The Reliability Of The Estimated Holocaust Death Toll

by Dr Robert Rozett

There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the six million quoted by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. Most research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million.

Early calculations range from 5.1 million (Professor Raul Hilberg) to 5.95 million (Jacob Leschinsky). More recent research, by Professor Yisrael Gutman and Dr. Robert Rozett in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, estimates the Jewish losses at 5.59–5.86 million, and a study headed by Dr. Wolfgang Benz presents a range from 5.29 million to six million.

The main sources for these statistics are comparisons of prewar censuses with postwar censuses and population estimates, as well as Nazi documentation containing partial data on various deportations and murders. Yad Vashem currently has somewhat more than four million names of victims in its database. This figure is based primarily on over two million Pages of Testimony, thousands of documents containing names from the Holocaust era, many of which are those of victims, and information obtained from Holocaust memorial sites around the globe.

Dr. Robert Rozett
Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries

ph. 972-2-6443531
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Yad Vashem Library
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Jerusalem 91034 Israel

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