Brief Note on “The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names” and the Number of Dead Reported therein

This content is also available in Italian
Published: 2013-11-20

This document is part of the Inconvenient History periodical.
Use this menu to find more documents that are part of this periodical.


Inspired by another paper, this paper briefly probes the Yad Vashem database of Holocaust victims. It turns out that the database contains many names of survivors, and that individuals are listed in it twice or even numerous times.

The article “How to increase the number of Holocaust deaths”[1] incontrovertibly exposes real and serious problems, but those are neither the only ones, nor the most important.

The comment of a reader about the Yad Vashem “database” (which has supposedly recorded “the names and biographical details of two thirds of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices. Two million more still remain unidentified,”[2] i. e., approximately 4 million in total) is noteworthy, too, but rather for the problems he (indirectly) presents than for the solutions he believes to offer:

“Even if a million names have been made up out of thin air, there are still the other millions of names which are documented in detail”.

What does that mean, in concrete terms, “names which are documented in detail”?

The question, in more explicit terms, that should be asked: which are the sources that allow us to identify the names of Holocaust victims?

In the case of “Jews murdered my the Nazis and their accomplices”, given that there is not a single documented name of a supposedly gassed victim (since there is neither documentary evidence of “gas chambers” nor of “gassings”), there is no list of names of Jews executed by the Einsatzgruppen in conjunction with the Police. There remain only the lists of Jews killed in retaliation by order of SS courts, while attempting to escape etc. which are extremely small categories from a numerical point of view.

If we talk about dead Jews, there are two main groups of documentary sources:

  1. The lists of those deceased in concentration camps (especially the Sterbebücher, Death Books, Totenbücher, Books of Deceased Prisoners)
  2. The lists of deaths in the ghettos.

These deaths fall into the category of what the SS called “natural mortality.”

It is difficult to evaluate these fatalities by name. From a letter of the Standesamt Arolsen of May 11, 1979, we know with certainty that the number of certified deaths until the end of 1978 in all German concentration camps was 271.304.

This figure naturally includes both Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners.

The subsequent delivery of death lists by the Russian authorities to the Auschwitz Museum has brought the number of deaths for this camp up from 52,389 to 68,864, which doesn’t change anything in the big picture. There’s no general data about the ghettos. For Warsaw, among the larger ones, there are about 10,000 documented names of deceased persons, for Lodz perhaps about 47,000 in total and for Theresienstadt about 34,000 in total. Adding any possible death lists from other ghettos, one would hardly arrive at 350,000.

Where, then, do the alleged four million names suddenly appear from?

In part from the lists of deportees to concentration camps and alleged extermination camps; in the “database” of Yad Vashem, the deported persons of whom there are no further news are ipso facto considered as murdered (“gassed”) on the date of arrival of the transport.

However, it is highly doubtful that the name lists of transports that have been preserved contain more than (4,000,000 - 350,000 =) 3,650,000 names. The most important name registries (Germany, France, Belgium, Theresienstadt, Netherlands) contain a total amount of about 280,000 names. It should be noted that the deportation lists to Theresienstadt refer to the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia”, roughly the present Czech Republic, but include deportees from Germany, as well; furthermore, all the deceased deportees confirmed by documents are already included in the death books of the camps or ghettos. In particular, most of the Jews deported from the abovementioned countries were sent to Auschwitz and the deceased are contained in the respective death registers. For the eastern camps there is a deportation list with about 34,000 names of Dutch Jews to Sobibór (already included in the above figure of 280,000). Putting together all the other transport lists, it’s possible to get 300,000, up to 350,000 names, yet there would still remain 3,300,000 missing names: where do they come from?

Settling the question of repeated entries with the same name (for example, because of different documents and/or various reports from “witnesses” or simply duplication of the same document) can not explain this huge difference, so we have to ask Yad Vashem: historians, pull out your documents, if they exist!

But the matter has all the appearances of a giant sham.

One thing even less known is that the “database” in question also records the names of survivors!

The reports below, as an example, are the result of a brief survey conducted in the “database” on the basis of a list of certified survivors of a transport from Prague to the Lodz ghetto on 16 October, 1941. Many of these survivors are registered as dead, some even twice! Source: Terezínská pemĕtní kniha. Terezínská Iniciativa. Melantrich, 1995, vol. I, p. 90 (the names of 24 survivors are listed in there).

Furthermore, there are two identical names which are phonetically similar:

For further illustration, a random sample from a very cursory research. In the “database” the following Jews transferred from Riga to Stutthof on July 19, 1944, are listed as dead and are regularly registered there:

  • Goldbaum Ge[r]trude, 03/05/1900, Czech, registered as Goldbaumova Ge[r]truda: list number 684, registration number 48577; the “database” says: “Transport H from Praha,Praha Hlavni Mesto,Bohemia,Czechoslovakia to Theresienstadt,Ghetto,Czechoslovakia on 30/11/1941”. The “type of material” is a “List of Theresienstadt camp inmates” and the status is “murdered/perished” [now the status is only “murdered”].

In the aforementioned register of Czech Jews deported to Theresienstadt, Ms. Goldbaum is deported to Riga on January 9, 1942 (p. 160), but isn’t listed among the survivors.

  • Todtenkopf Lina, 30/11/1901, Germany, registered under the same name: list number 826, registration number 48729.

The “database” cites the source “Gedenkbuch – Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945, Bundesarchiv (German National Archives), Koblenz 1986” (Memorial Book of the Victims of Persecution of Jews under National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933–1945, Federal Archive, Koblenz (German National Archives), Koblenz. 1986). Her status is: missing. The material type is: “List of murdered Jews from Germany”. [This entry has the status “murdered”]

Todtenkopf Lina, 30/11/1901, Germany, recorded a second time; the type of material is “List of deportations from Berlin”, the source is another edition of Gedenkbuch (Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nazionalsozialismus [sic], Freie Universität Berlin, Zentralinstitut für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1995); the place of presumed death is “Riga,Rigas,Vidzeme,Latvia”. [This entry has status “missing”]

Whether these Jews have died, or have rather been executed, doesn’t follow from any document.

This is a small but significant sample of the seriousness and “scientific rigor” of this “database” and of those who filled it.

Which results would a systematic and thorough study bring?


[2] [New address:]

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Carlo Mattogno
Title: Brief Note on “The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names” and the Number of Dead Reported therein
Sources: Inconvenient History, Vol. 9, No. 1; originally published by Olodogma
Published: 2013-11-20
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 7, 2017, 5:20 a.m.
Last revision:
Appears In: