Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

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The Myth of the Six Million

6. The Legend of the Depravity of Hitler and National Socialism

The National Socialist campaign against the Jews ended in total defeat and in death for Hitler on April 30, 1945. This result was produced by Germany's involvement in World War II. A tremendous campaign has been sustained since that date to depict Hitler as the most evil and wicked man who has ever lived, and to brand forever with shame the German nation which submitted to his leadership. The exploitation of the circumstances concerning Hitler's wartime treatment of -the Jews was and remains the decisive factor in this campaign.

The essence of the charge of unprecedented monstrosity against Hitler is that under his orders some six million Jews were exterminated in seried gas ovens that had been erected for this purpose in all the numerous concentration camps that existed before the war in Germany and in those which were opened later on in territories conquered by the advancing German armies. There has never been any valid evidence brought forward to support this charge in general, and the six million figure was purely conjectural from the beginning, having been set forth in the midst of the war, when any such extent of extermination would have been impossible, if the six million figure is to be accepted as the total number of Jews exterminated during the whole war period. If six million Jews had been exterminated by 1943, then by May, 1945, at least ten millions should have been done away with, provided Hitler and his cohorts could have got their hands on that many Jews which, of course, they could not have done.

So far as can be discovered to date, the first time this charge of mass extermination of Jews throughout Europe was advanced against Hitler and his government took place in a book by a Polish-Jewish jurist, Rafael Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, which appeared in 1943. He contended that the Nazis had gassed millions of Jews, perhaps as many as six millions. This precise figure was first confirmed by the New Jewish Frontier early in 1945. Tortured witnesses for the Nuremberg Trials confirmed this figure when they did not exceed it, although the prosecution at Nuremberg was willing to settle for around four millions as the number that had been exterminated. Although totally ignorant of the facts, President Truman stated that six millions was the correct number and often repeated this figure, thus giving it official status. He cynically stated that his desire to please the Jews was due to the fact that there were many more Jewish than Arab voters in the United States.

The six million figure has stuck, mainly due to the fact that the Jews have recognized that it is difficult enough to sustain any such figure and that to go beyond it would only add the ridiculous to the unsubstantiated, although the figure has often been casually lifted to seven or eight millions in the press. The linking of the reparations paid by West Germany to Israel and to German Jews to the six million figure has provided a strong vested financial interest in perpetuating this estimate.

Before examining the literature of the. legend of the extermination of six million Jews, it may be desirable to outline the general situation. There can be no decisive solution of the problem on a statistical basis for the figures are not available in any finality or decisive fashion. It is not known precisely bow many Jews were under German control at any time during the war, to say nothing of what the Germans did with them after they were able to get their hands on them. No one knows with any certainty how many Jews were in the territory ultimately occupied by the Germans before the attack on Russia on June 22, 1941, or what happened to them after the attack. It is uncertain how many fled back into Russia before the German advance. Nor does anybody know how many Jews were slaughtered by various Slavic peoples before the Germans arrived. There is plenty of evidence that Slavic peoples other than the Russians were more prone to kill Jews after war broke out than were the Germans, save for Jews operating among the Russian partisans. There are no accurate statistics as to how many Jews fled to Russia, to Palestine, to other European countries, and to the United States during the war. Nor are there any reliable figures as to how many Jews in areas occupied by the Germans survived the war. During the war, as well as before, the Germans were far more eager to expel Jews than to intern them, if and when it was possible to arrange emigration. This was not so easy to do in wartime.

Jewish statisticians have done their best to magnify the number of Jews in the future occupied areas be-fore September, 1939, and June, 1941, and to reduce almost fantastically the number that remained alive in June, 1945. There is no probability that the needed statistics can ever be recovered in any satisfactory manner. Both the Jews and the Russians may be counted upon to suppress such statistics as they possess because of the likelihood that they would, expose the extent of the fraud involved. Unless the Russians should some time establish unity and rapport with the Germans they are never likely to release any figures which would lessen the indictment of the Germans relative to the extermination legend. The best that can be done is to produce the figures and related considerations which do now prove that it would have been entirely impossible for the Germans to have exterminated six million Jews, even if they bad decided from the first to do so, and of any such policy there is no proof whatsoever.

We know that there were about 360,000 Jews under German control in September, 1939, in Germany, Austria, the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia. There were about 1,100,000 Jews in that part of Poland occupied by the Germans in 1939-1940. There were approximately 1,150,000 Jews in eastern Poland which was taken over by the Russians in the autumn of 1939. How many of these escaped into Russia ahead of the German drive after June, 1941, is unknown. There is no doubt that the Germans took over large numbers of Jews during -their invasion -of Russia, but it is very likely that at no time during the war did the Germans have control over more than 3,500,000 to 4,000,000 Jews, and many of these could not be withdrawn before the Russians occupied these areas again. One thing is relatively certain, and that is that the Germans never got their hands on as many as six million Jews during the war. To have exterminated six millions would have made it necessary for them to have executed every last Jew that they seized. Not even the upholders of the extermination legend allege that this was the case, since they portray great numbers of Jews used in labor operations at all the German concentration camps.

While it was the usual German policy during the war to intern Jews to prevent subversion and. espionage, to suppress partisan activities, and to secure Jews for the labor force, the German practice of interning Jews was no such sweeping process as took place with the treatment of the Japanese by the United States and Canada. After the war, Philip Auerbach, the Jewish attorney-general of the Bavarian State Office for Restitution, claimed that the Germans interned no less than eleven million Jews, but in the light of all the even partially reliable figures it is doubtful if they interned as many as two million, and not all of these were put in concentration camps. Some were placed in Jewish community centers like that at Theresienstadt, where they were governed by Jews. Not only such population figures as we possess but also considerations of logistics make it impossible to credit any such figure as eleven millions, or even six millions. To have transported, interned, administered, fed and clothed six million Jews would have paralyzed German military operations on the vast eastern front. It would have been a terrific task to have gathered, interned and cared for three million Jews.

In the early days of the launching of the extermination legend it was maintained that there were gas chambers in all of the German concentration camps and that great numbers of Jews were exterminated in all of them. But after the occupation of West Germany by the Americans, British and French, there were many honest observers in the occupation forces who visited these camps and found and reported that no gas chambers existed there. It was then contended that most of the gas ovens were concentrated at Auschwitz in southern. Poland, which was then under Russian control. The Russians refused to allow any visitors there for about ten years after the war, by which time the Russians were able to revamp Auschwitz in such a manner as to give some plausibility to the claim that large numbers of Jews had been gassed there. It is significant, however, that no living, authentic eye-witness of the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz has ever been produced and validated.

It has continued to, be maintained that about half of the entire six million Jews said to have been gassed by the Germans were gassed at Auschwitz, but even the Jewish statistician, Gerald Reitlinger, admits that only 363,000 inmates were registered at Auschwitz from January, 1940, to February, 1945, and not all -of these were Jews. The supporters 4 the genocide legend con-tend that many at Auschwitz were not registered but they have brought no proof of this. Even if one admits that there were as many who were unregistered as were registered, that would make fewer than 750,000 altogether. It would have been very difficult to have gassed about three millions with only 750,000 to work on, although it has been frequently asserted by dogmatic but uninformed writers that from four to five million Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Moreover, many who were sent to Auschwitz were shifted elsewhere, especially toward the end of the war when the Russians were advancing.

Here, again, logistics supplement registration and population data in undermining the extermination myth. To have brought three million Jews, and a considerable number of Gentiles to Auschwitz would have placed an insuperable burden upon German transportation facilities which were strained to the limit in supporting the far-flung eastern military front, especially after the war began to turn against the Germans. There is no probability that the Germans would have risked their military fortunes to the extent required to convey three million persons to Auschwitz and care for them there. Hence, both population figures and logistics combine to discredit the legend of six million Jews being gassed in all camps under German control, as well as of about three millions being gassed at Auschwitz.

Joined with all this are the facts which will be developed later on showing that there is no evidence that the Germans adopted any program of mass extermination of Jews during the war or that any German National Socialist leader ever gave any order to do so. It has been alleged by numerous Jewish critics of Hitler, especially Gerald Reitlinger, that early in the war the Nazi leaders decided on a "final solution" of the Jewish problem and that this solution was the extermination of all the Jews they could seize. There is no foundation whatever for this charge. Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels did determine upon a "final solution" of the Jewish problem, so far as they could control it, but this solution was to encourage or force the Jews to leave all lands that the National Socialists controlled and to settle elsewhere. Emigration rather than extermination was the solution proposed by all of these Nazi leaders. Not even the Nuremberg inquisition could link Göring in any serious manner with the Jewish issue, but there is no doubt that he shared the program of encouraging the Jews to leave all territory that Germany controlled or might control.

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