I know this is a pretty sensitive question, but I would like to get an objective answer. It is widely known that the Jewish people were persecuted by Hitler's regime, and many of them died in the concentration camps. But I never feel like the numbers are exact, from time to time I see people's documentation about the Holocaust and the numbers are changing in wide range.

My problem is:
- first of all, there are the neo-nazis, who claim that the Holocaust never happened. Ok, that seems totally false.
- second of all, there are some Soviet-era and even some American claims about the numbers which are also looking falsified. I wouldn't wonder since there was a war which was won, and the winner always try to support their views. Especially the Soviet data is not really reliable.

I see some attempts to get a clear picture, for example David Cole's interviews in Auschwitz. He made a low-cost documentary on this subject in 1992. He seems to me a little bit more reliable than some Soviet-era officiers or the neo-nazi sources. He claims that - and it is pretty believable to me - the Germans mostly forced the Jews to work and more of the Jews died in poor conditions than in the gas chambers. But since I am not an Historian I can't really judge it.

So the point of the question is: Is there any normal objective source on this subject?

  • 8
    If you decide to visit Auschwitz one day, feel free to contact me for any help. I live only 60 kilometers from there. Mar 7, 2013 at 12:00
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    Scholars who study Nazism, World War II, and the Holocaust are diverse and international. There is no central authority to which they report and no headquarters to enforce a single view. The fact that they all agree on the broad outlines of what happened (while still arguing about factual details and historical explanations) shows that the evidence is unequivocal. Mar 7, 2013 at 14:20
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    I have not flagged this Question for attention by the moderators. Basing a Q on a source as dubious as David Cole / "David Stein", a scurrilous holocaust minimizer, impostor, and con man, darling of Nazis, is about as deserving of respect as basing a question about "ancient aliens" on Erich von Däniken and calling his claims "pretty believable". What I find disheartening is that currently this Q stands at 3 net upvotes. Instead, it should be downvoted into oblivion. Maybe "the community" is made up of stupid mouth breathers. Or maybe I am wrong and this is a good Question. Jun 22, 2013 at 3:39
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    Shows the lack of basic research suitable for a good question. Jun 22, 2013 at 8:10
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    @CsBalazsHungary the Nazis themselves kept meticulous records of the number of people shipped off to the camps, those have been studied and counted and recounted over decades. Only holocaust deniers believe those records are fakes or don't exist at all. If the only source about the holocaust were Soviet propaganda pamphlets you'd have a strong point, but that's not the case.
    – jwenting
    Jun 24, 2013 at 5:17

3 Answers 3


Does this page answer your question?

UPDT: You might also want to gave a good look at this book. Specifically, search for "David Cole" in it.

UPDT 2: Thanks to Eugene Seidel, we know what is David Cole up to these days.

  • In particular this section, which opens: "The most paradoxical of the deniers is David Cole..."
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 7, 2013 at 15:36
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    It's unfortunate that "this page" is now a 404, without the substance in the answer. Jul 4, 2016 at 21:40
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 5, 2016 at 13:55

I recommend going to Wikipedia's page on the Holocaust. You have two options. One is to read the article, which is a bit tedious. That is inevitable when you crowdsource the writing of an encyclopedia. On the other hand, that article is among the most watched of all articles on the Wikipedia, so it is unlikely for misinformation to remain in there for long.

The other option would be to skip the entire article body, go straight to its bibliography. Then spend two weeks working through the sources, making sure you also hit the library for paper sources that are not online. If you can find a concentration camp survivor to tell you of their experiences in person, very good: after all, it was not columns of numbers but living, breathing people who were shoved into the cattle cars. But there aren't many left. If not, watch some survivor videos recorded by the Shoah Foundation.

Read the pre-eminent scholars: Hilberg, Broszat, Browning, Evans, Friedländer, Kershaw, Lipstadt... Pay attention to where they agree and where they disagree. For contrast, briefly descend into evil/insanity/stupidity by reading David Irving and others of his ilk. If after that you still have doubts that Nazi Germany, together with collaborators in allied nations, waged a campaign of extermination against the Jews and managed to kill more than two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, then I don't know what more to say to you.

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    This should really be the accepted answer. Oh, and maybe add the Nizkor project?
    – Marakai
    Jul 5, 2016 at 0:22
  • There is not an explicit "number" nor will there ever be. Most Jews who stayed behind during the 3rd Reich era (1933-1945) did so for two reasons: to fight Communist Russia and once that Victory was one to establish a homeland in present day Israel. There are well documented attempts for Germany to resettle the European Jews in the "East"(the bulk lived in Poland) but Soviet Russia very much saw this as some type of "ruse" to create yet another group of 5th Columnists in "the Bloodlands" between Soviet Russia and Germany. Were these Death Camps or training grounds for the massive Nazi Armies? Nov 25, 2016 at 10:27
  • The fact is we will never truly know though tens of millions of everyone died there...some in Camps, some in battle, most as simply settlers living in some town or even major City that happened to be in the way of the two largest Armies that have ever fought in History. Nov 25, 2016 at 10:31

In "The War Against the Jews," Lucy Dawidowitz provides estimates of Jewish casualty rates by country. The book has been challenged by others such as Raul Hilberg, but is still a useful reference.


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