Compiling the Estimates on Numbers Exterminated


When the extermination camps failed to achieve their objective, the total extermination of European Jewry, by the end of 1942, Heinrich Himmler commissioned a statistical report in order to determine what 'progress' had been made.

In January of 1943, Dr. Richard Korherr, a noted statistician who was outside SS circles, working with Adolf Eichmann and camp commanders, began compiling reports and figures to present to Heinrich Himmler. As Breitman relates:

Korherr’s job was complicated by the fact that, even in a report designed for Himmler, he was not supposed to spell out the facts in black and white. It was easier to state how many Jews were still alive than what had happened to the others. To be sure, Korherr could state that through various means the Jewish population in the Reich and the Government General had diminished by 3.1 million between 1933 and 1942. In spite of his generous use of the term "evacuation," however, which Himmler seconded, to mislead those who would read the document in later years, Himmler had to correct Korherr's wording in one place.

Where Korherr had written of the "special treatment" of the Jews, Himmler had insisted on either the "transportation of the Jews from the Eastern provinces to the Russian East" or the "sifting of the Jews through the camps." These were among the officially approved terms to camouflage the realities of the Final Solution.

(Korherr’s reports in NA RG 238, NO-5193 and 5194, Himmler's correction of wording in Brandt to Korherr, 20 April 1943. NA RG 238, NO-5196. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, NY: Holmes & Meier, 1985,, 322-23, reviews the whole range of Nazi terms that veiled the realities. Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide : Himmler and the Final Solution. MA: Brandeis University Press, 1992, p. 242.)

Note that Himmler was successful in his attempts to camouflage reality to the degree that present-day Holocaust denial insists that Jews were simply "relocated to the East," and not exterminated. Eichmann’s interrogation regarding the total number of victims supports Fleming's figure of about five million killed (figures compiled by Yehuda Bauer, of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, are somewhat higher. Bauer's figures are in the right-most column:

Territory Fleming's Estimates Bauer's Estimates
German Reich (boundaries of 1938) 130,000 125,000
Austria 58,000 65,000
Belgium 26,000
Belgium & Luxembourg 24,700
Bulgaria 7,000
Czechoslovakia (boundaries of 1938) 245,000 277,000
France 64,000 83,000
Greece 58,000 65,000
Hungary & Carpatho-Ukraine 300,000 402,000*
Italy 8,000 7,500*
Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia 200,000
Luxembourg 3,000
Netherlands 101,800 106,000
Norway 677 760
Poland (boundaries of 1939) 2,700,000
Polish-Soviet area 4,565,000
Romania (boundaries prior to 1940) 220,000 40,000
USSR (boundaries prior to 1939) 800,000
Yugoslavia 54,000 60,000*
----------------- -----------------
4,975,477 5,820,960
* May be underestimated

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Source: The Nizkor Project