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Survival in the Death Camps


Reply-To: H-NET List for History of the Holocaust <H-HOLOCAUST@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
Sender: H-NET List for History of the Holocaust <H-HOLOCAUST@H-NET.MSU.EDU>

 Date: August 10, 1999

From: Gabor Hirsch

From: Alan Jacobs, Editor IDEA, A Journal of Social Issues <http://www.ideajournal.com>

My information is 70,000 survived Auschwitz/Birkenau ... that is of approximately 4,000,000 who went through there. I don't really know how reliable this figure is as this info is quite old. I heard it from Auschwitz Museum Director Kazimierz Smolen in 1980. Since then the figures for how many people were gassed in Auschwitz and Birkenau were reduced drastically, from 4,000,000 killed to something just over a million.

Alan Jacobs: I found the information of 4 million victims in Auschwitz, in the booklet (published by the Museum in 1961) Auschwitz 1940-1945 from Kazimierz Smolen.

The Soviet State Extraordinary Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes stated that: "no less than 4 million people perished in Auschwitz".

The Supreme National Tribunal in Poland stated that "about 4 million persons perished in Auschwitz."[*]

According to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg "more than 4 million persons perished in Auschwitz".

Later research in museum Auschwitz modified this figures, Franciszek Piper from the Museum Auschwitz published 1991 in Yad Vashem Studies Vol. 21 Jerusalem, a booklet "Estimating the Number of Deportees to and the Victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp." It has a more detailed German edition from 1993, "Die Zahl der Opfer in Auschwitz."

The books are based on the research of the Museum and also on Danuta Czech's Kalendarium. The following information is from the German edition:

The number of deportees to Auschwitz 1940--1945 not registered registered whole deportees 905,000 400,000 Jewish 890,000 205,000 Polish(estimate) 137,000 10,000 Gypsies 21,000 2,000 Soviet POW 12,000 3,000 others(all registered) 25,000 The number of surviving Auschwitz deportees in whole 200,000 25,000 doesn't this mean that not registered does not mean transferred to other camps 190,000 25,000 gassed? -

[Website note: The above garbled paragraph is how it was received. We apologise].

Best regards Gabor Hirsch


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* But see the German newsreel report on the Polish 1947 tribunal which spoke of "nearly 300,000 dead" from all causes in Auschwitz. Any figure from the former Kapo Smolen must be considered suspect: he was a former Communist official who himself first erected the monument to "four million" (later demolished) at the camp.

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