Green Room

Could the Holocaust have been even worse than thought?

posted at 9:45 am on March 3, 2013 by

Apparently so, according to the New York Times.  The Nazis kept meticulous records on their genocidal programs, but some of those dealing with intermediate steps had yet to be assembled in a coherent study.  The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has completed a large part of that task, and the scale of the atrocity has even Holocaust scholars stunned:

The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, duringHitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.

The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.

“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”

The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.

Be sure to read it all, and maybe someone can send a copy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

I know that Japan did this too, to the Koreans.
What about Italy and Russia?

Count to 10 on March 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Cheery Sunday morning reading. I read the whole story and it is quite disturbing.

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

It seems to me that allowing citizens to arm themselves might help prevent such tyrannies in the future. We should consider amending our Constitution to allow for such defense of liberties. Oh, wait . . .

SoRight on March 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

It’s very hard to fathom, even in hindsight, how any country, let alone one with a substantial cultural heritage, could get so caught up in “patriotic” fervor that it would be complicit in such a scale of atrocities. I know Germany was raped during the Thirty Years’ War, that it was disunified for centuries, that it made a Faustian bargain with Prussia, that it had been radicalized by world war, financial collapse and fear of Bolshevism, that the Nazis were “inspiring” – it’s still mind-boggling. But there have been enough instances elsewhere to suggest that it is not merely a German phenomenon, that humans are after all still herd animals with a horrific capacity for evil.

Seth Halpern on March 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Be sure to read it all, and maybe someone can send a copy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It’s almost funny. People of Dinnerjacket’s ilk simultaneously denounce the Holocaust as a fraud and then demand to finish the job.

rbj on March 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

[SoRight on March 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM]

The whole world should have a 2nd Amendment.

Dusty on March 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

But there have been enough instances elsewhere to suggest that it is not merely a German phenomenon, that humans are after all still herd animals with a horrific capacity for evil.

Seth Halpern on March 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Yes, this is very disturbing and something that I think that we should all contemplate.

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Hitler was terrible. Stalin killed more Soviets than all of the people Hitler killed. Mao killed more Chinese than Stalin killed Soviets.

burt on March 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

FYI, this was covered in yesterday’s HA headlines section.

Shy Guy on March 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Stalin was in on the war from the start with Herr Hitler. He signed a treaty with Hitler to divide Poland. Once they got their half of Poland, they tried to conquer Finland. Finland defeated the USSR. The Soviets only came over to the Allied side when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. When the Soviets got to Germany they were given license to rape and pillage at will.

Japanese atrocities during the war were probably just as bad as the Nazi atrocities. They just did not keep meticulous records. They considered the Chinese as an inferior race and American soldiers who surrendered as cowards not worthy of humane treatment……….thus events such as the infamous Bataan death march occurred.

Many may not know, but the Nazis found people in the conquered areas who were more than willing to do the ethnic cleansing for them.

There is absolutely nothing good to be said about Hitler and the systematic ethnic cleansing that Nazi German embraced.

Mussolini was the first Fascist leader in Europe, but did not hold the Nazi beliefs in ethnic cleansing. He was just a madman who wanted to recreate something like the Roman Empire.

SC.Charlie on March 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Be sure to read it all, and maybe someone can send a copy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Why, so he can have a handy step-by-step reference guide?

Cylor on March 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Be sure to read it all, and maybe someone can send a copy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

We have a couple borderline Holocaust denier paultards here on HA who may not have heard.

Why, so he can have a handy step-by-step reference guide?

Cylor on March 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

It’s too much work for Smackdude Immadinnerjacket. He wants the quick and easy “Holocaust-in-a-can”.

And God help us all, jew or gentile, if he gets it.

Alberta_Patriot on March 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Hitler was terrible. Stalin killed more Soviets than all of the people Hitler killed. Mao killed more Chinese than Stalin killed Soviets.

burt on March 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Just think what a difference the 2nd Amendment would have made in those places. In order to perpetrate their atrocities the government had to enact “sensible gun control.”

dogsoldier on March 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Hitler was terrible. Stalin killed more Soviets than all of the people Hitler killed. Mao killed more Chinese than Stalin killed Soviets.

burt on March 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

…it’s what happens when you get a government press!…they don’t report…or they minimize or ignore things…
where has that been happening more frequently lately?

KOOLAID2 on March 3, 2013 at 6:22 PM

The whole world should have a 2nd Amendment.

Dusty on March 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

For the record, this.

Count to 10 on March 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

My understanding of being coerced would amount to being talked into it. I suspect refusing meant a bullet to the head after being raped was more like it.

CW20 on March 3, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Apparently so, according to the New York Times. … The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has completed a large part of that task,

Perhaps, but not two of the most trustworthy, impartial sources on this part of history.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

If they will not listen to a thousand innocent victims, what makes anyone think the deniers would listen to seven times seven times that amount?

http://life.time.com/history/liberation-of-buchenwald-the-story-behind-an-iconic-life-photo-1945/#3

unclesmrgol on March 4, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Japanese atrocities during the war were probably just as bad as the Nazi atrocities. They just did not keep meticulous records. They considered the Chinese as an inferior race and American soldiers who surrendered as cowards not worthy of humane treatment……….thus events such as the infamous Bataan death march occurred.

SC.Charlie on March 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Actually, yeah, Japanese atrocities during the war were at least as bad as the Nazis’. If you’ve never heard of “Unit 731″, let me warn you, that story is literally THE most disturbing thing I have ever read.

I think there is a tendency by many people today to dismiss, discount or otherwise overlook the scope of Japanese war crimes during WWII. But there were substantial reasons that they were by far the most widely hated of the Axis powers, and it wasn’t all because of racism. Not by a long shot. They may not have killed nearly as many people as the Nazis, Soviets or red Chinese, in terms of sheer numbers, but I think that’s only because they never had the opportunity. And as that article details, the sheer cruelty and sadism with which they treated their prisoners was oftentimes vastly more horrific.

For most of my life I’ve had a personal fascination with Japan, and I still do. I love (certain aspects of) their culture, I love their art, I love their music and their language, and some of my very best friends are of Japanese descent or national origin. But I think the military culture of WWII-era Imperial Japan was one of the most evil regimes in human history.

Cylor on March 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Be sure to read it all, and maybe someone can send a copy to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

1) The Holocaust never happened
2) Inshallah, the Islamic Republic of Iran will kill the Jews the Nazis didn’t get to!

~Madman I’m-a-damn-nutjob

The Monster on March 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM