The Holocaust in the USSR

Ron Unz writes:

The demographic argument with regard to Europe’s Jewish population is obviously an important one, as I mentioned in my article. Basically, before the war, there were millions of Jews living in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, and after the war they’d mostly vanished, so where did they go, except into the hereafter?

That’s exactly why I emphasized Sanning’s very interesting 1983 book on exactly that point, which seems to have provided the first attempt at a more sophisticated demographic analysis. I found it reasonably persuasive, and others should take a look and decide for themselves. It was banned from Amazon, but may be easily found here:

As I recall, he provided quite a lot of evidence of massive deportations deep into the Soviet territory, of both Polish Jews and Soviet ones, sometimes voluntary but often not. In the latter case, the deportees were apparently sometimes handled in very crude fashion, with cattle-cars dumping people into difficult terrain, not all that much different from what I’d always read had been the fate of the Kulaks, Tatars, and other deported groups, who supposedly suffered massive losses. So mortality was probably reasonably high.

Another crucial factor is that when Sanning examines the Soviet census data, he finds evidence that many of the Jews were re-registered as Russians. Interestingly enough, the population estimates of Soviet Jews by mainstream Jewish groups were often very much higher than the official numbers appearing in the Soviet census.

Also, it’s obvious that very large numbers of Soviet Jews would have died in the war along with other Soviet soldiers and civilians, probably at least in the many hundreds of thousands.

The first postwar Soviet census was in 1959, well before the soft anti-Semitism of the late Brezhnev era. Why would Jews suddenly start describing themselves as Russians there and then?

1926 census: 2,599,973 Jews
1939 census: 3,028,538 Jews
1959 census: 2,267,814 Jews

According to the most comprehensive quantitative assessment of Soviet WW2 losses by Krivosheev, there were 142,500 Jewish military deaths, or 4.7% of their population. Admittedly, they would likely have been overrepresented in the guesstimated 500,000 opolchenie losses in 1941, as well as in the partisan struggle, so perhaps the real number was more like the Russians’ 6% –> 180,000. Let’s round it up to 0.2 million for ease of counting.

As Unz says, there would have been the standard losses in the occupation (around 20% of the population in the occupied areas of Belorussia and Western Russia – hardly a vindication of Nazi Germany). It seems hard to believe that evacuated Jews had death rates similar to the worst Soviet ethnic deportations, but ok, let’s assume that was 20% again. IIRC, 2 million of the 27 million Soviet estimated WW2 deaths accrued to dearth/overwork in the rear, or around 1% of its population; this would be a rounding error. Let’s conservatively assume there were 2 million Jews (out of 3 million total) that were either in the occupied zone or evacuated, and apply the 20% death toll to them; that would be 0.4 million deaths. There was also the blockade of Leningrad, and Leningrad had a lot of Jews. Let’s say 0.1 million of the ~1,000,000 deaths there accrued to Jews.

That’s 0.7 million “normal” expected deaths (by the ghastly standards of a German occupation), or 20-25% of the population, which is similar to what Belorussia and Western Russia actually underwent.

Under these “normal” conditions, we might have expected 3.0 million – 0.7 million excess deaths = 2.3 million Jews in the USSR c.1946 (assuming otherwise that natural increase is zero).

Now applying the Finnish population increase to Soviet Jews (17% between 1946 and 1959), there should again have been 2.9 million by that period. Applying the Russian population increase to Soviet Jews of 20% for that same period, there should have been 3.0 million Jews.


Now in all fairness, by that point, Soviet Jews would have been well ahead of Russians in the fertility transition, and ahead of Finns too. In 1939, the “Childness Ratio” (ratio of 0-9 year old children to 20-49 year old women) was 0.824 for Jews, 1.191 for Russians and 1.070 for the USSR (see above), versus 0.786 for Finns (my calcs based on data). However, by 1959, that had collapsed to just 0.337 for Jews, versus 0.876 for Russians – and 0.982 for Finns. Consequently, we can posit that the Soviet Jewish “should have” increased by way less than the Russian or Finnish population. I don’t exclude that by that period there was basically zero natural growth; the Jews had reached a CR of 0.795 as early as 1926 (whereas in 1897, they CR was actually higher than those of Russians). Comparing the CR with fertility trends in the RSFSR/Russian Federation, a very approximate relation is that a CR of 0.8 =~ TFR of 2, while CR of 0.3 =~ TFR of 1. If you spend 20 years at a TFR of 2 children per woman (say during 1920-1940), then go down to a TFR of 1 children per woman (say during 1946-1959), then it’s quite plausible that you’ll see only a very minor (<10%) or even no natural population increase.

Quite an interesting coincidence. 3.0 million Soviet Jews in 1939. 2.3 million Soviet Jews in 1959. Jewish Holocaust in the USSR “merely” Belorussian-style in scale?

Well, not really. You’d still have to account for the USSR acquiring masses of Jews (or what should have been masses of Jews) in the Baltics, Bessarabia, and most of all, the core territories of the Pale of Settlement:


That’s 250,000 in the Baltics, perhaps another 250,000 in Bessarabia (Kishinev and Cernauti alone had 115,000 between them), and anywhere from 1-2 million in the areas vacated as Poland was physically shifted westwards. Jews who if they had remained in Soviet territories would have been picked up in consequent censuses (such as 1959) whereas they hadn’t been in 1939; or, if they’d stayed in Poland/Romania, would have been picked up in their national censuses. But most of them weren’t. Indeed, this general picture – a stable Soviet Jewish population, despite the addition of what should have been at least a million Jews as the USSR’s borders expanded west, and their failure to show up in the needed numbers anywhere else – seems to support the basic story of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Actually, if there’s one interesting conclusion it’s that the USSR did a stellar job in preserving its Jewish population, keeping losses amongst “core” Soviet Jews down to “merely” Belorussian levels (or the Serbs’ level in WW1). Not that many Jews are thankful for it.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. The Big Red Scary says

    Not that many Jews are thankful for it.

    Finkelstein’s parents seem to have been extraordinary outliers in this.

  2. Well, here’s a very interesting quote someone found from FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

    In 1959, for the first time, they were allowed to volunteer, without proof, the nationality with which they chose to be identified. Despite the possibility thus provided for Jews to “pass,” 2,268,000 people specified their nationality as Jewish (there are reasons to believe that the total number more closely approximates 3,000,000).

    Sanning also notes that the 1970 Encyclopedia Judaica estimate of Moscow’s Jewish population was more than twice the official figure in the 1959 Soviet Census.

    This is why I very strongly recommend reading the Sanning book rather than merely arguing on the basis of very limited information. I certainly found it extremely surprising.

    (Given the relevance of this comment, I’ll take the extreme liberty of duplicating it on both comment-threads).

  3. There should be then a trace in documentation of those deportations. Polish historians investigate the issue since quite a long time and their highest estimate of the deported was about one million, maybe tad more, while according to the Soviet archived official documents the number was 320k. Polish historians estimated the mortality during transports to 10%, while Soviets estimated them as 0.7%. But hey, let’s say it was 30%, why not. In some of the worst regions there was sucha mortality, after all.

    About 115k deporteed Poles escaped with Anders army. 266k were transported back to Poland after 1945. Total number of “survivors” plus their children is estimated to 431k.

    This number includes all Polish citizens. Historians estimate that about 80% of deported were ethnic Poles.

    That means that Polish Jews deported, using “pi multiplied by door” mathematics and the highest estimation would be, say, about 300k (including those deporteed, who escaped from central and western Poland).

    Even if all them died, leaving no descendants (which is not true, as Menachem Begin’s example shows), still you have about (using absolutely the highest possible estimates) 700k Polish Jews in territories under the German occupation which then should be added to Soviet numbers. About 100k of them went back to Poland, IIRC. After 1945 there were, AFAIK, no mass deportations of such scale (excluding the two deportations to Poland, second in 1956).

  4. There are several highly reputable books that deal with these issues, you should read those for enlightenment.

  5. The idea of an earlier collapse in Jewish fertility is interesting. Based on DNA, Ashkenazi seemed to have experienced a more or less sustained higher TFR after their arrival in Europe, even though they were an urban population, and supposedly suppressed with great violence (though the idea of a greater mortality during medieval times I think is mathematically unsound, at least, as compared to the general pop).

    So, being as that may, one wonders what changed in order to collapse their fertility rates, since I believe cities were already considered population sinks. Was it the cities themselves? The standard of living? Or something else – an increase in atheism?

    It’s kind of odd to think how the Jewish identity persisted in the USSR, even with the state policy of atheism, and the later “Doctors’ Plot.” I wonder what the outmarriage rate was then compared to today, and what the Soviet policy was on minorities.

  6. Hyperborean says

    It’s kind of odd to think how the Jewish identity persisted in the USSR, even with the state policy of atheism, and the later “Doctors’ Plot.” I wonder what the outmarriage rate was then compared to today, and what the Soviet policy was on minorities.

    I think, yes and no. On one hand many were aware of their Jewish or part-Jewish background, but acculturation and intermarriage meant that USSR Jews gained a more ‘Slavic’ quality than during the Tsarist period. So even if the numbers were still large, the cultural composition was closer to the Gentile population.

    Despite the Soviet government creating barriers between nationalities (SSRs and ASSRs, ethnic identity in passports, education in national minority languages), intermarriage rates for Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Jews etc. were quite high in the RSFSR.
    Although of course some nationalities, particularly the Caucasian ones, had and still keep more to themselves.

  7. i don’t have a clear view on this bus

    1) everything the current cultural hegemony supports is a lie

    2) i think very large numbers of innocent people dying in internment camps at the end of the war due to hunger/typhus is more likely than deliberate extermination.

    3) i’d guess the Germans shot all the CP members they captured – what percentage of Soviet Jews were CP members?

    (was the “Belorussian scale” of 20% weighted evenly or weighted more to local elites or urban > rural etc? i read somewhere (iirc in Solz’s book) that lots of Jews moved from the rural areas to the big cities after the revolution)

    4) people who disagree with the official narrative shouldn’t be too blase about it as the amount of killing – particularly in proportion – will be very high whatever the truth.

  8. How the 6 milion number was arrived at in Poland ? The number concerns Poland’s losses. It suppose to include 3 millions of Polish Jews and 3 million of non-Jews. The number was decided by Jakub Berman on December 17, 1946. There was no census, no statistics, no tallying the numbers of the dead. The decision was purely political as this article in Polish indicates.

    . Google translator:

    6 028 000 – is the official number of Polish personal losses, which could be found in every communist encyclopedia and book devoted to World War II. Over time, this number has become one of the foundations of the historical policy of the communist state. It was supposed to prove how much the Polish nation suffered under the yoke of the “Nazi invader.” It did not change after 1989.

    These 6 million have gone smoothly into the scientific and public discourse in independent Poland. Today it is something obvious, a number mechanically repeated in discussions, press articles or speeches by politicians. The only difference is that sometimes the number is marked by the comment that half of the killed were Jews. In the People’s Republic of Poland, they were not asked to mention it. In free Poland, however, no one bothered to try to verify this number. Few people even inquired where it came from. The answer for many may be shocking.

    Everything indicates that it was invented it right after the war by Jakub Berman. On December 17, 1946, the head of the Office of War Compensation at the Presidium of the Council of Ministers Jerzy Osiecki presented to him the difficulties of statisticians and demographers regarding the number of Polish citizens killed during the war. Berman, then acting undersecretary of state in the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, dispelled these doubts in a rather unceremonious manner. “Determine the number of people killed for 6 million,” was the directive of a communist dignitary.

    Where did the 28 thousand come from? The matter was explained by the expert of the German occupation, Professor Czesław Madajczyk. In one of the private conversations he was to say that it was added so that the number of 6 million would not look suspicious and would add credibility. The latter rather failed, as all other European states then reported their losses in significant rounding. Precise determination of the number of dead was then impossible. Why did the communists decide on this mystification? According to Mateusz Gniazdowski, who published the Berman’s directive in the “Polish Diplomatic Review”, they were guided by two goals. The idea was to hide in this number of Poles murdered by the Soviets and the desire to increase Polish losses to match them with Jewish losses. All estimates indicated that during the German occupation more Jews were killed than Poles. The announcement of this by the communists before the elections planned for January 1947 was not very good for them. According to Gniazdowski, officially demonstrating that Poles are “less experienced” by war than Jews could have caused social dissatisfaction and strengthen the Jewish-Jewish stereotype. And thus, complicate the trial with the opposition.

    Who was Jakub Berman?

    Jakub Berman was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Warsaw on 26 December 1901.

    He was a member of the Communist Youth Union, and in 1928 joined the early Communist Party of Poland.

    Between 1944 and 1956, Berman was a member of the Politburo of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP). He was responsible for propaganda, and ideology; put in charge of the State Security Services (Urząd Bezpieczeństwa, UB), the largest and the most notorious secret police force in the history of the People’s Republic of Poland, employing 33,200 permanent security officers, one for every 800 Polish citizens.[1] He coordinated the preparation of numerous political trials, persecuting several hundred members of the Polish Resistance, specifically the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), the Peasant Battalions (BCh) and the National Armed Forces (NSZ).

  9. We can’t trust Soviet data. Period!
    The Soviet figure for 1939 is highly in doubt. This time Wikipedia is a reasonable source (as it often, but not always is):

    “The preliminary result of the census (i.e., 1937 census), reported to Stalin in the middle of March 1937, was 162,039,470 people, much lower than the “criminally decreased” registered numbers of 170-172 million or Stalin’s expectation of 180 million people.”

    “The new Soviet Census (1939) showed a population figure of 170.6 million people, manipulated so as to match exactly the numbers stated by Stalin in his report to the 18th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party. No other censuses were conducted until 1959″.

    Thus, about 8 million people were invented just to make Stalin happy.

  10. Somewhat true, but the modern research seems to indicate that 6 million was good estimation (when counting all Polish citizens, ethnic Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Belarussians etc). Moreover, the number was the effect of work of specialists who first gave number of 2.6 mln Poles and 3.4 Jews plus 0.1 others, but Berman didn’t like the number and the uncertainty and ordered it to be rounded up, modified and add some number to make it look like it was carefully computed.

    The modern consensus seems to be 2-3 mln Poles, 2-3 mln Jews and up to 1 mln others. The exact numbers most likely will be never known. Some claim the numbers should be waay higher (one historian, using only demography counts, estimated the losses to be 7.5 mln), some say somewhat lower (giving the number of killed ethnic Poles to be more in range of 1.5mln).

    I think 2-3 mln of ethnic Poles (not including Jews or other pre-war Polish citizens) is quite reasonable number. You can verify is by simply subtracting the number of ethnic Poles counted in censuses before the war and after the war (20.5 mln ethnic Poles after the war, about 24.5mln estimated in 1939). The you would have to add natural growth, and subtract the number of Poles left abroad (in Russia, about 1-2 mln and in the west, about 0.5mln). Plus, of course, “ethnic Poles after the war” included number of Silesians, Germans, Masurians and “autochtonous Poles” living in pre-war Germany (about 1.2 mln). Sooo 20.5-1.2+2.5 (or, +1.5) = 22.8, 24.5-(22.8~21.8) = 1.7~2.7 mln.

    That’s without taking into account the demographic growth. With taking that into account, and with remembering that pre-war officials could arteficially increase Polish population, while after the war the same could be done by Soviets, the final number could be anything from 1.5 to 3 millions, IMO.

    In 1956s 250k Poles were deported from Soviet union.

    As for Poles still in former Kresy, there are still 200k Poles in Lithuania, 300k in Belarus, 150k in Ukraine – in total about 650k.

  11. I think 2-3 mln of ethnic Poles (not including Jews or other pre-war Polish citizens) is quite reasonable number.

    We had this discussion before. We could not come up even with 1 mln when summing up various known numbers like: Killed in Sept. 1939, Killed in Polish Army in the West, Killed in Warsaw Uprising. Killed in Volhynia. Killed in AB Aktion. Killed in Auschwitz, Killed in reprisals.

    But I understand. Poland recently opened up the subject of reparations from Germany so the numbers must be kept high and even jacked up.

    All numbers of losses in the WWII (except those for Germany) are exaggerated. Jews, Poles and Soviets are the greatest offenders in this respect.

  12. blake121666 says

    The Korherr Report was written for Himmler in early 1943. There was a “long” report of 16 pages and a “short” summary report of 6-1/2 pages (ostensibly for Hitler). Facsimiles of both can be found here:

    And both are translated into English at this website:

    This German report on the Jewish population estimated the 1937 European Jewish population to have been about 10.3 million. It estimated that population to have been reduced by about 4.5 million at the time of the report – 4/19/43 for the short report (which was more up to date than the long report). About 2.5 million are interpreted as dead from this report and about 2 million are interpreted as fled to other countries. About 3 million Jews are said to have died from then (early ’43) to the end of the war.

    Reinhard Heydrich estimated the European Jewish population of Europe at the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942 to have been about 11 million at that time.

    The very rough breakdown of Jewish deaths during the war is:

    1-2 million shot in the East starting in late ’41
    1 million died in the Auschwitz camp complex (most slaughtered in Zyklon gas chambers)
    – about 10,000 in ’42, about 350,000 in ’43, and about 450,000 in ’44
    About 3/4 million slaughtered with CO in Treblinka (7/42 – 8/43)
    About 1/2 million slaughtered with CO in Belzec (3/42 – 6/43)
    About 1/4 million slaughtered with CO in Sobibor (5/42 – 10/43)
    About 1/8 million slaughtered with CO at Chelmno (12/41 – 4/43)

    … etc

    Altogether about 5-6 million are said to have died during the war. 2-3 million slaughtered in gas chambers, 1-2 million shot in the East, and the rest died in other ways.

    Very very few of these deaths have anything to do with the camp labor system – which is where I see many people confused about what the Holocaust is even said to be! There are very few pictures of any slaughtered Jews. There are very few persons with any first hand knowledge of any of the Jewish slaughters. This is where your average person is confused about what is claimed about the Holocaust. And it is where most are confused in their “denial”.

  13. I just noted on the other thread that Sanning plausibly argues that the standard figures assumed for Poland’s Jewish population in 1939 were probably grossly exaggerated, and apparently failed to take into account the enormous outflow of Jewish immigrants during most of the 1930s. He argues the discrepancy could have been as high as 700,000, which obviously would have a major impact on the totals under discussion:


    The above fascinating interview with Samantha Lomb, an American academic resident in Russia who has made a close study of the Stalin era makes clear that the Soviet Union was a vast territory that was chronically under-administered. No firm conclusions can be reached on the basis of Soviet statistics.

  15. blake121666 says

    This is quite incorrect – and is one of the main problems with Sanning’s estimates. If you look at the Korherr Report, it estimates the DIRECT HANDLING of 1.5 million “Eastern Provinces” (Polish) Jews in section V.4. So there obviously were at least that many Jews in Poland at the time – together with the large number still in the ghettos (such as Warsaw) at this particular time (1/43). There were about 3.3 million Jews in Poland at the start of the war (9/39). At most maybe 1/2 million fled to other areas outside Korherr’s “Eastern Provinces”.

  16. What is incorrect? R. Unz just considers a possibility that Jewish population of Poland was lower by up to 700k. So whether in 1939 Jewish population in Poland was 3.3 mln 0r 2.6 mln there is no contradiction with the Korherr Report.

  17. If I remember rightly, Gotz Aly said in his book Architects of Annihilation that the analysis of German economists was the East was suffering from rural overpopulation and a burgeoning and increasingly impoverished Jewish minority occupying trades and peddling that blocked the upward mobility of the rural population.The Poles wanted the Jews to emigrate, but few did. Nazis saw the Soviet liquidation of useless eaters of the surplus in rural areas as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. Ireland was an example of rural overpopulation, and famine was seen as an inevitable result, just like the Bengal famine during WW2 The Ukrainian famine was entirely deliberate and designed to kill off those who were eating up the surplus. The Nazis thought the Soviets had shown the way to cure rural overpopulation, which the Nazis saw as the real problem holding back economic development in Eastern Europe.. As Butz’s book notes:

    In early 1941, it was decided to build a hydrogenation and a Buna plant at Auschwitz employing both free and prisoner labor. By pure chance, there was already near the town a partisan POW camp holding 7,000 prisoners (it had formerly been a Polish artillery barracks); this camp became the nucleus for expansion via its own enlargement and also the construction of additional camps. It was quickly transformed into, and remained to the last, a camp for political prisoner-workers; it is usually referred to as Auschwitz I. […] Birkenau, like Auschwitz I, had a responsibility of supplying labor for Farben and for sub-contractors to Farben. It also supplied labor for other enterprises such as the Krupp fuse plant and the Siemens electrical factory. In addition, inmates worked at clearing demolished structures, draining the marshy land, road construction, operating an establishment for the cultivation of special plants (Raisko), building and operating a model farm (Harmense), clothing manufacture, etc.[59] Birkenau had other functions, as will be seen. It will be particularly necessary to examine the claim that at Birkenau a program of mass killings of Jews via gas chambers was in operation, the Jews having been transported to Auschwitz primarily for this purpose

    They were and they weren’t. Those who were a drain of resources were not treated very differently to pure blood Germans in Germany Some 200,000 people who were mentally ill or disabled were killed in Germany during the Nazi era. Almost half present day Germans had a relation who was killed that way.
    Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution insisting that Josef Stalin’s man-made 1932-33 famine — called the Holodomor in Ukrainian — wasn’t genocide. … resolution indignantly states: “There is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines.” It notes that victims included “different peoples and nationalities living largely in agricultural areas of the country.” Translation: We didn’t kill millions of farmers because they were Ukrainians; we killed millions of Ukrainians because they were farmers. And that’s all it takes to be acquitted of genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Left out of this definition are “modern” political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc. The oversight was deliberate. The word “genocide” was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill’s 1941 lament that “we are in the presence of a crime without a name.” Lemkin, a champion of human rights who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, gave it a name a few years later. But to get the U.N. to recognize genocide as a specific crime, he made compromises. Pressured by the Soviets, Lemkin supported excluding efforts to murder “political” groups from the U.N.’s 1948 resolution on genocide. Under the more narrow official definition, it’s genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it’s not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can’t slaughter “Catholics,” but you can wipe out “religious people” and dodge the genocide charge. Political scientist Gerard Alexander decries that type of absurdity as “Enlightenment bias.” Reviewing Samantha Power’s moving 2003 book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Alexander observed that this bias leaves the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century — self-described Marxist-Leninists — somewhat off the hook. In Power’s book, the most influential writing on genocide in a generation, she scolds — often justly — the U.S. for not doing more to stop systematized slaughter. But by focusing so narrowly on the U.N.-style definition of genocide, she implicitly upholds a moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it’s done in the name of social progress, modernization, or other Enlightenment ideals. This is dangerous thinking; people perceived to be blocking progress — farmers, aristocrats, reactionaries — can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they’re allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. For many, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge because Communists were omelet-makers. Ukrainian kulaks, or independent farmers, opposed Stalin’s plan for collectivization, so they were murdered for that “greater good.” Today, Mao and Stalin aren’t in Hitler’s class of evil because Hitler wasn’t a “modernizer,” he was a racist. Note how the Russians have no problem copping to the charge of mass murder but recoil at suggestions it was racially motivated.
    Ukrainians in the Donbass were greatly affected by the 1932–33 Holodomor famine […] According to one estimate, 81.3% of those who died during the famine in the Ukrainian SSR were ethnic Ukrainians, whilst only 4.5% were ethnic Russians.

  18. blake121666 says

    The 1939 Jewish population is very well established to have been about 3.3 million in 1939. That is a given. I haven’t read what R. Unz has written but Sanning has the 1939 Jewish population of Poland as having been about 2.0 million:

    And THEN he claims that the vast majority of the Polish Jews on the Soviet side (about 841k out of 1026k) were sent out of Poland by the Soviets. So Sanning thinks that there were less than ONE million Polish Jews that the Germans could have possibly handled. And yet the Germans estimated that 1.5 million were directly handled by them (transported to “the Russian East” – interpreted as a euphemism for slaughtered in the Reinhard death camps).

    There’s abundant evidence that there were plenty more Polish Jews than Sanning claims during the war.

  19. Of course Lemkin (in great contrast to the Russian parliament) was very articulate and accurate in descrirbing the Ukrainian famine of the 1930’s as a planned and genuine genocide against the Ukrainian nation:

    Lemkin speaks of: a) the decimation of the Ukrainian national elites, b) destruction of the Orthodox Church, c) the starvation of the Ukrainian farming population, and d) its replacement with non-Ukrainian population from the RSFSR as integral components of the same genocidal process.

    …] As long as Ukraine retains its national unity, as long as its people continue to think of themselves as Ukrainians and to seek independence, so long Ukraine poses a serious threat to the very heart of Sovietism. It is no wonder that the Communist leaders have attached the greatest importance to the Russification of this independent[-minded] member of their “Union of Republics,” have determined to remake it to fit their pattern of one Russian nation. For the Ukrainian is not and has never been, a Russian. His culture, his temperament, his language, his religion – all are different. […]

    Read more on UNIAN:

  20. I haven’t read what R. Unz has written

    But you responded to his comment about 700,000. What is your problem? Did you come here to give a lecture?

  21. … the Russification of this independent[-minded] member

    If so most incompetent such attempt in history:

  22. Sanning has the 1939 Jewish population of Poland as having been about 2.0 million

    I am just looking through his book and I do not see the 2.0 million anywhere. Are you here to spread lies?

  23. I don’t think that you can make a direct correlation between the number of books being published in the Ukrainian language and the implementation of any genocidal policies. Books may have been published and languished in warehouses somewhere? It’s common knowledge that the koronizatsiya policy within Ukraine abruptly changed in the early 1930’s, precisely at the time that the famine took place. Increases in persecution against Ukrainian intellectuals and churchmen also increased during this very same period, something that Lemkin was very keen to point out.

    If you step outside of it all and take a look inside and ask yourself what exactly did Russian Jew benefit for being such a loud and powerful voice championing the Ukrainian famine as a genocide anyway? Perhaps, Ron Unz could add some insight into Mr. Lemkin’s motivations (he seems interested in this sort of thing)?

  24. blake121666 says

    I gave you the link to his latest in my post. Here it is again:

    Those tables show what he said in his book. Look at tables 2 and 3. Table 2 claims 797k in West Poland in 1939 and about 1213k in the Soviet side in the ’30s – which implies about 2 million in all of Poland. Table 3 claims 841k of the 1026k Soviet side Jews were removed from Poland by the Soviets.

    The Polish Jew population is a tough one to figure given the border changes both in the interwar years and the post-war years. But the 1939 Jewish population in the Poland of September 1939 was about 3.3 million.

  25. blake121666 says

    Sanning’s thesis relies on much more than 700,000 less Jews in Poland during the war years. Sanning has less than a million Polish Jews under German rule in Poland during the war:

  26. How did the alleged 3 million of ethnic Poles died during the WWII?

    szopen claims the number is between 2-3 mln. Official number still is 3 mln. Let’s look at known events in which many (ethnic) Poles lost their lives during the WWII.

    Killed in Sept. 1939 – 66k
    AB Aktion – 60k
    POW killed by USSR -22k
    Auschwitz -140k
    Polish Forces in the West – 44k
    Polish Forces in the East – 40k (??)
    Warsaw Uprising – 200k
    Ukrainian Massacres in Volhynia and Galicia – 100k

    Total: 672k

    How many people died in the USSR? How many during forced labor in Germany? How many were killed during reprisals in countryside? Hunger, epidemics?

    I still do not see how we can get to the 1 mln number. The 2 mln or 3 mln is a myth!

  27. These Anatoly Karlin – Ron Unz discussions have been intriguing, but there is a big pivotal question re the population sources cited

    (Btw, for me the key Holocaust-happened basis is that, in particular, the mass of very religious European Jews circa 1939 seem to have disappeared, the secular-Zionist types suddenly dominating Jewry, whereas pre-1939 the majority of European Jews were religious and non-Zionist. Jews such as the late Israeli Barry Chamish, argued that some Jews helped the Nazis murder their more religious and thus more non-Zionist co-ethnics on purpose.)

    But re that free online book Ron Unz pointed to, The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, by Walter N Sanning, the book’s key quote re Jewish populations is on p. 177 as Chapter Eight begins:

    As late as the early 1930s, 9.5 million Jews lived in Europe (incl. the Soviet Union). Almost two-thirds of them either were never in the German sphere of influence, or escaped from it.

    That is obviously a quite significant twist on what AK cited at the beginning of his first Holocaust article, that “There were perhaps 9 million Jews in Europe in 1942,” if indeed more than half of them were not under German control.

    Something else that wasn’t mentioned in the three Unz / Karlin articles or the comment sections, was this historical note [denialist rhetoric redacted]:

    Towards the end of World War II, the first published claim of “6 million Jews” having actually died was published in January of 1945, based upon the claim of a Jewish propagandist named Jacob Lestchinsky (1876-1966), correspondent for the New York Jewish Daily Forward (a Marxist-Yiddish publication) … None of the major concentration camps had even been liberated yet! So where did Comrade Lestchinsky get this ‘6 million’ number of dead from?

    In November of 1933, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported … Lestchinsky had been accused by both Latvia and Germany of spreading false atrocity propaganda … Germany had actually expelled him for telling atrocity [stories].

    With neither investigation nor confirmation, Lestchinsky’s claim of “6 million dead Jews” was [almost immediately] immortalised with a headline in the Jewish-owned New York Times of January 8, 1945 [Before the Russians reached Auschwitz on 27 January.] The original claim of the gas chambers of Auschwitz was made in May of 1945 by Joseph Stalin’s Jewish-dominated ‘Extraordinary State Commission’ (then again) publicised in the New York Times.

  28. Anarcho-Supremacist says

    “the enormous outflow of Jewish immigrants during most of the 1930s”

    Well most of them went to countries that Germany would one day occupy so that did not save them. Us had a cap on Jewish immigration and not enough went to Mandatory Palestine to make up the difference.

  29. I have found the counts which give grand totals (e.g. victims of Nazi repression such and such, victims of military actions…), but below I will go with your method and add some major sources of losses. What’s follow is a total speculation, thinking aloud.

    First, the losses in Sept 1939 you gave above include only the military deaths.

    Here’s easily googled another partial losses:

    Civilian losses in Sept 1939: 50 thousands.
    This includes 10 thousands killed in Warsaw alone. I’ve googled also a claim that between September the 1st and the end of October 16 thousands people died in crimes committed by Wehrmacht, but I don’t know whether this number is included in the total loss count above, in intelligenzaktions, or in AB aktions.

    Civilians losses in 1944-1945: ??
    I couldn’t find the total. I’ve found a claim that total number of civilian losses due to military actions is 0.5mln, but don’t know whether it includes, for example. civilian victims of Warsaw uprising. Nevertheless the losses probably were higher than in 1939, the campaign was longer and included artillery shelling and bombardments.
    While using the numbers by historians would be in 400-450thousands,I would say let’s go for the lower estimation and by using estimates from September campaign and from French losses (close to 20 thousands killed civilians in battle of Normandy alone!), the absolute minimum would be 100 thousands, and the 400 thousands is still plausible. Hence the range 100-400 thousands

    Civilian losses under Soviet occupation 1939/41 and 44/45: 150 thousands.
    Previously some emigree historians claimed numbers as high as half a milion, similarly as they were claiming 1-1.5 mln deported. However, Soviet official documents have number of 320.000 deported and 110 thousand arrested, plus less than 100 thousand arrested and deported in 1944/45. The deaths were in transport (the average mortality during transport seems to be about 10%) and in place (depending on the camp – mortality differed from 7% to 54%), shooted in mass executions etc.
    This number seems to include POWs killed in Katyń.
    150 thousands is the number by historians. My own calculation, taking into account the camp and transport mortality and after excluding POW deaths, would be between 50-100 thousand people

    Intelligenzaktion: 100 thousands
    This includes 50 thousands murdered, the rest was deported to the camps, from where “only negligible percentage returned”.

    AB-aktion: 7 thousands
    You gave number 20 thousands, ,but this seems to be too high.

    Shot or died in KL Warschau: 10 thousands
    This includes both political prisoners who died in concentration camp Warsaw, and the victims of executions, hostages and civilians caught in mass round-ups.

    Pacifications: ???
    The number of villages burnt is at least 440, including 84 in which either all men, or all inhabitants were murdered. The number of villages, in which there were some forms of repressions (shootings with at least few victims) was about 900 without Kresy. Some villages were burnt by Wermacht in September 1939, so the number might overlap. Looking at the number of victims in randomly picked examples (e.g. Borów: 300 killed, Wólka Szczecka: 200 killed, Aleksandrów: 464 killed, Skłobów:215 to 260, Michniów: 200, …), and remembering that the numbers I’ve found are given only for current Poland borders (without Kresy). I would say 50-150 thousand is reasonable range.

    Partisans: : 20 thousands
    This does not include warsaw uprising, only partisans and conspirators dying in battles of immedietely afterwards. This may or may not overlap with some of the executions listed above.

    Your total: 672. After correction for AB aktion: 659. After correction for polish military losses in the east: 639~659.

    My total: 20+ (50~150) +10+100+(50~100)+(100~400)+(40~50)=370~830

    TOTAL: 1.009~1.469

    That’s not all, obviously.

    The rest:
    During the war Germans deported about 2.5 mln Poles (from territories annexed to the Reich, from Warsaw, from Zamojszczyzna etc). Some of them could die during transportation, some went to the camps, some later died from starvation.

    No idea how many Poles died from famines, starvation, forced labour, all executions etc. But I would say the total number should easily be higher than 2 millions.

    I have just realised that losses during September campaign and in 1944 would include also non-ethnic Poles and the same is to be said about other (civilian and military) losses. This is less a problem for 1939 (most of the losses were in the west), but still that would reduce ethnic Polish losses… somewhat. How large? No idea.

  30. I’ve found a new paper by A. Patek from 2009 “Illegal Jewish emigration from Poland into Palestine”. He claims that in addition to legal Jewish migration to Palestine, in 1930s about 10 thousand Polish “tourists” illegally came to this land. They usually paid some sum to “tourist bearau”, signed a document which stated that “the tourist will cover the cost of return trip himself” and off they went, usually with full approval of Polish offices.

    For example, for 1938 Patek gives following numbers:

    Legal migration: out of europe: 6 232
    Palestine: 3 357
    European: 100
    TOTAL 9 589

    Illegal migration Palestine: 3 965
    other: 850
    TOTAL 4 815

    While rising the total number of migrants by half, the number is still far, far away from the claim “100 thousands Jews who were leaving Poland yearly”. That’s the problem with Sanning: he believes too much some claims which fit his narrative, while being extremely sceptical for other similar claims. So when some source claims 100 thousand Jews annually left Poland, it’s totally believeable and should be accepted, but when some other source claims the immigration fell drastically and total number of Jews who emigrated during 20 years is 400 thousands – no, that’s totally ridiculous.

    Another thing is that some Jews returned from Palestine and from other countries. I do not have data from other countries, but oficially, from 68 thousands emigrants, more than 2000 returned.

    Another thing are assimilated Jews, who considered themselves Polish (or German), but still would be considered Jews by the Germans.

    As for demographic claims, I was googling a lot. In one source I found a claim that Jews generally tried to avoid registration. More interesting were numbers of live births and deaths registered in Chełm: I have not noted any decline in either marriages or births, and number of deaths was constantly about 30% lower than number of live births, while having huge drop in number of both live births AND deaths in 1938. Because of that I really think that the conjecture by Sanning (that there were 40 thousand deaths for 50 thousands live births) is not necessarily true.

  31. Hippopotamusdrome says
  32. Wrong time.

  33. I see some potential problems counting Jews when it comes to border changes, censuses and such things.

    Apparently the SU loses includes (some or all) of Poland (when SU calculated 26,6 million)
    under Vadim Erlikman. This number also included almost 2 million killed by Soviet repression.

    [quote]Figures for Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania include about two million civilian dead that are also listed in Polish sources in the total war dead of Poland.[/quote]

    It guess it would depend on the year.

    Someone else raised this point. If there is no standard defintion of Jews how can you reach 6 million or 4 million or 1 million? In Poland mostly religious Jews died (and Zionists got a boost).

    Range of Jews killed in USSR ranged from 700,000 to 1 million to 2.66 million? (this would vary depending on borders and year and which countries included).

  34. What’s follow is a total speculation, thinking aloud.

    Thanks for you speculations. I am afraid there are no historians that could do better.

    There might be double counting like adding up Auschwitz dead and Intelligenzaktion or other roundups separately.

    I am willing to consider 1-1.5 mln figure at this point. Factor of 2 reduction of the official number.

  35. One of the main flaws with scanning is his estimate of 100000 Jews emigrating from Poland each year during the 1930s. He bases that estimate on one source and that source does not Evan directly mention Poland. It refers to the area of persecution which could mean most of the countries in central Europe.