On the Revision of the Number of Victims at Majdanek

Published: 2007-07-01

At the end of 2005, Tomasz Kranz, chief of the research department at the Majdanek Memorial, published an article in no. 23 of Zeszyty Majdanka (Majdanek Journal) on "The Recording of Deaths and Mortality Rates among the Inmates of Concentration Camp Lublin," in which he assessed the number of those who perished in the Lublin/Majdanek camp at approximately 78,000.[1] That amounts to a drastic revision of the number of victims; to appreciate its extent, we must first review the number of victims alleged by Polish historians for Concentration Camp Majdanek in the past.

The allegations of the Polish-Soviet Commission (August 1944) and of the Lublin Special Tribunal (December 1944)

On July 23 1944, Concentration Camp Lublin (which was the official name of the Majdanek camp) was liberated by the Red Army. Soon thereafter, on August 4, a "Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission for Investigating the Crimes Committed by the Germans in the Majdanek Extermination Camp at Lublin" was launched. On August 23 the commission submitted its final report, in which it was stated that 1,5 million people had met their death at Majdanek. Of the one and a half million corpses, 1,380,000 had been burned at the following sites:

  • 80,000 in the old crematorium (which consisted of two mobile oil-fueled furnaces set up toward mid-1942; we do not know how long they were used)
  • 600,000 in the new crematorium (which became functional in January 1944, six months prior to the end of the camp, and which had five coke-fueled ovens);
  • 300,000 in the Krepiecki woods not far from Majdanek;
  • 400,000 on pyres in the vicinity of the new crematorium.[2]

The commission does not tell us where the remaining 120,000 corpses went. Most likely, it was assumed that they had been buried.

The report of the Polish-Soviet commission was submitted at the Nuremberg Trial in 1946 as evidence for the prosecution.[3] How much truth it contained becomes obvious if we consider, among other things, the following two items:

  1. The daily incineration capacity of the new crematorium's five ovens was at most 100 corpses. If we assume that this crematorium was in constant operation during its six months of existence, and that the ovens functioned uninterruptedly (both unrealistic assumptions), then at most 18,000 corpses could have been turned to ashes there (180x5x20=18,000). The 600,000 cremations claimed by the commission for this crematorium was thus approximately thirty-three times higher than the theoretical maximum capacity!
  2. The commission carried out excavations inside the camp perimeter as well as in the Krepiecki woods, during which they found 467 complete corpses and 266 human skulls. In addition, they found 4.5 cubic meters of human ashes and bones, corresponding to a maximum of 3,000 corpses cremated in the open air. Thus, on the basis of 733 buried corpses (467+266= 733), the commission reported a total of 120,000, and on the basis of the remains of at most 3,000 corpses cremated in the open air, a total of 700,000!

Four months later, in December 1944, a "Special Tribunal" that had been set up in Lublin and that sentenced six former members of the camp guards to death, asserted an even higher number of victims than that of the commission. In its justification for the verdict we read:

It has been proven that 1,700,000 people were murdered at Majdanek and that Majdanek was an extermination camp in the truest sense of the word."[4]

The first revision: Zdzislaw Lukaszkiewicz (1948)

The number of victims alleged by the Polish-Soviet Commission in August 1944 as well as by the Lublin Special Tribunal in December 1944 were so incredible that, as early as three years after the end of the war, the Polish communists commissioned a study whose purport it was to "calculate" the number of camp victims, rather than simply making it up. In an article entitled "The Concentration and Extermination Camp Majdanek", Judge Zdzislaw Lukaszkiewicz cited the figure of 360,000 victims [5] which he arrived at by grossly distorting the contents of the few documents used in the study, and besides by being fully satisfied with the mere statements of eye witnesses. According to Lukaszkiewicz, of the alleged 360,000 victims, 60% had died of "camp death" (i.e. death resulting from illness, fatigue or starvation), while 25% were gassed and 15% killed by other means.

Józef Marszalek confirms the number of 360,000 victims (1981)

Józef Marszalek, who had been for many years Director of the Majdanek Memorial, wrote in 1981 a book about the history of the camp, which appeared in English translation five years later.[6] Marszalek adopted the by now sacrosanct number of 360,000 victims, but chose to prop up the "extermination camp" thesis through a redistribution of "natural" deaths and deaths by "extermination", citing the number of 160,000 for the first and the number of 200,000 for the latter. It can be seen from the following example how downright disingenuous were the methods with which this Polish historian worked: Marszalek quotes a report dating from September 30, 1943 from Oswald Pohl, Chief of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office (WVHA), to Heinrich Himmler,[7] from which it can be gathered that of all concentration camps Majdanek had the highest inmate mortality rate, while omitting to relate that the same report indicates a total of 53,309 inmate deaths in all (seventeen) concentration camps during the period of January through June 1943; for, according to Marszalek's own "calculations", 54,000 prisoners died in Majdanek alone during those six months! To such crude tricks must a historian resort, whose findings are prescribed a priori by the ruling powers for ideological reasons.

The revision of Czeslaw Rajca: 235,000 victims (1992)

Only after the collapse of the communist regime in Poland did that nation's historians dare to question the number of 360,000 victims at Majdanek, whose acceptance had been officially mandated since 1948. Czeslaw Rajca, a member of the Majdanek Memorial staff, published in 1992 an article in which he gave the number of camp deaths as 235,000. Rajca wrote:

Given the penury of documentary material dealing directly with the crimes committed at Majdanek, the only reasonable way of calculating the number of victims is by subtracting the number of inmates transferred to other camps, the number of inmates released, and the number of those who escaped, from the total number of prisoners deported to the camp."[8]

This method would in fact be unimpeachable, if we had access to trustworthy statistics for each of those categories. But how do things stand in reality?

According to the Polish historians, 45,000 prisoners were transferred from Majdanek to other camps, 20,000 were released, a few hundred managed to escape, and 1,500 were liberated by the Red Army on July 23, 1944. The number of transferred prisoners verifiable through contemporary camp documentation is only slightly higher than 35,000,[9] but since that documentation is not complete, the real figure might very well be higher than that by 10,000. The – astonishingly high – number of 20,000 released prisoners is never substantiated through documentary sources in the Polish literature on the subject; we accept it, however, because especially in this case there is no reason why it should have been knowingly exaggerated – on the contrary, that number effectively undermines the assumption that Majdanek was an "extermination camp", since the released inmates would have spread their news of the mass murders immediately all over Poland, and the alleged attempt of the Germans at covering up their deeds would have become useless.

On the other hand Rajca's postulated number of 300,000 persons deported to Majdanek lacks any historical basis, namely the number from which he subtracts the 45,000 transferred and the 20,000 released persons (the ones who escaped and the liberated ones, amounting to approximately 2,000 persons, are not taken into account) to arrive at the figure of 235,000 victims. Rajca's source consists of a 1969 article by Zofia Leszczynska on the transports of prisoners to the Majdanek camp.[10] In order to reach as high a number of deportees as possible, the author of the article resorts to a favorite trick of all orthodox "Holocaust" historians: she grants to eye-witness accounts the same evidentiary value as to documentary sources. Based on accounts originating among the resistance movement, whose vested interest naturally prompted to inflating the number of deportees as a proof of the German reign of terror, Leszczynska exaggerated enormously the number of deportees, yet, despite all her efforts, she arrived at a figure of only 246,000 deportees. Since she was not allowed to touch the by now hallowed number of 360,000 victims, if 360,000 died, 45,000 were transferred, 20,000 were released, and 1,500 were liberated by the Soviets, a total of 426,500 persons must have been deported to Majdanek; the Polish historian simply provided for the missing 179,600 by declaring her statistical sources incomplete, as many of the transports, says she, had not been documented! Twenty-three years later, C. Rajca arbitrarily added 54,000 to Z. Leszczynska's 246,000 "calculated" deportees to get 300,000, from which he then subtracted the transferred ones and the released ones in order to arrive at his figure of 235,000 victims.

The number of revisionist Carlo Mattogno: 42,200 victims (1998)

In the summer of 1997, I conducted together with the Italian scholar Carlo Mattogno a research trip through Eastern Europe, starting in Lublin. Based on documents discovered in the archives of the Majdanek Memorial and of the Lublin Voivodship, on the official Polish literature on Majdanek, and on other sources, upon our return we published a book entitled KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie (Concentration Camp Majdanek: an Historical and Technical Inquiry) in German in 1998 and in English five years later, whose ambitious claim it was that of being the first ever work written about the Lublin Camp that satisfies scientific requirements.[11] In the book's fourth chapter the number of victims was calculated by Mattogno, who, in the light of the incomplete nature of the documentation, could naturally make no claim to absolutely exact figures. His numbers are given below, broken down by years:

1941 (October – December):abount 700
1944 (January- July):about 1,900
Total:about 42,200

Mattogno made no attempt to determine the percentage of Jewish prisoners among his calculated 42,200 deaths; however, the following is relevant to that issue:

Majdanek opened in October 1941. During the first three months of its existence, primarily Soviet prisoners of war were sent to the camp, then a group of Jews from the city of Lublin. It is not known how many Jews were among the approximately 700 persons who died in 1941 according to Mattogno, at any rate it could only have been a small number, which was included – as we will soon see – in the statistics for 1942.

During 1942 the vast majority of the new arrivals consisted of Jews of various nationalities. In this case, Mattogno could rely upon a key document, the 1943 report of SS statistician Richard Korherr, in which are given the numbers of Jews deported to various concentration camps, as well as the number of those who perished in the camps, until the end of 1942. According to Korherr, up to that time a total of 26,258 Jewish prisoners, of whom 23,409 were males and 2,849 females, had been deported to the Lublin camp, of whom 4,568 had been released, 7,342 were still in the camp at the end of December, and the remaining 14,348 (14,217 men and 131 women) had died. (The main reason for the extremely high mortality rate at Majdanek was the catastrophic hygienic conditions, which promoted the spreading of disease; I do not know why the mortality rate was many times lower among the women than among the men). For Auschwitz Korherr reported until the end of 1942, 3,716 deaths among the Jewish male inmates and 720 deaths among the Jewish women. Korherr concludes his statistics with the following note:[12]

"The Jews who were housed in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Lublin during the evacuation proceedings are not included."

Since Mattogno had no access to information about the number of "the Jews who were housed in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Lublin during of the evacuation proceedings" and their mortality rate, he naturally could not include them in his statistics.

In 1943 the number of non-Jewish inmates grew considerably, owing to incoming transports of numerous Poles suspected of resistance against the occupational power, however, the – unfortunately only partially preserved – camp registration books confirm that the Jews made up the clear majority of the camp inmates up until the end of October; thus on June 16, 10,050 were Jewish of the total of 14,533, and on August 22, 5,905 were Jewish of the total of 10,506 male prisoners; in the women's camp, 5,371 were Jewish of the total of 7,821, as of June 16, and on August 20, 3,200 were Jewish of the total of 5,690[13]. At the beginning of November, all Jews disappeared from the camp (according to orthodox historians because they were shot, according to revisionists because they were transferred) but already in December newly-arrived Jewish prisoners turned up in the camp registers. At any rate their number remained small compared to the total number of inmates; thus, on March 15, 1944, only 358 were Jewish of the 6,476 prisoners in the men's camp, and only 476 were Jewish of the 2,690 prisoners in the women's camp.

In the light of those statistics, the hypothesis seems plausible that, based on the number of victims calculated by Mattogno, approximately 60% of the 22,339 inmates who died in 1943 were Jews and around 90% of the 1,900 who died in 1944 were non-Jews. That would mean that approximately 13,404 Jews died during 1943 and about 190 Jews died in 1944, resulting in a total number of 27,938 Jewish victims at Majdanek (14,348 [including the Jews who died in 1941 reported by Korherr] + 13,400 + 190 = 27,938). The number of non-Jewish victims would thus be brought to about 14,262 (42,000 – 27,938 = 14,262), which amounts to a good third of the total number of victims.

The revision of Tomasz Kranz: 78,000 victims (2005)

In his above-mentioned article, Tomasz Kranz unreservedly criticizes his predecessors, saying that the 1,5 million victims claimed by the Polish-Soviet commission is based "on political and propagandistic considerations, not on historical ones"; as for the Lublin Special Tribunal that had promulgated the number of 1,7 million victims, "accuracy did not play any part in the calculations here either"; J. Lukaszkiewicz "arbitrarily assumed for the period July 1943 to April 1944 a daily mortality rate of 12 per thousand" and his figure of 360,000 dead was "disseminated for many years without criticism"; C. Rajca's article of 1992 "calls for reservations" since in his calculations he "has completely ignored the camp documents" (cf. Kranz pp.35-36). The book KL Majdanek written by Carlo Mattogno and myself is correctly reviewed by Kranz as follows:

Speaking of statistical studies of the Majdanek camp, a book of the revisionist school should be mentioned, in which matters of deportations and mortality rates are thoroughly discussed, among other things. The authors of the book dispute the gassings and the mass shootings of prisoners, acknowledging however a high mortality rate due to the [bad] living conditions and typhus epidemics. Based on an analysis of the death registers that were preserved, they reach the conclusion that a total of 42,200 prisoners died at Majdanek" (p. 40)

According to Kranz, approximately 78,000 people lost their lives at Majdanek (about 59,000 Jews and about 19,000 non-Jews). The new official number of victims of the Majdanek Memorial is thus by 35,800 higher than the number proposed by the revisionists, while on the other hand, it is by 1,622 million lower than that of the Lublin Special Tribunal, by 1,422 million lower than that of the Polish-Soviet Commission, by 282,000 below that of Lukaszkiewicz and Marszalek, and by 157,000 lower than Rajca's! The utter bankruptcy of the official history of the Lublin concentration camp can hardly be more devastatingly obvious.

It should be mentioned in relation to the above that the verdict of the Düsseldorf Majdanek Trial (1975-1981) claimed a total number of victims of "at least 200,000" of whom "at least 60,000 were Jews"[14]; the court had admittedly made no inquiry of its own, but relied exclusively on the statements made by the well-known "expert on contemporary history" Wolfgang Scheffler. While the number of Jewish victims mentioned by the Düsseldorf judges is almost identical to that given by Kranz, their alleged number of non-Jewish victims is by 121,000 higher than the one calculated by Kranz!

Kranz examines the mortality rates for the Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners separately. Here are his figures, broken down by year:

Non-Jewish victimsJewish victims
1941:no data1941/1942:24,733
Total:18,836 – rounded to 19,000Total:59,000

Let us now consider on what grounds has the Polish historian made his calculations.

The number of non-Jewish victims according to Tomasz Kranz

For 1942, Kranz calculates, on the basis of the documents of the camp administration, a total of 16,218 Jewish and non-Jewish dead (p. 42), that is, 1,028 fewer than Mattogno. From those 16,218 he subtracts the 14,217 mentioned in the Korherr report as the number of Jews dead in the Lublin concentration camp until the end of 1942, reaching the conclusion that the number of non-Jewish dead amounted to 2,001 in the year 1942. Since the Korherr report in fact refers to 14,217 dead Jewish male prisoners, and mentions besides 131 dead Jewesses, it follows that Kranz has set the total of Jewish deaths for 1942 too low by 131, and the total of non-Jewish victims for the same year too high by 131.

On pages 42-45, Kranz examines the mortality rate among the non-Jewish inmates in the years 1943 and 1944. According to him, 9,811 non-Jews died between January 1, 1943 and April 6, 1944. Adding those to the 2,001 (actually 1,870) deaths for 1942, the result is 10,912 dead. To that, one must add, according to Kranz, the following additional non-Jewish victim groups:

  • About 2,000 dead Soviet prisoners of war in 1940-1941 who had not been assigned a prisoner number;
  • 1,055 Soviet war invalids who died between 1942 and 1944;
  • About 500 unregistered Poles who died in the beginning of 1942;
  • About 500 dead between April 7 and July 23, 1944;
  • 369 separately registered deportees from the Zamosc district, of whom approximately half died in Majdanek and the rest in various hospitals after the liberation of the camp.

Added together, those numbers yield a total of 15,336 dead non-Jews at the Majdanek camp, to which Kranz adds two more categories of victims: an estimated 500 who died during the evacuation of the camp (of whom perhaps around 10% must have been Jews, a fact that Kranz does not consider, however), as well as Poles executed by firing squad in the prison of Lublin Castle. According to his account, for the latter category there are no figures reliably certified by documents; he quotes various estimates, which are apparently based throughout on witness accounts,that range between 2,762 and 12,000, and decides on a "maximum of 3,000". Let alone that that number is not documented, it emerges from his account that only a part of those executed had previously been interned at Majdanek, so that the remaining part of those executed may be classified as "victims of the German occupation" but hardly as "Majdanek victims." Kranz makes no mention of executions of Jews, even though they must also most certainly have taken place. According to Kranz the total number of non-Jewish victims adds up to 18,836, rounded up to 19,000.

The number of Jewish victims according to Tomasz Kranz

Referring to an article he wrote in 2003 on the topic "The Extermination of Jews in Majdanek and the Part Played by that Camp in the Implementation of 'Operation Reinhardt',"[16] Kranz estimates the total number of Jews who perished at Majdanek at 59,000. Of those 59,000 according to him, 24,733 died in the year 1942; in support of that number he cites a document that was published only in 2001 and of which neither I nor Mattogno had any knowledge yet when we wrote our book. It is namely a telegram from SS-Sturmbannführer Höfle to SS-Obersturmbannführer Heim of April 28, 1943, from which it can be seen that until December 31, 1942 a total of 1,274,166 Jews had been deported to concentration camps Lublin, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, of whom 24,733 went to Lublin. The number of 1,274,166 matches exactly the number of Jews who according to the Korherr report had been funneled through the camps of the territories under control until the end of 1942, and Lublin, Belzec, Sobibor as well as Treblinka were in fact in the territories under control. Höfle's telegram was decoded within a few days already by the British; however, for reasons unknown to me, it was published only as late as 2001.[17]

Kranz distorts the contents of that radiogram; this is what he writes:

From a radiogram from H. Höfle, the superior officer of Odilo Globocnik, it results that in the course of 'Operation Reinhardt' 24,733 Jews died in the concentration camp at Majdanek, a fact which, taken together with the data given in the Korherr report, permits us to draw the conclusion that that number comprises the registered inmates and also those who had not been included in the camp's statistics." (p. 33)

In fact in that telegram what is mentioned is an "increase" of the number of Jews in the above-mentioned four camps, and not that they died there. Even though Kranz does not state this specifically, his argument leads unequivocally to the conclusion that the Jews who "were not included in the camp's statistics" were murdered.

Let us first clarify the following issue: are the 26,258 Jews who reached Majdanek until the end of 1942 according to Korherr, and the 24,733 Jews deported to the Lublin concentration camp up to the same point in time according to Höfle, the very same deportees; and does the difference of 1,525 persons simply result from an inaccuracy in the records which can be understood in view of the circumstances prevailing at that time?

The answer must be "no", both from the point of view of the orthodox "Holocaust" historians and also from the point of view of the revisionists. Lublin is cited by Höfle together with Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, which points to the fact that the Jews deported to all those four concentration camps belonged to one and the same category and there could be no reason to treat them differently in Lublin than in Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. According to official historiography, in the last-mentioned three camps, all Jews, regardless of age, physical condition and ability to labor, were murdered in the gas chambers immediately upon their arrival without registering them; only a small number of "Worker Jews" were spared, who were employed in the maintenance of the camp's operations. According to that, applying the logic of the orthodox "Holocaust" historians, the 24,733 who were deported to Lublin according to Höfle must have been gassed there without being registered; the reason for sending them to Lublin rather than to one of the other three concentration camps could have been for instance the fact that the gas chambers were overloaded in the other three camps. In that case Majdanek would in effect have played the part of a "temporary auxiliary extermination camp" to Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, in the same manner in which the Stutthof concentration camp had become, according to Polish historians, a "temporary auxiliary extermination camp" for Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.[18]

For the revisionists, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were transit camps, through which the majority of the deported Jews were moved to the occupied eastern territories, while a smaller number were sent to labor camps in the occupied territories.[19] The fact that "Lublin" (i.e., Majdanek) is mentioned in the same sentence along of those three camps in Höfle's telegram must be, according to the revisionist way of looking at facts, because that camp, on top of its other tasks, also functioned temporarily as a transit camp, as was the case with Auschwitz too. Consequently, the Jews "who were housed in the concentration camp Lublin in the course of the evacuation proceedings," who, according to Korherr's explanation were not included in his statistics, must have been Jewish prisoners who stayed for a short while unregistered in Majdanek and were transported hence further on to the eastern regions or to the numerous labor camps in the Lublin District. In that case it follows that it must be assumed that there was at Majdanek – as at Auschwitz – a special section in the camp where those prisoners were to be housed temporarily. There is need here for a lot more investigation.

Both according to the orthodox and according to the revisionist version of events, the conclusion thus arises that the 24,733 Jews mentioned in Höfle's telegram, and the 26,258 Jews mentioned in the Korherr report, were different groups of prisoners, and the former are actually the same as the Jews who were "housed in the concentration camp Lublin during the evacuation proceedings" and were "not included" in his statistics.

When Kranz sets out from the assumption that the 14,348 Jews who died in Majdanek until the end of 1942 according to Korherr, whose demise was registered, belonged to the 24,733 who were deported in that year to the Lublin camp according to Höfle and who all found their death there, then his number of unregistered deaths – i.e., according to Kranz, those murdered – must have amounted to 10,385 (24,733 – 14,348 = 10,385). Thus Kranz asserts the following:

A total of 36,643 Jews arrived at Majdanek in 1942; of those 10,385 were murdered unregistered, 14,348 died a "natural" death, 4,568 were set free, and 7.342 were at the end of the year still in the camp. We know that fact, says he, owing to two German documents, the Höfle telegram and the Korherr report, while naturally however, not naturally only the first two categories are taken into consideration in the Höfle account but not the third and the fourth category, whereas in the Korherr report the second, third and fourth category are taken into consideration, but not the first one.

That hypothesis appears irredeemably illogical and contrived!

As there has never been asserted a mass extermination method other than gassing for Majdanek in the year 1942, the 10,385 Jews who were murdered unregistered according to Kranz must have been gassed. Mattogno and I have brought a plethora of technical and historical arguments against the existence of gas chambers for the killing of humans at Majdanek in chapters six and seven of The Majdanek Concentration Camp, and I do not think it necessary to repeat here what we said there. The fact that Kranz, who cites our book, summarizes it correctly, and hence must have read it, does not mention our arguments even with a single word, leads to the only conclusion that our arguments are irrefutable. Thus we may consider with good reason that those 10.385 gassed persons who were not explicitly but implicitly asserted by him were non-existing persons (cf. George Orwell).

For the years 1943/1944 Kranz mentions the 18,000 Jews who were allegedly shot on November 3, 1943 as part of the so-called "Operation Harvest Feast", but offers no computations regarding the number of the Jewish inmates who died a "natural" death in that interval, doubtlessly because he had done that already in his above-mentioned article published in 2003. If we deduct from his total number of 59,000 Jewish victims, the 24,733 Jewish victims asserted by Kranz for the years 1941/1942 as well as the alleged 18,000 murdered on November 3, 1943, we end up with the number of 16,267 for the interval from January 1943 up to July 1944.

As regards "Operation Harvest Feast", it may be asserted with absolute certainty that that mass shooting is to be relegated to the realm of myth. Mattogno has provided the proof in chapter nine of The Majdanek Concentration Camp, and in this case also, I do not think it necessary to summarize here what has been stated there, since Kranz does not mention with even one word Mattogno's arguments either, as in the case of the gas chambers. Those 18,000 who were shot are also non-existing persons.

A comparison between the statistics of Carlo Mattogno and those of Thomasz Kranz

Let us recapitulate: according to Tomasz Kranz, in Majdanek died approximately 78,000 inmates, of whom 59,000 were Jews and 19,000 were non-Jews; according to Carlo Mattogno, Majdanek exacted approximately 42,200 victims. Apart from the years 1941/1942, for which thanks to the Korherr report the number of Jewish deaths are precisely known, Mattogno makes no attempt to calculate the proportion of Jewish and non-Jewish victims in his total number, however, based on the numbers of camp inmates recorded for the various periods, it may be computed that, if his statistics are correct, about 27,938 Jews and about 14,262 non-Jews must have died in Majdanek.

Thus, the difference between the two statistical accounts amounts to 35,800, where Kranz cites 31,062 more Jewish victims and 4,738 more non-Jewish victims than Mattogno.

As regards the non-Jewish dead, the difference is accounted for first and foremost by the fact that Mattogno did not take into consideration two of the victim categories mentioned by Kranz, because there was no documentary basis available to him for that. They are the 500 who perished during the evacuation – according to Kranz – and the 3,000 who were shot at Lublin Castle – according to Kranz. While the number of victims who died during the evacuation appears altogether credible, that of victims who were shot may appear to have been estimated too high, firstly because it is based on witness accounts and hence there is a priori the suspicion of exaggeration, and secondly, because only a part of those executed had been inmates of the Majdanek camp, and the remainder cannot be counted among the "victims of Majdanek". Under those circumstances the conclusion emerges that the number of non-Jewish dead was higher than Mattogno's 14,262 but lower than Kranz's 19,000.

What then about the Jewish victims? In the case of Kranz, we have to subtract the invented 10,385 gassed people of the year 1942 and the invented 18,000 people shot on November 3, 1943 from his total number of 59,000, thus leaving only 30,625, only by 2,687 more than Mattogno's number, and that difference belongs in its entirety to the years 1943/1944. Based on the evidence that lies within my reach, I am not in a position to judge which of the two numbers comes closer to reality, but one thing is sure: there is certainly no need to assume the gassing of people in order to explain the existing difference! According to the official history writing, the alleged gas chambers for the murdering of people functioned at Majdanek from August 1942 till October 1943. When we explain the fact that Kranz counts 2,687 more Jewish victims than Mattogno for the years 1943/1944 by the assertion that those Jews were gassed, that means that from January to October 1943 on the average about 250 Jews died monthly in the gas chambers – a number which is low indeed for an "extermination camp." Since Kranz assumes implicitly 10,325 gassed Jews for 1942, as we have seen, then, according to him, the total number of the victims of the gas chambers of Majdanek cannot have exceeded about 13,000.

According to the official historiography in Treblinka more than 7,000 Jews were gassed daily in the first months of that camp's existence, and in Belzec, during the nine and a half months of its existence, 600,000 Jews would have been murdered in the gas chambers, i.e. over 2,000 daily. Consequently the alleged 13,000 victims of the gas chambers of Majdanek could have been gassed at Treblinka within a mere two days and at Belzec within a mere week; under those circumstances, not the least reason exists for setting up gas chambers for the extermination of humans at Majdanek, and the hypothesis of the "temporary auxiliary extermination camp" collapses. As it so often happens, here too the argumentation of the official historians of the "Holocaust" runs itself into the realm of the absurd.

Finally, we wish to point out that the "transiting Jews" who were not registered at Majdanek and who died before they were carried further east into the occupied territories or to the labor camps of the Lublin District, were not taken into consideration either by Mattogno or by Kranz – not by Mattogno because there is no documentary evidence in that respect, and not by Kranz, because according to the architecture of his argumentation those "transiting Jews" could not have existed. As those respective Jews – we are convinced that they numbered 24,733, the figure of the Höfle telegram – were most certainly housed in Majdanek only for a short time, the number of those among them who died there could barely have exceeded a few hundred.

In view of all those facts it appears to be a valid assumption that the true number of victims of Majdanek could lie somewhere between the number of 42,000 calculated by Mattogno and the number of 49,625 which remains if the invented gassing and shooting victims are subtracted from the figure given by Kranz.


In 1998 I wrote in the conclusion of KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie (co-authored by me and Carlo Mattogno):

The reduction in Poland in the early nineties of the number of victims of Majdanek was justified by the statement that the unscientific considerations which in the past had led to inflating the real numbers were now no longer valid. If that is the case, then we may expect that the Polish historians – who, unlike their western counterparts, have at least tried to investigate what happened at Majdanek – will discard the dead weight of Stalinist history writing wholesale, not only in small portions […] A real and lasting reconciliation between the German and the Polish people, as hoped for by this book's two authors, who have ties of friendship to both nations, can only prevail based on the whole truth!"

The "whole truth" has not been revealed by Tomasz Kranz in his article, neither did he attempt to do so; however, we readily admit that he has discarded an enormous amount of ballast, for at any rate he has reduced the number of victims asserted by his predecessor C. Rajca between 1992 and 2005 from 235,000 to 78,000, that is, to roughly one third.

Let us now recall the verdict of the Majdanek trial of 1981 in Düsseldorf. The following was stated there:

  • At least 200,000 people had died in Majdanek.
  • Among the victims there were at least 60,000 Jews.
  • Some of the Jewish victims were gassed.
  • 18,000 Jews were shot on November 3, 1943 as a part of "Operation Harvest Feast".

If we compare the above statements with the statistics of Kranz, we find that the latter differ only as regards the first assertion: of the "at least 140,000 non-Jewish victims of the camp" alleged by the Düsseldorf judges, there were left only 19,000 with Kranz, a number which may be only slightly exaggerated. His other conclusions are consistent with those of the Düsseldorf tribunal: there were 59,000 Jewish victims (the difference of 1,000 is of no importance); the stattment about the gassing of Jews (the Düsseldorf verdict provided no figure for the number of gassed Jews, so that any arbitrary figure below 60,000 can be reconciled with that verdict); the 18,000 shot on November 3, 1943.

In view of the above facts, Tomasz Kranz's article almost gives the impression of a work commissioned with the purpose of discarding all unnecessary ballast (i.e. the invented non-Jewish Majdanek victims) while corroborating the findings of the Düsseldorf tribunal with regard to the Jewish victims.

As outrageous as that may appear to a righteous person, the fact is that in the whole debate about Majdanek (as is the case with that about Auschwitz too) basically what is important is practically only the Jewish deaths and that outside Poland and Russia almost nobody is seriously interested in the Poles and Russians who died in the concentration camps.

The sorry stage play of the Majdanek trial that was carried on for over six years, and to which countless whole classrooms of schoolchildren were dragged through the courtroom, was not performed in order to enlighten Germany and the world about the sufferings and death of Polish or Russian inmates in the concentration camp Lublin, but to bring before everybody's eyes the terrible fate of the Jews during the "holocaust" – that silly term became fashionable precisely during those years. The eight defendants sentenced to jail terms between life and three years in Düsseldorf were condemned on all accounts for alleged participation in the gassing of Jews and in the "Operation Harvest Feast"; not one of them was accused of crimes against Poles or Russians. That tradition continues, with Kranz sticking to the gassings of Jews and to the mass shootings of November 3, 1943 against all evidence, without ever mentioning with one word even the arguments to the contrary, that are well known to him.

Here he following objection may be raised: the alleged 18,000 shot to death in "Operation Harvest Feast" and the alleged at most 13,000 gassed Jews taken together amount only to one half of a percent of the famous six million victims of the "holocaust" anyhow, and therefore are absolutely not necessary for the propping up of the tale of the "holocaust". Under the circumstances, why do the Poles not clean the tables with regard to Majdanek, and why do they not exert themselves on behalf of "the whole truth", by discarding the invented Jewish victims as they have discarded the invented non-Jewish victims?

The answer to that question is as follows: should the "Operation Harvest Feast" and also the gassing of Jews at Majdanek be declared to be myths, then it would be acknowledged that all corresponding eye-witness accounts were untruthful and that the Düsseldorf tribunal has promulgated a revoltingly unjust sentence. Every thinking person would have to ask himself then why should the eye-witness accounts about Auschwitz, Treblinka, etc., be in fact more credible than those about Majdanek, and whether the Federal Republic of Germany's tribunals could not possibly have promulgated equally revoltingly unjust sentences in other trials of "Nazi criminals". That type of questions could derail the entire tale of the "holocaust". That is the reason why it is not permitted to chip away at the gas chambers of Majdanek and at the "Operation Harvest Feast".

Thomasz Kranz deserves recognition and our thanks for the fact that he has made honest efforts to establish the truth with regard to the non-Jewish victims at the Lublin camp, has made a drastic revision of the number of victims and – if we do not take into account the special case of the persons shot at Lublin Castle – has not resorted to exaggerations. However, we can grant him neither recognition nor thanks for his efforts to save as much as can still be saved of the tale of the "holocaust", a tale that is putrid and rotten to the core.


Tomasz Kranz, "Ewidencja zgonów i smiertelnosc wiezniów KL Lublin", Zeszyty Majdanka no. XXIII (2005), pp. 7-53.
Communique of the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission for investigating the crimes committed by the Germans in the Majdanek extermination camp in Lublin, Foreign Publishing House, Moscow 1944.
IMT, vol. VII, p. 590.
Sentenca wyroku. Specialny sąd karny w Lublinie. Archiwum Państwowego Muzeum na Majdanku, sygn. XX-1, p. 100.
Zdzisław Łukaszkiewicz, "Obóz koncentracyjny i zagłady Majdanek", in: Biuletyn Glównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce, vol. 4 (1948), pp. 63-105.
Józef Marszałek, Majdanek. Obóz koncentracyjny w Lublinie, Lublin 1981. English translation: Majdanek: The Concentration Camp in Lublin, Interpress, Warsaw 1986.
Czesław Rajca, "Problem liczby ofiar w obozie na Majdanku", in: Zeszyty Majdanka no. XIV, 1992, p. 129.
Tadeusz Mencel (ed.), Majdanek 1941-1944, Wydawnictwo Lubelskie, Lublin 1991, p. 455.
Zofia Leszczyńska, "Transporty więzniów do obozu na Majdanku", in: Zeszyty Majdanka no. IV, 1969, pp. 174-232.
Jürgen Graf & Carlo Mattogno, KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie, Castle Hill Publisher, Hastings 1998. English translation: Concentration Camp Majdanek. A Historical and Technical Study, Theses & Dissertation Press, Chicago 2003.
NO-5194, p. 11.
Tomasz Kranz, op.cit., p. 14, 15.
Bezirksgericht Düsseldorf, Urteil Hackmann u.a., XVII 1/75.
This figure is never explicitly mentioned by Kranz; we have obtained it by subtracting from the total of 59,000 Jewish victims the number of Jewish victims postulated by Kranz for the period 1941/1942.
Tomasz Kranz, "Exterminacja Żydów na Majdanku i rola obozu w realizacji 'Akcji Reinhardt'", in: Zeszyty Majdanka, no. XXII (2003), pp. 7-55.
Peter Witte & Stephen Tyas, "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of the Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhardt' 1942", in: Holocaust and Genocide Studies, no. 3, Winter 2001, p. 469 ff.
Regarding this, see Jürgen Graf & Carlo Mattogno, Das Konzentrationslager Stutthof und seine Funktion in der nationalsozialistischen Judenpolitik, Castle Hill Publishers, Hastings 1999 (English translation: Concentration Camp Stutthof and its Function in National Socialist Jewish Policy, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2003).
Cf. Carlo Mattogno & Jürgen Graf, Treblinka – Vernichtungslager oder Durchgangslager?, Castle Hill Publishers, Hastings 2003 (English translation: Treblinka. Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004), as well as Carlo Mattogno, Belzec, Castle Hill Publishers, Hastings 2005 (English translation: Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004).

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Author(s) Jürgen Graf
Title On the Revision of the Number of Victims at Majdanek
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Dates published: 2007-07-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 2007, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a
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