AN ISRAELI historian has made a thought-provoking contribution to the Internet discussion on the death-roll fin the Holocaust...

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Re: number of survivors?

Friday, January 15, 1999

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


Ester Golan's question has been answered but will continue to resonate until we can be certain of the answer. In 1948 there were 600,000 Jews living in Palestine (pre-State). Within a short period of time, 10-15 years, two mass migrations tripled Israel's population: One was approximately 600,000 from North Africa and Arab countries, and the other, with a similar number, 600,000, from the remnants of the Shoa in Europe.

At the time, the estimate was that Israel absorbed two-thirds of the survivors. Today according to different estimates, with serious issues of "who is a survivor" the worldwide figures stand at between 600-900,000. In Israel, there are 360,000 survivors with about two-thirds over 65, and one-third having been children during the war.

These Israeli figures are based on a paper of the Brookdale Institute (to be found in our book, "A Global Perspective on Working With Holocaust Survivors and the Second Generation," John Lemberger, ed., published 1995 by JDC-Israel, Brookdale and AMCHA). We hope, shortly, to have updated Israeli figures based on the Israeli census of people 60+ carried out a few years ago. The Israeli numbers I cited include approximately 60,000 survivors from the Former Soviet Union who have recently emigrated to Israel.

John Lemberger

IrvingTHIS IS precisely the kind of firm statistical basis needed to extrapolate backwards to 1945 to establish a realistic figure of Holocaust survivors. If two-thirds of those in Israel today, estimated at 360,000, are over sixty-five years old, an actuary could work backwards and arrive at an excellent figure.

Any actuaries out there please? We shall post their input on this Website, if received.

© Focal Point 1999 F e-mail: DISmall write to David Irving