The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz//4-million-variant-02

From Wed Jun  5 18:27:32 PDT 1996
Article: 41208 of alt.revisionism
From: (Mark Van Alstine)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: 4,000,000 less 3,000,000 still leaves 6,000,000
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996 01:15:48 -0700
Organization: rbi software systems
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In article <>, (tom
moran) wrote:

I see it is that time again which Moran takes out his garbage. What is it
this time? Ah, the "Four Million Variant." Again. Well, it looks like it's
time to get the pooper-scooper and clean up after Moran. Again. (Baaad

> At one time, the figures for those said to have been
> exterminated at Auschwitz was 4 million, which at this time the
> current number is 1 million. 

Indeed. The first estimate, and the one most cited by Holocaust deniers as
"proof" that death toll at Auschwitz has been significantly revised
downwards,  was made on May 8, 1945, by the Soviet Extraordinary State
Commission. The Soviet estimate, however, was made purely on the base of
the following calculus involving the estimated daily incineration capacity
and the number of days the Kremas were in operation (_Anatomy_, pp.61,

Krema I ....... 300 bodies per day; 720 days.
Krema II .... 3,000 bodies per day; 570 days.
Krema III ... 3,000 bodies per day; 540 days.
Krema IV .... 1,500 bodies per day, 510 days.
Krema V ..... 1,500 bodies per day, 540 days.

By multiplying the number of the daily incineration capacity of bodies per
day by the number of days, for each Krema, a total of 5.121 million deaths
was obtained. Then assuming the Kremas were used at 4/5 their capacity the
death toll of 4.097 million was obtained. 

Of course, one small point Moran forgot to mention is that the mainstream
of historians and Holocaust researchers have _never_ bought into the
Soviet estimate for the death toll at Auschwitz. Ever. 

There are many reasons for this, but the most obvious ones are that the
statistics regarding the number of transports bound for Auschwitz do not
add up to anywhere near this 4 million number, indicating that the Kremas
were frequently idle for days at a time. Another is that the Kremas were
often subject to breakdowns which idled them for weeks at a time. (In the
case of Krema IV, it was only operational for a few weeks before
irreparable damage to its furnaces idled it permanently.) In fact, the
daily incineration capacity of the Kremas caused such a severe bottleneck
during Aktion Ho"ss that the SS had to resort to using incineration pits
in addition to the Kremas to get rid of the bodies. (Ibid. p.65.) 

Later estimates for the death toll at Auschwitz often relied on eyewitness
testimonies that often placed the death toll in the 2.5 to 4.5 million
range. Many of the witnesses were surviving Sonderkommado prisoners or SS
personnel at Auschwitz. But as will be readily admitted by historians and
Holocaust researchers, such estimates made by people with limited
opportunity to observe the killing process in its entirety, or no access
to cumulative statistics and accurate figures, are often prone to
inaccuracies. This, of course, makes things difficult for historians, and
hence the range of estimates.

The most famous eyewitness testimony, however, was none other the Rudolf
Ho"ss, the commandant of Auschwitz, who gave an estimate of 2.5 million
killed at Auschwitz during Kaltenbrunner's trial before the IMT at
Nuremburg. Yet according to Ho"ss testimony, he made his estimate not on
_his_ personal knowledge of the various Aktions against the Jews, but from
what Eichmann had told him. Later, during Ho"ss imprisonment during his
trial in Poland, Ho"ss reflected on this and retracted his estimate made
at Nuremburg and gave a _new_ estimate that _was_ based on his personal
knowledge of the major Aktions against the Jews. Ho"ss's new, more
accurate, estimate was 1.13 million Jews killed at Auschwitz. This is a
figure nearly identical to that of the number of Jews deported to
Auschwitz and is nearly identical to the number established by Dr. Piper
of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State museum using statistical methods.  (Ibid.

Ho"ss's testimony, it is worth noting, carries a certain weight with
historians- as he was not only the commandant of Auschwitz, but also
because he supervised camp affairs for the SS Economic-Administrative Main
Office in 1944. Because of this, and his access to privileged information,
he has been considered a credible witness regarding not only the estimate
of the death toll at Auschwitz, but also in the operational details of the
camps and the extermination process which, in his memoirs, he described in
great detail in regards to Auschwitz. (Ibid.) 

Because of this the range of death tolls by some researchers accepting
Ho"ss's estimates have varied from one to three million, based on how
reliable they thought his estimates were. This has caused  some confusion
in the estimates. Not only because Ho"ss made _two_ estimates, but also
because of the uncertainty regarding whether or not Ho"ss's estimates
pertained to just the time he was commandant of Auschwitz's or the entire
period Auschwitz was operational. This has caused some researchers to add
to Ho"ss's estimate the victims killed in 1944, mainly the nearly 400,000
Hungarian Jews killed in Aktion Ho"ss.  (Ibid.) 

Because of this- the uncertainty of eyewitness testimony (including
Ho"ss's) -some historians and researchers have attempted to generate
estimates of the death toll at Auschwitz using statistical and demographic
methods. Most noteworthy of such attempts were those by Gerrold
Reitlinger, George Wellers  and Franciszek Piper.  

These estimates were based on the number of prisoners deported to
Auschwitz. Here all three differ from each other for various reasons. Many
countries have undertaken studies to help determine the number of their
Jewish citizens who were killed in the Holocaust, including those deported
to, and killed at, Auschwitz. When these various studies are taken into
account the number of Jews deported to Auschwitz totals 1.1 million. The
same total can be had by adding up the number of transports to Auschwitz
in Gilbert's _Atlas of the Holocaust_.  (Ibid. p.68.) 

Reitlinger, however, estimates that only 851,000 Jews were deported to
Auschwitz. Careful study by Dr. Piper has determined that Reitlinger had
underestimated the number of Jews deported by about 250,000. In contrast,
Weller estimated that about 1.43 million Jews were deported to Auschwitz.
Again, careful study by Dr. Piper has determined that Weller overestimated
the number of Jews deported by about 320,000.  (Ibid. pp.68-69.) 

Given then that 1.1 million Jews were deported to Auschwitz, to complete
the grim picture the numbers of non-Jews deported to Auschwitz must be
accounted for. Dr. Piper estimates that between 140,000 to 150,000 Poles,
23,000 Gypsies, 15,000 Soviet POWs, and 25,000 people of other
nationalities were sent to Auschwitz. This would bring the total to about
1.3 million people. (Ibid. p.69-70.) But how many died? This, due to the
incomplete camp records (or the fact that in the case of most of the Jews
who were murdered, records were not permanently kept at Auschwitz), the
only way to establish the death toll is by reconciling the of increases
and decreases in the prisoner population from a variety of sources. 

According to Dr. Piper the best estimates for the number of prisoners
transferred from Auschwitz between 1940-45 was 212,820; the number
released: 1,500; escaped: 500; and liberated was 8,000. This gives a total
of 222,820 people who left Auschwitz alive (but not necessarily survived
the Holocaust).  (Ibid. p.71.)  This means that at least 1.1 million
people died at Auschwitz. It was this figure, and the extensive research
by Dr. Piper involved, that in 1990 convinced  the Auschwitz-Birkenau
State Museum to officially declare that the death toll at Auschwitz was
1.1 million, 90% of whom were Jewish. (Ibid. p.62.) 

> At least 95% of this current number are
> said to have been Jews. The overall number of Jews said to have fallen
> to the Holocaust has been 6,000,000 for some time. Six million when
> the Auschwitz numbers were 4 million and still 6,000,000 with the
> Auschwitz numbers at 1 million.

The fallacy of this argument, of course, is that it assumes the 4 million
number was ever used by historians in determining the Jewish death toll in
the Holocaust. It wasn't. Ever.

In fact, as the total Jewish losses in the Holocaust have been basically
unchanged since the end of WWII (somewhere between 5 and 6 million) the
_only_ way to decrease (or increase) the death toll at Auschwitz is to
increase (or decrease) the estimated deaths at the other extermination
camps and sites, etc. elsewhere. Such a revision is highly unlikely due to
Hilberg's careful global demographic analysis of the estimated deaths for
the Holocaust, which he placed at 5.1 million. Including 1 million at
Auschwitz. Hilberg's figures for the other extermination camps and sites
were carefully determined by checks against various sources, making any
significant downward revision in their totals unlikely.  (Ibid. p.71.) 

Changes in the Auschwitz death toll, however, are more likely with
Gilbert's death toll for the Holocaust, which he placed at 5.75 million.
This difference of 650,000 deaths derives from the fact that, among other
things, Gilbert estimated the loss among Russian Jews to be 300,000 higher
than Hilberg did. This would mean that the aggregate death toll for the
main Jewish extermination centers could _increase_ by 350,000. If this
increase were to be credit to Auschwitz the Jewish death toll then would
increase to about 1.35 million and the overall death toll would increase
to about 1.5 million. (Ibid. pp.71-72.) 

Therefore, realistically, we have a lower estimate to the Auschwitz death
toll of 1.1 million (990,000 Jewish) and an upper estimate of 1.5 million
(1.35 million Jewish).  (Ibid. p.72.) 

> It is alleged that the 6 million figure was never contingent on
> the now defunct 4 million figure.

No, it is not alleged. It is fact. The death toll for the Holocaust was
never contingent of a death toll of 4 million at Auschwitz. Ever. 

> Whatever, for the time being....

"Whatever" indeed! But I suppose this is all Moran _can_ say when faced
with facts that show him to be a liar. Unsurprising, really. Moran, being
both an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier, is quite fond of lying about
the Holocaust (among other things) and running away when the heat is
turned up. 

> if we now have numbers at Auschwitz
> given as 1 million, and at least 95% of them are Jewish, we can see
> that strange coincidences have taken place. A mathematical wonder.
> Probablilities of astronomical proportions being over come. It just so
> happens that the other 3,000,000 now deleted from the story were not
> Jewish and that 95% of the 1 million remaining, were Jewish, leaving
> the existing overall number of Jews said to have died still at
> 6,000,000. 

This, of course, is simply a repetition of Moran's original fallacious
argument. Again, no matter how Moran tries to couch his lie it remains
nothing but a lie. The estimates for the death toll of the Holocaust have
never had anything to do with the erroneous 4 million estimate for
Auschwitz. Ever. 

> Now that is real good luck for those who are so adamant and
> fanatical on preserving and bellowing the 6 million number.

Speaking of fanatical, the reader might wish to examine the basis for
Moran's fanatical bellowing that 4 million died at Auschwitz, why it is
called the "Four Million Variant," and why it is a favorite tactic
Holocaust deniers use to attack the Holocaust with, at:



"Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes 
not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties--but
right through every human heart--and all human hearts." 

-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"

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