors from the territory annexed from Czechoslovakia in 1938-39 (south Slovakia and Ruthenia) and from Romania in 1940 (northwest Transylvania) are given in the chapters on Czechoslovakia and Romania in the book "Dimension des Völkermordes", which is sometimes used by Nick Terry and others as a reliable source.

According to the chapter on Czechoslovakia, there were 153,000 Jews in the areas of that country annexed by Hungary (including refugees from Slovakia). Of that total, the book estimates that 33,000 survived.

According to the chapter on Romania, there were 151,125 Jews living in the area of that country annexed by Hungary. Of that total, an estimated 58,000 survived.

The estimated total of survivors from the areas annexed by Hungary is therefore 91,000, out of a total Jewish population of some 304,000. Added to the 200,000 survivors of the Jews of Hungary proper (in its pre-war borders), that gives a total of 291,000 survivors for the whole of wartime Hungary, which accords with the total of 293,000 survivors given in the chapter on Hungary in that same book.

Here are some census statistics from the book "Hungarian-Jewish Studies", edited by Randolph Braham:

Census of enlarged Hungary 1941............................................................................... 725,007
Of which Trianon Hungary...........................................................................................400,980
Of which Budapest..................................................................................................... 184,473

Christian Jews 1941.....................................................................................................58,320
Subject to anti-Jewish laws...........................................................................34,435
Not subject..................................................................................................23,885
Living in Budapest........................................................................................................36,362
Elsewhere in Trianon Hungary.......................................................................................15,920
In acquired areas..........................................................................................................6,038

Southern Slovakia (felvidek) 1941.................................................................................67,876
Sub-Carpathia (Karpatalja) 1941...................................................................................78,087
Northern Transylvania 1941.........................................................................................164,052
Delvidek (annexed from Yugoslavia)..............................................................................14,202

According to the above figures, there were 293,000 survivors out of a total Jewish population of 725,000, yielding a death-roll of some 432,000. (These figures do not include any possible survivors from the 14,000 Jews of the area annexed from Yugoslavia, since the chapter on Yugoslavia in "Dimension des Völkermords" does not give any survival statistics; if there were survivors, as seems likely, then the death-roll would be lower by a few thousands).

As I have previously stated, that death-roll is often falsified by adding to it up to 100,000 so-called "Christian Jews", to arrive at a figure of over 500,000 (as for example in the chapter on Hungary in the book "Dimension des Völkermords", which gives 502,000 as the total number of Hungarian Jewish dead).

However, as shown above, the total number of "Chrsitian Jews" actually subject to anti-Jewish legislation was only some 35,000. The great majority of these lived in Budapest, since they derived ultimately from the highly assimilated Jewry of the Hungarian capital, and hence would not have been caught up by the deportations. Furthermore, the Hungarian Government, which was quite happy to see the unassimilated Jews of the annexed areas deported and destroyed, was keen to protect the assimilated Jews of Budapest, and even more so Hungarian Christians of Jewish origin, whether converts or descendants of converts.

Accordingly, I think it extremely unlikely that any "Christian Jews" were deported to Auschwitz or elsewhere in the Reich. Some may have been killed by Nyilas fanatics in the winter of 1944-45, but if so the number must have been small.

Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that any of the "Christian Jews" were included in the statistics of Jewish survivors, since they did not consider themselves Jewish, nor were they so considered by the Jewish organisations that counted the survivors.

For the above reasons, I would reject the contention by Nick Terry that an additional 100,000 Jews are missing on Hungarian soil. These are simply the phantom "Christian Jews" that were a figment of the Hungarian bureucratic imagination. There is simply no proof that any of the real "Christian Jews" went missing at all.

For Sergey:

I agree that my conclusions contain suppositions, but those suppositions are based on sound historical data, such as census results, and the known attitude of the Hungarian Government to different categories of Jews. Accordingly, I believe that my conclusions are historically correct in essence.

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Post by nickterry » 18 May 2006 02:23

The chapter in Benz by Laszlo Varga gives the following figures:


1941 census
Trianon Hungary 401,000
South Slovakia 68,000
Carpathian Ukraine 78,000
Nordsiebenbürgen 164,000
Batschka 14,000
Total 725,000
(confessional basis)

1941-2
Kamenets-Podolsk: 14-16,000 deported into Ukraine from Karpathenukraine, murdered end August 1941
Ujvidek, January 1942: 1250 Jews massacred in pogrom

100,000 racial Jews identified
42,000 Labour Service men died by March 1944 (or taken prisoner) - other sources say fewer.
50,000 refugees vs 16-17,000 emigrants
balance: 795,000


here are Michael's:
Census of enlarged Hungary 1941............................................................................... 725,007
Of which Trianon Hungary...........................................................................................400,980
Of which Budapest..................................................................................................... 184,473

Christian Jews 1941.....................................................................................................58,320
Subject to anti-Jewish laws...........................................................................34,435
Not subject..................................................................................................23,885
Living in Budapest........................................................................................................36,362
Elsewhere in Trianon Hungary.......................................................................................15,920
In acquired areas..........................................................................................................6,038

Southern Slovakia (felvidek) 1941.................................................................................67,876
Sub-Carpathia (Karpatalja) 1941...................................................................................78,087
Northern Transylvania 1941.........................................................................................164,052
Delvidek (annexed from Yugoslavia)..............................................................................14,202

There's an error in what Michael goes on to say, which is that the 34,000 Christian Jews subjected to the racial laws were ghettoised in Budapest, as Tim Cole has described in his book 'Holocaust City'.


I took the figure of missing from Varga who gives the following figures:


3.44-1945
Total 795,000 (as of 19.3.44)
deportations 508,861
returned by end 1945 121,500
survived, no return 5,000
died 382,500

These are the critical ones - add 382,500 nonreturning deportees to 16,000 killed at Kamenets-Podolsk and in the Batschka and one arrives at 398,000


Varga goes on to add the following statistics:

Budapest at end war 119,000
Labour service at end 15,000
emigrated 5,000
‘unknown’ 147,000
of which died in Hungary 120,000
of which survivors 27,000

died in total 502,000
Survivors total 293,000


I'll make a few observations on these figures.

Firstly, the higher selection/survival rate for Hungarian Jews sent to Auschwitz was implicit in the statistics long before Gerlach discovered the Glaser memo.

Second, there is extensive evidence of murder on a large scale by fascist death squads inside Budapest during autumn/winter 1944-45. This is where the numbers definitely breach 400,000.

Third, Varga claims 120,000 Hungarian Jews died in Hungary - this obviously includes war losses from collateral damage etc. But it's also where the discrepancies in population are to be taken from

Fourth, there isn't as much disagreement between us as you might think - I don't accept Varga's 502,000 figure.

Fourth, the geographic overlap with Romania means there is double-counting in Benz's overall figures. (Indeed there is much double-counting as a whole, I calculate at least 140,000 double-counted for western and central/southern Europe.)

Fifth, Tamas Stark has done work on this question as well, which we both need to read.

Sixth, it is not at all clear how the number of survivors in the territories annexed to Trianon Hungary overlaps with Varga's figure of ca. 126,000 returning from deportations, and where this figure comes from/how it interacts with the Romanian and Czechoslovak cases. The figures for survivors in Transylvania would not only include returnees from deportation but also those that eluded deportation.

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Post by michael mills » 19 May 2006 01:11

Sixth, it is not at all clear how the number of survivors in the territories annexed to Trianon Hungary overlaps with Varga's figure of ca. 126,000 returning from deportations, and where this figure comes from/how it interacts with the Romanian and Czechoslovak cases. The figures for survivors in Transylvania would not only include returnees from deportation but also those that eluded deportation.
Here are the figures from "Dimension des Völkermords" for Romania and Czechoslovakia, disaggregated into those who escaped deportation and survivors of deportation who returned (I do not have the book in front of me; these are notes I made some years ago):

Romania (Northwest Transylvania):

1941............................................................................................151,125
minus 1944 deportees................................................ 137,125

= Those remaining behind......................14,000
plus returnees.......................................44,000

= Survivors................................................................58,000

Victims..........................................................................................90,295

Note that the official Romanian figure for the Jewish population of the part of Transylvania ceded to Hungary in 1940 is some 10,000 less than the Hungarian figure.

Czechoslovakia (South Slovakia and Ruthenia)

Areas ceded to Hungary

Total 1941.................................................................................................146,000
plus refugees from Slovakia...........................................................................7,000

= Total......................................................................................................153,000
minus 1944 deportees................................................................................140,000
= those remaining behind............................................................................ 13,000
plus returnees from deportation....................................................................20,000

Total survivors............................................................................................33,000
Total victims..............................................................................................................114-120,000

So the total estimate of surviving deportees from the annexed Czech and Romanian territories is 64,000, ie about half the number of returnees given in the chapter on Hungary.

That makes sense, since the majority of the Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz actually came from the annexed territories rather than from Hungary proper.
The chapter in Benz by Laszlo Varga gives the following figures:

...............................................................

100,000 racial Jews identified
Varga himself admits that the figure of 100,000 "racial Jews" is a guesstimate, and that there is no documentary evidence that that number of persons was ever identified and included in the deportations and/or other anti-Jewish measures.

Nevertheless, he adds that 100,000 into his total of the Jewish population of Hungary in 1944, which grossly inflates his figures and renders them untrustworthy.

In any case, it is absolutely certain that the total number of "Christian Jews" outside Hungary proper was a mere handful, since the Jews of the annexed areas were unassimilated and very nationally minded. Since the majority of the Jews deported to Auschwitz came from the annexed territories or the country areas of Hungary proper, where few "Christian Jews" lived, it is unlikely that any more than a handful of Christian Hungarians classified under Hungarian law as "Jewish" were deported.
There's an error in what Michael goes on to say, which is that the 34,000 Christian Jews subjected to the racial laws were ghettoised in Budapest, as Tim Cole has described in his book 'Holocaust City'.
They may well have been ghettoised along with the entire Jewish population of Budapest. It is possible that some of them perished in the sporadic killings perpetrated by Nyilas members.

But the crucial question is whether surviving "Christian Jews" were included in the statistics of Jewish survivors (which would make it legitimate to compare the total number of survivors with a total Jewish population including the Christian Jews subject to anti-Jewish legislation).

I have not seen any evidence that they were so included, and think it unlikely that they would have been, for two reasons:

1. They did not consider themselves in any way Jewish, and hence would have had no reason to register with the post-war authorities as Jewish survivors; and

2. They were not considered as Jewish by Jewish organisations, and hence would not have been included by the latter in the registration of Jewish survivors.

Perhaps Tim Cole has some information on that point; I have not read the book myself.

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Post by nickterry » 19 May 2006 10:10

Perhaps Tim Cole has some information on that point; I have not read the book myself
.

Me neither, which is typical for most debates around here, eh?

But the Christianised Jews etc are a red herring, since it is only necessary to use demography to calculate a demographic loss, which even Varga admits sotto voce contains war-losses from other causes than persecution.

There are valid figures for how many were deported and how many returned, which when added to Kamenets-Podolsk, killings in the Batschka, and the Budapest death squad killings produce a total of more than 400,000. This still doesn't include Labour Service men who were murdered by Hungarian and German troops in Russia, or generally being maltreated to death, though this is not more than a few thousand. One should exclude Labour Service men dying in Soviet capivity of course.

I'd give the following losses as included in the Holocaust:

Kamenets-Podolsk: 14-16,000 deported into Ukraine from Karpathenukraine, murdered end August 1941
Ujvidek, January 1942: 1250 Jews massacred in pogrom
Labour Service men killed by persecution: several thousand*
non-returning deportees in 1944 382,500
murders of Jews in Budapest by Arrow Cross: 6,200+ (Gerlach and Aly p. 370)

in total, between 405-410,000 as an absolute minimum.

*by Sonderkommando 4a, troops of German 2nd Army, and Hungarian 2nd Army.


Eliminating the double-counts in Benz, and adjusting the Hungarian total downwards, one arrives at a death toll for all non-Polish, non-Baltic, non-Soviet Jews of 1,199,695, versus 1,481,719 in Benz's introduction, a reduction of 300,000.

The interesting thing is Hilberg recalculated his figures to 1937 borders
Romania 270,000
Hungary over 180,000
Czechoslovakia 260,000 = 710,000

whereas Benz gave double-counted figures because wartime and peacetime borders overlapped in the calculations
Hungary 550 000
Czechoslovakia 143 000
Romania 211 214 = 904.214

whereas adjusted Benz figures give for wartime borders
Romania 120,919
Czechoslovakia 143,000
Hungary 410,000+ = 673,919

I think that any listing of Jewish losses should have at least three columns: pre-war, wartime and post-war borders, with regions indicated so the changes can be seen.

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Post by Sergey » 19 May 2006 14:21

Nick!

With great interest I read your posts. I have read a lot of them and didn't send comments because my position is rather to ask than anything else.
nickterry wrote:- Belorussian SSR 250,000 (1939 borders)


How this number has been obtained? This information about Ghetto in Minsk I believe should be taken into account

http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/newsle ... ghetto.htm
Within a few months, 25,000 Jewish refugees from Western Belorussia and Poland arrived at the ghetto, in addition to the 75,000 Jews from Minsk. Between November 1941 and October 1942, 35,442 more deportees came from Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia.


So at least 60,000 Jew from other regions than Belorussia (1939 borders) arrived at the ghetto. Most of them were apparently murdered. Are these 60,000 a part of 250,000?

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Post by nickterry » 19 May 2006 14:45

Sergey wrote:Nick!

With great interest I read your posts. I have read a lot of them and didn't send comments because my position is rather to ask than anything else.
nickterry wrote:- Belorussian SSR 250,000 (1939 borders)


How this number has been obtained? This information about Ghetto in Minsk I believe should be taken into account

http://www.jewishgen.org/Belarus/newsle ... ghetto.htm
Within a few months, 25,000 Jewish refugees from Western Belorussia and Poland arrived at the ghetto, in addition to the 75,000 Jews from Minsk. Between November 1941 and October 1942, 35,442 more deportees came from Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia.


So at least 60,000 Jew from other regions than Belorussia (1939 borders) arrived at the ghetto. Most of them were apparently murdered. Are these 60,000 a part of 250,000?
The figure of 250,000 is a minimum figure, other estimates suggest 298,000, these applying exclusively to pre-1939 Belorussia. This out of the pre-war population of 375,000 Jews in the Belorussian SSR. The lowest proportion is for Gomel oblast, which was the last captured by the Germans and thus more extensively evacuated.

Yes, they include the refugees from Western Belorussia and Poland over the course of 1939 to 1941 (thousands arrived before the German invasion). Plenty of eastern Belorussian Jews fled in turn - only to be caught in Smolensk oblast.

So quite a percentage of this figure of 250,000 were not native there before the war - maybe 10% or more were refugees. The number of native Belorussian Jews who survived was therefore higher, because so many of the victims were not natives.

No, the refugees are not counted in the Polish total.

No, they do not include the deportees from Central Europe, of whom only 7000 went to the Minsk ghetto itself and the remainder direct to Maly Trostinets (and I don't think they quite add up to 35,442 deportees, either). The deportations from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic are included in those figures.

Be very cautious - the number of 100,000 Jews inside the Minsk ghetto is not fully proven, there are contradictory sources on this. I don't think it was this high. You can read quite a number of accounts in Russian, Belarusian, English and German on the Minsk ghetto. Plus, several thousand managed to escape the Minsk ghetto and join the partisans, some of whom survived to the liberation.

There were many other large ghettos in eastern Belorussia, including Vitebk, Polotsk, Borisov, Mogilev, Orsha, Bobruisk, which all had more than 5000 Jewish inmates. Plus many, many more with 1-3000 ghetto inmates - Lepel, Klimovichi, Gomel, Rogachev, etc. And many smaller towns with up to 1000 Jews who were usually all killed in 1941, very quickly.


The overall number is obtained from looking at all the many books on the Holocaust in Belorussia (Ioffe, Smilovitsky, Gerlach) and my own research. Meaning, reading the primary sources.

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Post by Sergey » 19 May 2006 15:08

Nick! Thanks for so quick answer!

So in the case of Belorussia victims were counted using BEFORE-AFTER method. I suppose that at least 3-5% died from natural causes. As for killed Jewish partisans then these deaths couldn't be (from formal point of view) be regarded as victims a genocide. By the way there was a lot of Jewish patisans namely in Belorussia. Let's look only on Minsk

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/index.php?ModuleId=10005187
In all, about 10,000 Jews fled to the forests; most of them were killed by German forces during the war.
Around 10% of Jews (from all ghettos) became partisans and most of them were killed. Only minority of partisans (not only Jewish) survived the war.

So no less than 10% were not victims of a genocide.
nickterry wrote:Be very cautious - the number of 100,000 Jews inside the Minsk ghetto is not fully proven, there are contradictory sources on this. I don't think it was this high.
http://www.deathcamps.org/occupation/mi ... hetto.html
According to Nazi statistics, between the occupation of the city and 1 February 1943, 86,632 Jews had been murdered in Minsk.
Note, how precise is this number 86,632. Is it true that there exist "Nazi statistics" that confirm this number?

Taken into account big number of partisans, 6000 deported to Sobibor, at least 4,000 executed after the closure of the ghetto we have a number no less than 100,000.

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Post by nickterry » 19 May 2006 15:54

Sergey wrote:Nick! Thanks for so quick answer!
So in the case of Belorussia victims were counted using BEFORE-AFTER method.
Absolutely not. The figure is calculated from the number of victims in each 'action'; the differences between estimates because there are differing accounts of some of the actions, especially regarding the Minsk ghetto.

- THE SAME METHOD APPLIES TO ALL OTHER COUNTRIES. I must emphasise this. Even for Poland, for Ukraine, for Russia, the number of Holocaust victims is determined by the number reported or witnessed as killed or deported, less known survivors of deportations. Pre-war and post-war demographics only matter to see what percentage were killed and whether there are any contradictions.

Pre-war and post-war demographics only serve to indicate how many might have survived, which was a large number. I estimate 150,000 eastern Belorussian Jews fled east to safety, maybe 10-15,000 were caught inside Russia, the rest escaped, then there are the western Belorussian Jews who fled east but were caught inside Belorussia.

But this is 'extra', since there is no way of knowing precisely how many e.g. inside Klimovichi were Poles, western Belorussians or eastern Belorussians - all we know is that both the Germans reported killing 1200 Jews there in November 1941, and so did the Soviet postwar investigations.

It's using those sources, German and Soviet, that these numbers are compiled, the same for the Baltic states, Ukraine and Russia.
I suppose that at least 3-5% died from natural causes. As for killed Jewish partisans then these deaths couldn't be (from formal point of view) be regarded as victims a genocide. By the way there was a lot of Jewish patisans namely in Belorussia.
No, natural causes would be irrelevant. Maybe a few thousand very elderly people would have died anyway during this era, but so too would several thousand children have been born. Deaths inside a ghetto from starvation or disease are unnatural deaths and criminal, since there should not have been a ghetto in the first place.

Jews killed as partisans are not included in the 250,000 figure.

You are also incorrect to say that 10% of Jews became partisans. There were less than 10,000 Jews in the Soviet partisan movement in eastern Belorussia, and no more than 20,000 in the whole of Belorussia. This is much, much less than 10%. These figures are also not included in either

What is sometimes included, but really only for western Belorussia, are victims killed during the discovery of Jewish 'family camps'. During Operation 'Hermann', which took place in western Belorussia, the 1st SS Infantry Brigade reported finding a 'Judenlager' with 210 unarmed Jews, who were killed. Now, if they had been Belorussian or Polish peasants, they would not have been killed during this operation - others were more indiscriminate. So their murder was antisemitically motivated, therefore they count as victims of anti-Jewish policy, aka Holocaust victims.

http://www.deathcamps.org/occupation/mi ... hetto.html
According to Nazi statistics, between the occupation of the city and 1 February 1943, 86,632 Jews had been murdered in Minsk.
Note, how precise is this number 86,632. Is it true that there exist "Nazi statistics" that confirm this number?
Taken into account big number of partisans, 6000 deported to Sobibor, at least 4,000 executed after the closure of the ghetto we have a number no less than 100,000
The number seems to come from a source which includes the aforementioned 35,000 Central European Jews cited by the same page, most of whom did not in fact end up in the ghetto at all, and who were not Belorussian Jews.

I can also say there is no one German document for the Minsk ghetto, such as can be found for Warsaw like the Stroop report, giving an overall statistic. There are many German documents, and some actions were not properly documented, so one has to rely on Soviet investigations.

Since my estimate is based on just Belorussian Jews, already we are down to 51,190 Belorussian Jews. And this is a more realistic number, and fits better with what is known of the numbers killed in the 'Aktionen' in July, August, November 1941, March, July and November 1942. Plus leaves some alive to be deported or killed in 1943, so you could say up to 60,000 Belorussian Jews and Polish Jewish refugees in Minsk were killed. This was out of up to 90,000 present there before the war - so 30,000 could flee, either in July 1941 or from the ghetto in 1941-3. That to me is plausible given what we know in general.

The number of 100,000 in the Minsk ghetto - it is cited in a very few places, but experts such as Christian Gerlach and Martin Dean do not accept it. Published, peer-reviewed work that is recent always trumps web-pages citing older works like this one.

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Post by Sergey » 19 May 2006 16:29

nickterry wrote:The number of 100,000 in the Minsk ghetto - it is cited in a very few places, but experts such as Christian Gerlach and Martin Dean do not accept it. Published, peer-reviewed work that is recent always trumps web-pages citing older works like this one.
Let's look

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?la ... d=10005187
In late July 1941, the Germans established a ghetto in the northwestern part of Minsk. About 80,000 people, including Jews from nearby towns, were crowded into the Minsk ghetto.

Between November 1941 and October 1942, over 20,000 Jews from Germany and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were deported to Minsk.


http://yad-vashem.org.il/about_holocaus ... 41_16.html
The order to establish the ghetto in Minsk—34 streets and alleys plus the Jewish cemetery—was given on July 20, 1941. Jews were brought to the ghetto from Slutzk, Dzerzhinsk, Cherven, and other localities in the vicinity of Minsk...In all, the ghetto population climbed to 100,000.
http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/Holoc ... dices.html
Major Jewish Ghettos
Minsk Belorussia 100,000
It is a very hard task to find in the Web lower (than 100,000) estimate.

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