15. How many Jews were in areas that came to be controlled by the Germans before the war? 16. If the Jews of Europe were not exterminated by the Nazis, what happened to them? 17. How many Jews fled to deep within the Soviet Union? 18. How many Jews emigrated prior to the war, thus being outside of German Reach?

Ernst Zündel Replies:
Rebuttal # 15-18

(Question 15, 16, 17 and 18 are treated in this section together)

A childish argument put forth by many unsophisticated people goes as follows:

“Since there were X number of Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe prior to the Hitler years, and only Y could be accounted for after the Hitler years, it follows that X-Y equals the number of Jews killed wantonly in genocidal ways by Hitler and his henchmen.”

Nizkor takes this simplistic argument one step beyond by saying:

“You monsters! Not only do you deny X-Y, you claim that X-Y equals Z today and ABC tomorrow. Get your own act together.”

This kind of “reasoning” was comprehensively addressed as early as 1958 by Frank H. Hankins. at the suggestion of Professor Harry Elmer Barnes, the Father of Revisionism.

Professor Hankins was not just anybody citing statistics and democraphics wildly. He was a renowned sociologist and historian (at one time president of the American Sociological Society and editor of the American Sociological Review), and an expert demographer with a world-wide reputation.

According to a precis preceding this article, which appeared in Journal of Historical Review (ISBN 0-939484-11-0, published in 1990) with this side bar,

“. . . (t)he appearance after so many years of “How Many Jews Were Eliminated by the Nazis?” is especially noteworthy in view of the publication by the IHR in June 1983 of “The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry” by Walter N. Sanning, with an Introduction by Dr. Arthur R. Butz.

Sanning’s book is the result of years of intensive study utilizing the latest in technological research methods. It was actually written, its figures compiled and cross-checked, on a computer. It will be, in a word, the definitive study of the demographics of the Jewish population of Europe during World War Two, rendering all other studies of the particular question “Whatever happened to the ‘Six Million’?” obsolete or superfluous.

Its conclusions will not comfort the “Holocaust” Establishment. It is fitting that the publication of what promises to be the “final word” for years to come on this subject from the revisionist point of view should be immediately preceded by the publication at last of Frank Hankins’s first foreshadowing of that word.

(Ed. comment: Please note that this commentary was written in anticipation of the book’s being published.)

Hankins brought to the study of Jewish population movements in the mid-twentieth century an expertise sorely needed in a field noted — then and now — for the inherent malleability of its base-data, the extreme ease with which that data might be obtained or interpreted in entirely different ways by different persons, professional or amateur, who would wish to have any advance-conclusion “confirmed.” No twentieth century subject within the study of population movements has seen more varied conclusions arrived at, nor more varied ways of arriving at those conclusions, than the subject of what happened to the Jews of Europe during World War Two . . .

The author was concerned with, first, showing how conjectural in 1958 was any approach to the problem of determining how many Jews were “missing” by the end of the war and, second, demonstrating the factors that would have to be considered in finding the answer to another problem, namely, that of determining how many Jews, whatever their number “missing” — actually died, and of these how many died as a result of deliberate Nazi extermination (as opposed to a host of other causes).

Hankins was the first demographer to raise seriously these issues in a way which tended to cast doubt on the commonly-cited demographic bases of the “Six Million (exterminated)” thesis.”

Below are some gems that can be found in this article:

The usual estimates, generally based on Jewish figures or charges, range from about 4 million to 6 or even a possible 7 million. Every estimate is, however, little more than an informed guess. The extensive variations in estimates show that all include a wide margin of probable error. The more one studies the matter, the clearer it becomes that the larger the estimate the greater the probable error. In most of these there is the tacit but gratuitous assumption that any decrease in the numbers of Jews in a given area after 1939, some allowance being made for the shiftings of territories from one jurisdiction to another, gives an approximation to the number of Jews deliberately eliminated. Such decreases, however, actually included large numbers who escaped by various routes and devices. Large numbers were lost behind the Iron Curtain; thousands died from the same conditions that caused the abnormal increase in the wartime mortality of the civilian populations of all central Europe. There would seem to be no reasonable way to give the Jews special exemption from the general hardships of wartime, especially in occupied areas.

Addressing himself to the difficulties in getting reliable figures, Hankins wrote furthermore:

The most obvious and troublesome difficulty is the scarcity of census materials. In some areas, the last prewar census was made in 1930, 1931, or 1933. For areas of special Jewish concentration there were: for Poland, a census, 9 December 1931 and an “official estimate,” 1 January 1939; for Russia, a census in 1926, and January 1939, but neither included a question as to religion; for Rumania, a census of December 1930 and an “official estimate” of December 1938; also a “census” in April 1941; and for Hungary, a census of 31 December 1930 and an “official estimate” of December 1938. To these may be added the immediate postwar census of Poland of February 1946 which, like most of the other population countings of the immediate postwar years, was largely only a sampling and an estimate computation. This was made inevitable by the vast movements of population still going on to the end of 1946, and even later.

The result is that one finds very considerable differences among the estimates of the numbers of Jews in various areas in the critical year 1939. It should be recalled that, from 1939 on, there was an unprecedented upheaval of populations, both Jewish and Gentile, throughout central Europe, first ahead of the German armies as they swept eastward after September 1939, and especially after 22 June 1941, and then behind the Russian forces as they swept westward, beginning in 1943. As the Germans went east, large numbers followed, especially from Germany; as the Russians went west, large numbers sought to return to former homesteads. In these moving hordes of all nationalities, including Jews, large numbers died from the hardships of war; other millions of several nationalities, including Jews, were deported; still other millions throughout the area were killed in civilian bombings, or died in the armed forces. During this whole period, the records of births and deaths were incomplete and otherwise defective.

It should be obvious that this situation makes all estimates of the numbers, both of total populations and especially of the numbers of Jews, at the best only informed guesses . . .

These are some of the problems which face even the most honest and competent persons who seek to obtain reliable figures about the number of the Jews in Europe in 1939, the number who perished in some way during the war, how they perished, how many that remain unaccounted for really perished, and how many may now be living behind the Iron Curtain, in Israel, in the United States, and elsewhere. It is obvious that all these uncertainties which confront honest and objective students of the subject also provide almost unlimited opportunities for those who wish to juggle the figures, whether they seek to minimize or exaggerate the number of Jews who perished during the war.

Addressing what he calls the various “avenues of escape for the Jews,” Hankins stated:

Several studies make passing reference to the numerous Jews who escaped the Nazi round-ups by: (a) being secreted by non-Jewish friends; (b) using false identification papers; and (c) baptism into a Christian religious community. . . . .

In census taking the individual classifies himself as of a certain nationality. This somewhat ambiguous term covers such alternatives as race, country of birth, country of residence, and country of citizenship. Jews could thus classify themselves as of Jewish or of some other nationality, according to their background, physical traits or language proficiency. Those born in Poland, but speaking German fluently and living in Germany, could classify themselves as Jewish, Polish or German, the latter on occasion requiring a new set of identification papers. A Jew born in Germany, living in Poland, and speaking Polish, had similar choices. . . .

“thousands of Jews in Poland went through the occupation masquerading as Poles”; at the war’s end some 20,000 Jews were estimated still to possess forged identification papers . . .

These avenues of escape may account for a considerable part of the reduction in the number of Jews reported as still in Europe. Official Jewish statistics, which are almost the only ones now available for postwar calculations, are likely to reflect the numbers living in organized communities or congregations. Many of these, as stable groups, were disorganized by various causes, and the members scattered more or less widely. If they have adopted a protective coloring (classification), they may not reappear until another day. Other statistics are based on the numbers of “professing” Jews, and these would at any time be only a part of the total number. It does not seem likely that we shall have clear guides to the number of “escapees” for a long time to come.

As if this were not sufficient to show how unreliable the numbers are, Hankins then goes on to say:

Some thousands of Jews were killed in the fighting forces of the various nations, notably Poland and Russia. Just how many is conjectural. Jews in the Soviet Satellites (p242) says that thousands of young Jewish males were drafted into the Russian army and labor battalions. Also (p229), some 250,000 to 300,000 Jews were sent by the Russians to forced labor camps and settlements in northern and Asiatic Russia in the early 1940’s. And again (p226), 68,000 Jewish officers and enlisted men were in the Polish army. Lestschinsky (p9) estimates that 200,000 Jewish soldiers in the Red armies fell during the war. Also “About half a million Jews died in the Asiatic provinces where twice that number were deported after evacuation from previous Polish and Rumanian regions as well as from the Soviet Ukraine and Soviet White Russia.” It is to be noted that some of the computations class all missing Jews as “killed” or “murdered” . . . making no allowance for those who died either in the fighting forces, or in air raids, or as a result of the increased hardships and special mortality of wartime.

Many Jews were either evacuated, as by the Russians, to safer areas, or migrated to refugee territory such as Switzerland, England, Turkey, Palestine, the United States and elsewhere. The numbers are uncertain, but that they were very large is evident from the scant data available. Hitler’s Ten-Year War on the Jews (p300) says: “Some 1,800,000 have been evacuated into the interior of the Soviet Union.” . . .

Jews in the Soviet Satellites (pl82) found in 1945 no less than 21,000 refugees, mostly from Germany, in the ghetto of Japanese Shanghai. It also notes (pl83) that Spain and Portugal harbor about 8,000 refugees; (pl83) 163,423 Jews entered the U.S., 1933-42; (ppl83 and 190) there are 27,000 refugees in Switzerland, mostly from France and Italy; (ppl90-1) 6,000 Jewish refugees are in Sweden, mainly Danish; 150,000 Rumanian Jews were living in Transnistria, behind the Dniester. The numbers migrating to Great Britain 1938-45 are placed at 300,000 with a similar number migrating to Palestine between 1933 and 1947. It should not be overlooked that even those who migrated from 1933 to 1939 might appear among the “losses,” since most calculations necessarily begin with censuses dating from the early 1930s. . . .

Of the millions of Jews uprooted by the war, he finds (p264) that only “about 1.5 million escaped Nazi rule, some 300,000 by emigration overseas and to the neutral countries, and the remainder through evacuation to interior USSR.” The figure here is crucial to any estimate of what happened to the 3.1 million Jews estimated for prewar Poland and the probable even larger number that lived in the Soviet Union. As the quote above from the Census Bureau study of Poland indicates, the “probable error” of estimates relating to the Polish population is colossal. An additional million Jews behind the Iron Curtain alters the picture for all Europe.

Hankins even factors in what he calls “excess mortality and decreased fertility”, adding:

“There was no way for the Jews here to escape the usual hazards of war, such as deaths from air raids and other military attacks on the towns and cities. Nor could they escape the reduction in vitality and, hence, of resistance to usual diseases, due to the increased hardships which affected all other elements in the civilian populations. Their infant mortality also went up along with that of their fellow citizens.

Now, curious as it may seem, this “excess mortality” item is usually given separate computation for Jews and non-Jews. For the Jews it is quite unfairly added to the numbers “killed” or “murdered.” . . .

The “excess mortality” cannot be charged to Nazi “murders.” (Researchers) thus, quite dishonestly, lists all Jews lost or unaccounted for during the war as “killed,” implying that they were deliberately exterminated by the Nazis, which is nonsense . . .

Secondly: the vast upheaval, with its migrations, deportations and evacuations, made some duplication in the count of those “lost” or “killed” quite easy. The evacuees behind the Iron Curtain, e.g., are considered among the latter, unless they returned, at least in large part. Those sent to the camps of Poland by the Germans could easily be counted as among the “losses” of the countries from which deported and charged again among those killed in Poland.

Hankins ends his essay by posing the question:

How Many Jews Were Eliminated In Europe By The War?

This is the leading question and one now impossible to answer with any assurance. There are many . . . estimates made by Jews or based on Jewish figures, but most of these are either copied from statements of the Institute of Jewish Affairs or the World Jewish Congress or, like Fay’s statement in Current History of 6 million, round numbers loosely used without any investigation of the facts and reflecting the prevailing mood of the day. To quote them adds nothing to the picture . . .

The foregoing pages should have made it clear that the answer to our title question is, for the time being, unanswerable in terms that satisfy any scientific standards. There are so many loopholes amid so few relatively sound figures that the calculator can set his own figure in advance and arrive there by estimates and guesses, all of which can be given a certain plausibility. Even the best studies, therefore, are little more than crazy quilts of conjectures made somewhat more substantial than a tissue of lies by scattered bits of fact. . . .

(M)ost of the figures which have to be used are those of Jewish students of the problem or are based on figures given out by Jews and Jewish organizations. . .

My aim has not been to seek a more decisive estimate than those made by others, who may have spent many months and consulted thousands of original documents. Rather it has been to show the transparently conjectural nature of the current estimates and to point out some of the probable sources of error, which are mainly lack of adequate and up-to-date population statistics, the manufacture of statistics where they are actually lacking, the manipulation and juggling of such statistics (both reliable and manufactured) as are used, to exaggerate the number of Jews in Europe and the world in 1939 and decrease the number known . . .

(E)ven if it could be proved that vast numbers of Jews died in the Nazi concentration, euthanasia, and death camps, it would not follow that all, or possibly even a majority of these, were deliberately exterminated by the Nazis. There was a huge death rate in all of these camps due to disease. In one camp, at least, there was a serious typhus epidemic. Lack of drugs and medical treatment, coupled with general low vitality and lowered physical resistance to disease, made the death rate abnormally high. Many died from exposure, and others from hard labor. Starvation was common, especially toward the end of the war, when supplies ran low even for soldiers and civilians.

And, best if all, Hankins offers an alternative way of looking at this question:

The soundest basis for skepticism regarding any such figure as 6 or even 4 million Jews exterminated by Hitler and the Nazis is that contributed by logistics rather than statistics. As you have seen, the latter are inadequate, manufactured, garbled, and consciously manipulated to establish a thesis and figure assumed in advance. Logistics is a well-established science, knows no political, racial or religious bias, and in this case relies upon a vast body of materials accumulated during the Second World War. Evidence in this field is as copious and precise for the years between 1939 and 1945 as it is sparse and fugitive for population changes and shifts during the same period.

Students of logistics who have given some attention to the charge that the Nazis, however evil-minded and however much they wished to do so, actually exterminated 4 to 7 million Jews in less than two years during a desperate two-front war which turned against Hitler at the very moment he is alleged to have set up his extermination program, contend that it would have been utterly impossible for them to have achieved anything like such a result. Itwould have required so much more effort and manpower and would have brought such confusion and added strain to the already overtaxed transportation facilities that the Nazis could not have waged even a reduced one-front conflict . . .

By 1944, Allied bombing in the West and Russian victories in the East rendered the German situation much more desperate and placed ever greater strains on German war material, plant, manpower, and transportation. Hitler could not have diverted enough effort to the extermination of the Jews between November 1943, and May 1945, to have disposed of 6 million Jews without producing a virtual collapse of his whole war effort. . . .

The 6 million theme was picked up by President Truman early in his first administration, without anything but hearsay on his part, and has been so frequently repeated during the last decade that it is used almost automatically by journalists who have never made the slightest study of the subject. It has now become commonplace in journalistic lore.

All the above was summarized in 1958. (!) Since then, there have been two more major sources that it behooves researchers with an interest in this question to consult. These sources are:

  • 1) The Walter Sanning book, “The Dissolution of European Jewry”, Published 1983, 1985, 1990 by IHR under license from Grabert-Verlag, Tuebingen, ISBN 0-939484-11-0. and
  • 2) The Second Zundel Trial in 1988, as summarized and indexed in the Kulaszka book (“Did Six Million Really Die?”) – a landmark which, by itself, contains some 30 different references, all given in a court of law and under oath!

There IS no stronger evidence that the “Six Million” is a myth.

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