Well, where are they then?

Published: 2010-05-31

By Wilfried Heink

Revisionists are continually asked the above question, the implication being that if the Jews were not murdered, where are they then? In this essay I will try to demonstrate that it is near impossible to give a satisfactory answer to the above question. The numbers of Jews killed, as presented by the historians who believe in "The Holocaust", are based on transport lists, telegrams, counting of rail cars, etc., etc. This is not an exact science. In fact, the data provided of Jews being deported is no evidence that they were murdered. The numbers game is tricky for another reason: we have no precise figures of how many Jews were under the control of the Germans, how many survived, how many were able to flee or survive somehow, and to migrate from Europe before or after the war. This then is the topic of the present essay. I will merely present the numbers as they are available, without much of commentary. Admittedly, this is also not exact science, but because of the many unknowns, mentioned above, it is near impossible to come up with accurate figures.

The Numbers of Jews Evacuated by the Soviets

Professor Werner Maser writes:[1]

"How the Jews able to flee into the USSR fared was known to the Allies in 1948 at the latest, but this has escaped most researchers on the Holocaust. That Stalin blamed the Germans for the loss of the almost 2 million Jews who could not return to their place of origin, because they had lost their lives, was of no concern to them."

Maser provides no direct source for the claimed 2 million figure. We may compare it with another claimed figure, reported on September 25, 1954 by the Hamburg daily Die Welt:

"In a meeting of the investigation committee of the House of Representatives, the head of the Jewish League, Rabbi Benjamin Schultz, stated that 3,390,000 Jews disappeared without a trace on Soviet territory during World War II."

There is no doubt that anti-Semitism was present in the USSR, especially during the war. I will return later to this issue.

Maser continues:[2]

"Jewish refugees who were able to escape into the unoccupied territories of the USSR, were arrested by the Soviets or forced into slave labor.[3] 40% of those able to flee from Poland, the Baltic States and Romania were Jews. Most of them fled to the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. Of these Jews 20-30% died.[4] A Joint Bulletin report noted that 200 000 to 300 000 Jews from Poland alone had died.[5] The American Jewish Yearbook of 1948/1949 has it at 500 000.[6]"

The number of Jews able to flee – or evacuated by the Soviets – are recorded in relative conformity [7] (as opposed to the numbers of Jews murdered): Raul Hilberg 1.5 million [8], Yitzak Arad 1 to 1.1 million [9], Solomon Michoels (of the Jewish Antifascist Committee (JAC)) 2 million [10], Yisrael Gutmann and Michael Berenbaum estimate 1.5 million.[11]

I will now turn to the well-known Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In his book Die Juden in der Sowjetunion [12] (The Jews in the Soviet Union; unfortunately I have only available to me the German edition of this work) we read the following on page 359-360:

"However, many Jews were saved through the evacuation of 1941-42. A number of Jewish sources from the war and postwar years leave no doubt that these evacuations were carried out with the necessary decisiveness. For example one reads in the anthology The Jewish World[13] from 1944 that: ‘The Soviet government knew perfectly well that the Jews were the most threatened part of the population, and thousands of trains were made ready for their evacuation, despite the Red Army’s pressing need for transports. [...]. In many cities (...) the Jews were the first to be evacuated.’ The quoted author, however, holds ‘the claim of the Jewish writer David Bergelson, according to whom [in total] 80% of the Jews were successfully evacuated, to be exaggerated.’[14] 70 000 Jews lived in Chernigov before the war, 10 000 were left when the Germans arrived. [...]. In Dnipropetrovsk only 30 000 of the 100 000 Jews were left at the time Germans marched into the city. In Shitomir, 44 000 of the 50 000 Jews were able to flee.[15] E. M. Kulischer writes in summer of 1946 in the report of the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) that: ‘Without a doubt the Soviet government took special measures to evacuate the Jewish population or aid them in their escape. Together with government employees and industrial workers and employees the Jews were prioritized [in connection with the evacuation]. [...]. The Soviet government provided thousands of trains especially for the evacuation of the Jews.’[16] To shelter the Jews from bombings, the Kolkhozes had to make available thousands of horse-drawn wagons to transport the Jews to secure train stations. In an article entitled ‘How the Jews of Soviet Russia were evacuated during the war’, B.Z. Goldberg, brother-in-law of Scholem Alejchem and correspondent of the Jewish New York paper Der Tog, writes on February 21, 1947, following a visit to the Soviet Union in the winter of 1946-47, that when he inquired about this issue in the Ukraine, Jews and Christians, soldiers and evacuees, all answered, that the policy of the government consisted in giving priority to the Jews during the evacuation, in order to send away as many of them as possible, so that the Nazis would not be able to exterminate them.’[17] Further, the former Soviet partisan Moshe Kaganovich confirms in his memoirs, published abroad in 1948, that the Soviet government put all available transport vehicles at the disposal of the evacuation, besides trains also horse-drawn carriages, and ordered that ‘first and foremost the citizens of Jewish nationality’ should be evacuated ‘from the territories threatened by the enemy.’[18]"

Solzhenitsyn writes that Solomon Schwarz, as well as other researchers later, disputed "not only the Soviet evacuation of Jews as such but also the existence of an order to that effect."[19] Solzhenitsyn, however, states that his data are taken from material published following the war and also later, including the writings of demographer M. Kupowezkij. Solzhenitsyn provides more details, but this will suffice to show that numbers of Jews were indeed evacuated by the Soviets.

Another source of interest is the (Jewish) demographer Prof. Eugene M. Kulischer, who wrote in 1943 that:

"After the outbreak of the war the expulsion of Jews began at first in a somewhat unorganized fashion, its object being to place the Jews outside the limits of German rule. In September 1939 Polish Jews fled in masses from the invading armies, pushing further and further east in an attempt to escape to Soviet-occupied territory. In this they succeeded, owing to the attitude of the Soviet authorities during the first two months of the Soviet occupation of Poland. The Germans often tried to encourage this flight; many cases were reported of Jews literally driven at the point of guns and bayonets to the demarcation line and into the frontier rivers. Many were openly admitted by the Soviet authorities; many others managed to cross the border secretly. The number of Jews who fled into the eastern Polish provinces (both before they were occupied by the Soviet Union and after) is estimated by the Institute of Jewish Affairs at 200,000 at least (...)"[20]

Later in the same study Kulischer writes:

"In the winter of 1939-40, and again in June 1940, a number of refugees were deported by the Soviet authorities to the eastern part of the Soviet Union[…]The main movement from Soviet-occupied Poland to the east began in June 1941, immediately before the German invasion, and increased in volume after the invasion had begun. Hundreds of thousands of people were either forcibly removed or evacuated to inner and Asiatic Russia. Others fled as best they could from the invading German army. According to a Statement issued by the Polish Foreign Minister on 7 May 1942, one and a half million persons were transferred. The Joint Distribution Committee estimates the total number of evacuees from Soviet-occupied Polish territory at two million, of whom 600,000 were Jews (...)"[21]

In an article by David Bergelson of December 5, 1942 in Eynikayt (Unity) a Yiddish-language Moscow news paper, we read that through evacuation 84% (about 1.1 million) of the Jews from Ukraine, White Russia, Lithuania and Latvia were saved from the Germans.[22] Rabbi Mordechai Murok, the Latvian envoy to the Jewish World Congress, declared in a New York press conference of February 29, 1946, that hundreds of thousands of Polish- and other Jews were able to find a save haven in the USSR.[23]

While we are at Poland, we have the following information from the Historian Hermann Graml:

"The wave of emigrations of German Jews formed only part – and not the biggest – of a general Jewish emigration from middle-, east-, and southeastern Europe. From Poland, starting in 1933, 100 000 Jews a year emigrated (from Germany 25,000 to 28,000), partly due to the increasing anti-Semitic attitude of the Polish government, and also due to the steadily worsening economic conditions for the Polish Jews. Similar tendencies were seen in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and, to a lesser degree, in Hungary."[24]

If, from Poland alone, 100,000 Jews emigrated per year during the six-year period of 1933-1939, this would equal 600 000 Jews leaving before the war broke out. Add to this the 600 000 mentioned by Kulischer who were removed by the Soviets and we have 1.2 million Polish Jews that were never available to the Germans. And those are the official figures - we have no way of telling how many escaped on their own. The historian Martin Broszat also tells us that 300 000 Romanian Jews were spared the worst.[25]

As for numbers of Jewish émigrés from countries other than Poland, we basically have nothing. We do however have some information about the number of European Jews migrating to countries that never came under German dominion. The Aufbau published an article on August 13, 1948 by Bruno Blau, in which the author states that from 1933 to 1945 a total of about 1 million Jews emigrated to England, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, USA, South America, Australia, China (Shanghai), India, Africa and Palestine.[26]

The Study of Solomon M. Schwarz

We will now turn to Solomon M. Schwarz and his study The Jews in the Soviet Union, published in 1951. In the "Author’s Note" Schwarz writes (p.ix):

"My endeavor has been to base the two studies making up the present work as much as possible on Soviet sources — newspapers, periodicals, books, and other publications in Russian and Yiddish. But since Soviet publications are subject at every point to official control, and since independent evidence is scarce, getting at the truth requires an intricate process of reconstruction from fragmentary data and indirect clues [...]"

Since the author himself admits that caution is advised when considering official Soviet sources and that he has "pieced together a picture", one needs to also exercise caution when reading Schwarz, for who is to say that he assembled his information without prejudice, that he did not have an agenda. He does, however, also rely on material provided by other sources, and not just Soviet publications.

Let’s look at Chapter XIV of Schwarz’s book, titled "The War and After". It starts out with the following passage (p.195):

"The outbreak of the Second World War found the dislocation of the Jewish population of the Soviet Union progressing at full speed. The migratory movement depleted the Jewish communities in the areas of the former Pale of Residence [27] and carried increasing numbers of Jews to regions where only a few had lived in pre-revolutionary times [...] Almost two-fifth of the total Jewish population had moved out of the Pale."

No numbers are provided, but we are nevertheless told that large number of Jews either had moved out of harm’s way, or were evacuated by the authorities. Now to some numbers (p.229):

"Postwar efforts to make the public believe that large parts of the Jewish population had been rescued go back to 1945. Seeking to refute the pessimistic view expressed in the New York ‘Forward’, Itsik Fefer, in a message [28] to the American Committee of Jewish Writers, Artists and Scientists in October 1945, stated that Odessa again had a Jewish population of 45,000; Kiev 50,000; Berdichev 10,000, etc."

Schwarz then tries hard to file a disclaimer, quoting from Eynikayt of March 5, 1946:

"But a few month earlier Eynikayt had recorded only ‘about 10 000’ Jews in Kiev, and half a year later it found only 6 000 Jews in Berdichev."[29]

This only to goes to show that "The Holocaust" was still in the making in 1945, and that even Jews like Fefer were not in tune yet.

Schwarz goes to great length to deny that any organized evacuation ever took place, based on the argument that no order was ever found. He writes on pp. 220-222:

"During the war exaggerated rumors about the evacuation of civilians from Nazi-held areas were circulated inside and outside the Soviet Union. The view prevailed in the American press that the Soviet government, in addition to evacuating the personnel of government services, industrial establishments, etc., had taken effective steps to save the Jewish population in particular from the danger that threatened. Similar notions found their way into serious studies by authors free of pro-Soviet illusions. As late as 1948, Eugene M. Kulischer stated:

‘In fact, the government took care to prevent a general population displacement, which would have obstructed the highways, and, furthermore, resulted in a mass influx to an area unable to house and feed them. Only a small part of the rural population was evacuated. In urban centers factories were removed, together with skilled and many other workers. Besides, officials and a large proportion of the Jews were evacuated to save them from German atrocities.’[30]

Yet the Soviet sources available outside of the Soviet Union did not mention any governmental decrees or directives relative to evacuation, nor were there any statements by Soviet leaders on the nature and scope of the evacuation program. The only exception was a radio broadcast by Stalin on July 3, 1941, in which he proclaimed the strategy of ‘scorched earth’ (without, however, using that term):

‘When detachments of the Red Army are forced to retreat, it is essential that all railroad rolling stock be driven off, that not a single locomotive or railroad car be left to the enemy, and that the adversary find not a kilogram of bread or a liter of fuel. The kolkhoz farmers must drive away all their cattle and deliver their grain for safekeeping to government authorities, who will transport it to districts behind the lines. All valuable property, including non-ferrous metals, grain, and fuel, that cannot be removed, must be destroyed without exception’.[31]

Actually, the term ‘scorched earth’ does not properly describe the meaning of this policy. To judge from descriptions of evacuation in the newspapers and works of fiction, what the Soviet authorities aimed at was not so much wholesale destruction as the removal of anything that the enemy could have used—first of all factories producing goods essential to the war effort, and their indispensable personnel. Men capable of bearing arms were also to be evacuated. In this plan there was no place for the evacuation of Jews as such. In all the Jewish literature on the war there is only the one reference by Moshe Kaganovich to a decree by the Soviet government ordering the evacuation of the Jewish civilian population.[32] But there is no trace of such a decree either in Izvestiya or in any other Soviet publication, and it can be assumed that the author was merely repeating one of the many rumors current in the years of the war. None of the Communist writers who so eagerly seized on the émigré Kaganovich’s laconic statement could quote from the decree or indicate where and when it was issued; his book remains their only authority.

The true picture of evacuation has to be pieced together from the various accounts of eyewitnesses. Everywhere there seems to have been a great deal of confusion in the evacuation. No uniform procedures had been worked out. In provinces nearest the western border, which were invaded in the early days or weeks of the German-Soviet war, operations were chaotic and on a very limited scale. The farther the province from the border, the more organized the procedure of evacuation and the more people were saved."

Schwarz thus dismisses the written accounts (and we note here in passing that Kulischer seems to have wavered some in 1948) and instead tells us to rely on eyewitnesses, even though "everywhere there seems to have been a great deal of confusion in the evacuation". Nevertheless Schwarz has to admit that evacuations did indeed take place, thus confirming what Solzhenitsyn writes and what Kulischer had written in 1943. On p. 232 Schwarz writes:

"The Jewish evacuees and refugees began their trek back home even before the end of the war; once the war had ended, the tide swelled."

On the following page (p. 233) we read:

"Before the termination of hostilities and for several months thereafter, return to the liberated regions was, as a rule, permitted only upon a special call from the local authorities.[33][…]

Generally return without special permission was not authorized until August 1945; from then on, organized re-evacuation was carried through by special trains. Its start was reported late in August from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A correspondent from Tashkent wrote:

‘These last days the mass re-evacuation of Uzbekistan’s Jewish population has begun. In addition to those hundreds and thousands who move westward with the regular railroad traffic, special trains for the re-evacuated are now being dispatched from time to time.’[34]

This Tashkent correspondent witnessed the departure of a special train that took 2,500 Jews from Tashkent to the Ukraine and White Russia; several more special trains were scheduled for the following weeks. Similar reports abounded. Public interest was focused on re-evacuation, and for a while the fact went unnoticed that a large part of the evacuees and refugees remained behind. Attention was drawn to this in July 1945 by the Kazakhstan correspondent of Eynikayt, who pointed out that while the majority had left or were about to leave, ‘part of the Jews undoubtedly will remain as permanent residents in Kazakhstan,’ where they had ‘found their second home’.[35] In November a report from the Urals said that ‘quite a number of Jews are going to stay here forever’.[36] Similar news came in December from the Turkmen Republic:

‘Evacuation brought a substantial Jewish population here that has settled in all parts of the Republic... Jews from the Ukraine, Bessarabia, and the Crimea have been working here. A large part of them have already gone home, but many have remained for good. Jews are now a considerable percentage in Turkmen industry, on collective farms, in the government Services of the Republic and of the individual provinces. You will find them in the Workshops of the industrial combines, at the oil wells, in the People's Commissariats of the Republic, in government and party offices.’[37]

In 1946 such reports became more frequent. So far as one can judge, the Moscow correspondent of Morgn Frayhayt was fully justified in writing:

‘The great and overwhelming majority of Jews evacuated to Central Asia, Siberia, and the Urals have returned to the cities and towns of the Ukraine, White Russia, Moldavia, Lithuania, and Latvia. But many thousands of Jews have grown such deep roots in their new homes that they never even think of leaving. Here they have become true residents, passionately attached to their new homes.’[38]

The correspondent listed a number of the new centers of Jewish population, such as Alma-Ata, Dzhambul, Chkalov (formerly Orenburg), Sverdlovsk (formerly Yekaterinburg), Chelyabinsk, Molotov (formerly Perm), Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Irkutsk, etc. The total number of Jews who settled in these remote regions cannot be determined. There are perhaps a hundred thousand of them, or even more.[39]"

Up to 300 000 Jews remained behind, although Schwarz disputes this figure (see footnote 37). If we take an average of 1.5 million evacuated (the average taken from the numbers provides by Maser, see footnotes), this would mean that approximately 25% remained behind, which is not out of the question. As those who returned faced hardships – something detailed by both Schwarz and Solzhenitsyn – a lot of them decided to move on "to Palestine or America".[40] As Maser suggests, all of those "missing" were/are no doubt counted as murdered by the Germans.

Schwarz also writes about the antisemitism in the Soviet Union during the war and after, where "Kill the Kikes, save Russia", or "Kill the Kikes, save White Russia" were used as slogans.[41] How many Jews were actually killed we don’t know. But not just Russians were antisemites, so were Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, etc. About the latter two ethnicities Leon Kahn, née Leibke Kaganowicz, writes:

"From what we could see, there was one group of partisans who sometimes fought on the side of the Germans. They were Polish farmers by day and partisans by night, and they carried out the orders of the exiled Polish government living in London. We understood that these orders specifically stated that, in addition to ridding themselves of their German conquerors, all Poles were to see to it that no Jews remained in Poland after the war. Their slogan was Polska Bez Zydow or "Poland without Jews." These were the men of the Armia Krajowa or "Home Army," known to us as the AK. It seemed to us that the AK had a special status with the Germans because they carried on the work of exterminating the Jews and Communists. From 1942 to 1944 they concentrated on seeking out the hiding places of the Jews and the Communists and butchering those who had successfully hidden from the Germans."[42]

And about the Lithuanians:

"We couldn’t simply take the law into our own hands anymore because the Russians had sent a patrol of a hundred ‘Green Hat’ border guards to Varena to help quell the Lithuanian partisans. These partisans had never operated during the German occupation but sprang into being when the Germans’ retreat left the Lithuanians to atone for their crimes as Nazi collaborators."[43]

About 500 000 Jews served in the Red Army, 25 000 to 30 000 were active as partisans.[44] From Schwarz we learn that:

"The total number of Jewish partisans in White Russia and Western Ukraine has been estimated at 10,000 to 11,000; of these, some 3,000 were killed in battle."[45]

Schwarz further describes what happened to the Jewish partisans when the Red Army advanced:

"Immediately after liberation Jewish partisans were drafted into the Red Army advancing on Germany. There were instances when after the demobilization of partisan detachments virtually all Jews were sent to the front (the Ordzhonikidze, Red Guard, Victory, etc. detachments) [...] In non-Jewish detachments, as a rule, only those were sent to the front who originally had served in the German Wehrmacht and who had not come to the woods before the second half of 1943 — those, in short, who had to atone for their betrayal of the homeland. Partisans in civilian dress, with guerrilla weapons, untrained for such combat conditions, unfamiliar with the tactics of open fighting, were thrown into advanced positions. […] A few who were lucky enough to incur disabling wounds, have survived. Most of the others perished in the battles near Volkovisk, Bialystok, and Lake Narev."[46]

The Jews in Territories under German Control

Next a little about the Jews that survived in the territories under German control. Both Schwarz and Kahn write about the Jewish family camps in the forests. To give just one example from Kahn:

"When darkness fell, Buczko came to guide us deeper into the forest, crossing lakes and swamps, forcing our way through impenetrable thickets and miles of heavy forest. We arrived at the camp just after dawn. It was an incredible sight. Almost three hundred people were living openly and apparently without fear in the middle of the forest. They laughed and called to one another, the children played noisily, and women prepared breakfast over open fires and cows grazed nearby."[47]

300 might be considered a small number, but we must remember that Kahn only writes about a relatively small area of southern Lithuania and this is just one of the camps mentioned by him. Schwarz tells us concerning this subject:

"Jews, however, faced an inescapable alternative; death or flight to the woods. Flight was no outing, and many fugitives perished; but to stay on was certain destruction. You did not consider your military qualifications, but sought only to reach the woods. Jews fled with their families, with the aged and infirm, and with small children escaping from ghettos — sometimes in sizable groups — and from death trains. In the eyes of the non-Jewish partisans those unable to bear arms were only a burden. There were thousands such. Thus Jewish ‘family camps’ came into being in the depths of the forest; and along with these, special Jewish detachments to protect the family camps. The organization of exclusively Jewish partisan units was encouraged by the difficulties Jewish combatants encountered when they sought to join non-Jewish detachments."[48]

According to this description, Jews escaped from "death trains" and special armed groups were set up to protect them in the forest camps, as is confirmed by Kahn. There were also Jewish partisan units close to some of the Aktion Reinhardt (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka) camps, yet nobody thought of interrupting the alleged mass killings going on there! Here yet another quote from Schwarz:

"In some cases partisans were said to have invaded smaller towns to set Jews free from ghettos or camps. Kaganovich mentions four such exploits: in Sverzh, where the Zhukov detachment saved 170 Jews; in Kossovo, where some 300 Jews were liberated by the 51st squad of the Shchors detachment; an assault by one of Kovpak’s detachments on Skalat, Galicia where several hundred Jews were said to have been freed by partisans; and the capture of Molodechno by the Uncle Vanya detachment."[49]

And finally, also from Schwarz:

"At about the same time a Jewish army officer made a tour of liberated White Russia and failed to find a single Jew either in Gomel or the neighboring towns. Later, when the Red Army advanced farther west, the picture changed somewhat. The Ukrainian provinces west of the Dnieper and the western part of White Russia are densely forested; the woods gave shelter to fugitives and guerrilla fighters. More Jews survived in those parts than had been thought, in some districts as many as several hundred, and all in all several thousand; but most of these were saved by their own enterprise and endurance, only a few having been aided by the local population."[50]

The last sentence is no doubt a response to certain claims made by Soviet-Jewish propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg:

"The reader will also be deeply moved to note the facts proving Soviet solidarity and the strength of the fraternal bond of nations, expressed in the efforts of many Russians, White Russians, Poles and Ukrainians to rescue Jews from slaughter."[51]

Rothfels tells us about the efforts made by German organisations to save Jews.[52] Aschenauer also informs us about Jews escaping en masse into the forest from the ghettos of Lublin, Radom, Bialystok and the eastern part of Warsaw district.[53]

We must also consider the change of names from Yiddish to whatever language. Leibke Kaganowicz changed his to Leon Kahn when he entered Canada. Schwarz also writes about name changes, which were made mainly because of the antisemitism during the war years and the post-war climate in the Soviet Union (part two of his book is titled Antisemitism in the USSR).

Leon Kahn remembers that when he reached Lodz, following the war, it was "overflowing with nearly thirty thousand Jewish survivors".[55] A little further on we read:

"Although it was still illegal, many Jews were finding a refuge in Israel because an escape route, or ‘Bricha’, had already been organized by the Zionists and financed by Canadian and American Jewish organizations. Branches of this route extended into every country in Europe to bring the survivors together in displaced persons' camps, and then transport them to Israel."[56]

Bricha, or "Beriha, Brichah etc."[57] translates into "Flucht" (flight, escape) according to the German Wikipedia entry on the subject. In this article we read that between 1944 and 1948, about 250 000 people were able to escape Eastern Europe, and that Bricha helped at least 80%, i.e., 200 000 Jews to leave. Another Jewish organisation, "Nativ", operating in Russia, helped Jews from that country to immigrate. In an Ha’aretz article dating from November 4, 2006 we read:

"That is why Nativ was focused and aimed at immigration. And from this point of view, Nativ proved itself. It generated the immigration waves of the 1940s, the 1950s and the 1980s and brought about the immigration of millions of people."[58]

For "people" we must read "Jews", since Nativ was a Jewish organization. Further we have the reports of Jews fleeing from Europe and of refugee camps established in Italy and elsewhere.[59] Franz J. Scheidl also writes about Jewish escapees using various routes.[60]

The numbers of how many Jews were ever under German control vary widely, to list them all would draw this article out unnecessarily. This is also not the topic at hand. However, to give but a few examples, Schwarz, who almost exclusively concentrates on the Soviet Union, writes:

"After having risen from 3,100,000 in January 1939 […] to about 5,000,000 […] after the annexation of 1939 and 1940, it was reduced to something in the excess of 1,800,000 […] after the war."[61]

He seems to have forgotten to subtract the numbers of Jews who were evacuated by the Soviet authorities, and further his total of 1.8 million is wrong. Solzhenitsyn refers to a census taken in the Soviet Union in 1959 which showed that 2 268 000 Jews lived in the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn warns, however:

"It is generally known [...] that there are more Jews in the USSR than is shown by the census, since a Jews is allowed to state his nationality of choice, instead of what is shown in his passport."[62]

Eugene E. Kulischer provides pages of data, showing the movement of peoples, including that of Jews, while relying on an impressive list of sources (in parenthesis, there is not one word about systematic mass killings). It would take too long to cite them all, and thus I will give just the summary:

"Accordingly, the number of Jews compulsorily removed from their homes would be about 2,100,000, or in any case over 2 million, and the total of all uprooted Jews 4,150,000, or in any case over 4 million."[63]

The total of uprooted includes the Jewish refugees from Poland et al, as well as those that had been evacuated by the Soviets. It does not include the Jews from Hungary, however, or of any Jews uprooted following the publishing of the book, i.e., after mid-1943.

As of 1980, 4 million compensation claims by Jews had been filed and paid.[64] The Aufbau, a Jewish New York publication, informed its readers on June 30, 1965, that the number of claimants had doubled in the last ten years, and by now has reached the number of 3,375,000.[65] Yet we are now told that only about one million individuals are involved.[66] That figure is hardly believable, for in Ha’aretz of December 29, 2005 we read that "As of 2005, 40% of the 400,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel live below the poverty line".[67] Also, we have a 2003 report, showing that 1,092,000 survivors were still alive at that time.[68] With that many "survivors" still around, it is reasonable to assume that there were many more in 1945, thus, the number of 4 million claimants might not be that far off after all.


Jews served in the Red Army – a number of them were killed – how many we don’t know. Jews fought as partisans – a number of them were killed – how many we don’t know. Jews were deported by the Germans, forced to serve as slave labour – a number of them died – how many we don’t know. Jews fled ahead of the advancing Germans or were evacuated by the Soviet authorities – how many we don’t know. Jews fled via other countries – how many we don’t know. Jews hid in the forest – how many we don’t know. Jews converted to Catholicism – how many we don’t know. Jews were helped to escape/emigrate by the locals - how many we don’t know. Jews changed their names – how many we don’t know. Jews were helped following the war by various organizations to relocate - how many we don’t know. Etc., etc.

It is therefore impossible to construct a "Holocaust by demographics", because of the many unknowns. Thus, the question: "Well, where are they then?" is a moot question. If we are to believe that "The Holocaust" happened, a solid case for mass murder has to be made. So far this has not been done, and those who claim that "it" did happen, have to realize that it cannot be proven simply by repeating ad nauseam the question: "Well, where are they then?"

In reality, the question is a declaration of bankruptcy, because by asking it is admitted that no solid case for mass murder can be made, for if it were, there would exist no need to ask the question.

[1] W. Maser, Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit über Hitler und Stalin, Olzog, Munich 2004, p. 339.

[2] Ibid., pp. 339-340.

[3] Joint Archive New York, Folder 712. Nota bene: The author of the present article (WH) has gone through the microfilm roll referred to by Maser without finding the corresponding information. This leaves four possibilities: 1) Maser has misrepresented the contents of the folder, for which we see no reason; 2) Maser did not himself access the folder but relied on flawed second-hand information; 3) Maser (or his editor) has stated the wrong folder number; 4) contents have been removed from the folder/microfilm at some time after Maser accessed it. At the moment there is no telling which of these alternatives is correct.

[4] Joint Archive New York, Folder 713.

[5] Louis Rapoport, Hammer, Sichel, Davidstern, Berlin 1992, p. 93.

[6] American Jewish Yearbook, Vol. 50, 1948/49, p. 397.

[7] W. Maser, Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit über Hitler und Stalin, op.cit., p. 340. Cf. also A. Hillgruber, "Der Ostkrieg und die Judenvernichtung", in: Gerd R. Ueberschär, Wolfram Wette, Unternehmen Barbarossa, Schöningh, Paderborn 1984, p. 228, n 69: "The estimates of the number of Jews in the Soviet Union in 1941 varies with a difference of over one million. This is foremost due to the unanswered (and now hardly answerable) question of how many Jews were able to escape before the Germans into the unoccupied territories of the Soviet Union. The estimates range between 2.655 million to 1.6 million."

[8] R. Hilberg, Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden, Berlin 1982, p. 209, 212, 243.

[9] W. Grossman, I. Ehrenburg, A. Lustinger, Das Schwarzbuch, Reinbeck 1994, p. 1022.

[10] Joint Archive, New York, Folder 424.

[11] Gunnar Heinsohn, Jüdische Sklavenarbeiter Hitlerdeutschlands, Bremen 2001, p.62, footnote 102, referenced in: W. Maser, Fälschung, Dichtung und Wahrheit über Hitler und Stalin, op.cit., p. 340.

[12] A. Solzhenitsyn, Die Juden in der Sowjetunion, Herbig, München, 2003.

[13] JW-2 = Evrejskij mir. Ezegodnik na 1939 g. (The Jewish World Yearbook 1939), Vol. 2: New York: Sojuz russkich evreev v N’ju-Jorke (League of Russian Jews in New York), 1944.

[14] I. Sechtman, Sovetskoe evrejstvo v germano-sovetskoj, in JW-2, p. 225f.

[15] A. A. Goldstejn, Sud’ba evreev v okkupirovannoj nemcami Sovetskoj Rossii, in BRJ-2 (BRJ = Kniga o russkom evrejstve, vol. 2: 1917-1967), p. 89, 92.

[16] Rescue: Information Bulletin of the Hebrew Sheltering and Aid Society, HIAS, July-August 1946, vol. III, Nr. 7-8, p. 2.

[17] S. Svarc, Evrei v Sovetskom Sojuze s nacala Vtoroj mirovoj vojny 1939-1956, New York: Verlag des Amerikanischen Jüdischen Arbeiterkomitees, 1966, p.55.

[18] Mose Kaganovic, Der idiser ontajl in partizanerbavegung fun Sovet-Russland, Central Historical Commission of the Partisan Federation PAKHAKH in Italy, Rome 1948, p. 45f.

[19] A. Solzhenitsyn, Die Juden in der Sowjetunion, op.cit., p. 360.

[20] Eugene M. Kulischer, The Displacement of Population in Europe, published by the International Labour Office, Montreal 1943, p. 99.

[21] Ibid., pp. 58-59.

[22] Franz J. Scheidl, Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands, Dr. Scheidl-Verlag, 1020 Wien, Postfach 61, Österreich, vol. 5, part IV, p. 7.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Hermann Graml in Gutachten des Institutes für Zeitgeschichte, Munich 1958, pp. 79-80.

[25] Martin Broszat in Gutachten des Institutes für Zeitgeschichte, Munich 1958, p. 176.

[26] F.J. Scheidl, Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands, op.cit., p. 8.

[27] The Jewish Pale = Poland, Lithuania, Bessarabia and considerable portions of White Russia, Volhynia and Podolia; cf. S. M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, Syracuse University Press 1951, p. 14.

[28] Itsik Fefer, "Sovetn Rateven Ondetalbn Milyon Idn-‘Forverts’ Kon Es Nit Fartrogn", in Morgn Frayhayt, October 21, 1945. This was in reply to the Jewish Daily Forward, July 1, 1945. See also Morgn Frayhayt, October 14, 1945. (Schwarz, p. 229, footnote 46).

[29] Eynikayt, May 29, 1945. Fefer, incidentally, had told the Presidium of the Jewish Antifascist Committee as early as August 1944 that the number of Jews Jews in Kiev was nearly 30,000; this was reported in the same Eynikayt, August 24, 1944 (Schwarz, p.229, footnote 47).

[30] Eugene M. Kulischer, Europe on the Move: War and Population Changes 1917-47, New York 1948, p. 260.

[31] J. V. Stalin, O velikoi otechestvennoi voine Sovetskogo Soyuza (Remarks on the Soviet Union’s Great War for the Fatherland), Moscow 1946, p. 14.

[32] Schwarz, p.325, footnote 50: "Kaganovich fails to mention even as much as the date of issuance of the order. Elsewhere (p. 188) he "quotes" an edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of he USSR purportedly issued "near the end of 1941" bearing the signatures of Kalinin and Gorkin and calling upon Soviet authorities to provide for the evacuation of Jews from imperiled areas. No such order was ever issued; the writer apparently was misled by an apocryphal document, which may also have been the case with the order concerning non- combatants."

[33] B. Slutskii, "Aheym!" (letter from Kazakhstan), Eynikayt, August 23, 1945.

[34] V. Ortenberg, "Zay Gezunt, Uzbekistan", in Eynikayt, August 23, 1945.

[35] B. Slutskii, "Idn in Kazakhstan" (Jews in Kazakhstan), in Eynikayt, July 3, 1945. See also his "Alma-Ata", in the issue of January 19, 1946. Similarly, the deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh Republic, dealing with the "Rebirth of the Kazakh People" (Eynikayt, February 15, 1947), said of the new Jewish residents: "In the years of the war tens of thousands of people — Russians, Ukrainians, White Russians, Jews — were evacuated from the western provinces to Kazakhstan. [. . . ]. After the war thousands of Jews stayed for good in the prosperous republic, and they work here in the factories and plants, in producers’ cooperatives and scientific institutes, displaying model work heroism."

[36] B. London, "Idishe Kulturarbet in Magnitogorsk," (Jewish Cultural Work in Magnitogorsk) in Eynikayt, November 3, 1945.

[37] Eynikayt, December 20, 1945.

[38] S. Rabinovich, "Naye Idishe Yishuvim Zaynen Oysgevaksn in Sovet-Farband" (New Jewish settlements established in outer USSR) in Morgn Frayhayt, December 22, 1946.

[39] In the fall of 1946 Jacob Lestschinsky estimated the number of Jewish refugees and evacuees who "still remained" in Siberia and Central Asia at approximately 250,000 to 300,000, and assumed that up to 250,000 might possibly settle as permanent residents ("Idn in Sovet-Farband: 1946," in Idisher Kemfer, September 27, 1946, p. 98). The present writer [Schwarz] would make a somewhat lower estimate.

[40] Schwarz, p.347, footnote 47: See A. R. L. Gurland, Glimpses of Soviet Jewry: 1,000 Letters from the USSR and DP Camps. Report on Material Collected by the Union of Russian Jews, Inc., New York City, mimeog., on file with the Library of Jewish Information, American Jewish Committee (June 1948). Solzhenitsyn, Chapter 10, pp. 404ff.

[41] S. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, op.cit., pp. 252-253.

[42] Leon Kahn, No time to Mourn, Ronsdale Press & Vancouver Holocaust Education Society, 2004, p. 115.

[43] Ibid., p. 176.

[44] A. Solzhenitsyn, Die Juden in der Sowjetunion, op.cit., pp. 375-376.

[45] S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, op.cit., p. 329.

[46] Ibid.

[47] L. Kahn, No time to Mourn, op.cit., pp. 81-82.

[48] S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, op.cit., p.322.

[49] Ibid., p. 325.

[50] Ibid, p. 317.

[51] Ibid, p.315 (quoting Merder fun Felker, Tsveytse Zamlung, Moscow 1945, p. 3).

[52] Hans Rothfels, Die Deutsche Opposition Gegen Hitler, Scherpe Verlag, Krefeld 1951, pp. 42ff.

[53] Rudolf Aschenauer, Krieg ohne Grenzen, Druffel-Verlag, 1982, p. 247.

[54] S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, op.cit., pp. 241-367.

[55] L. Kahn, No time to Mourn, op.cit., p. 190.

[56] Ibid., p. 192.

[57] http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricha

[58] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/783170.html

[59] Pierre Blet, S.J., Pius XII and the Second World War, Paulist Press New York, 1997, p. 143, 154ff.

[60] Franz J. Scheidl, Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands, Dr. Scheidl Verlag, Wien, 1967, Bd. 5, I. Teil (also footnotes).

[61] S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, op.cit., pp. 354-55. In the passages placed within ellipsis, Schwarz provides the number ranking among the various Soviet nationalities.

[62] A. Solzhenitsyn, Die Juden in der Sowjetunion, op.cit., p. 433. Solzhenitsyn refers to I. Domalski, "Technologija nenavisti" (technology of hatred) in: ZuW (Vremja i my. Mezdunarodnyj zurnal literatury i obscestvennych problem, Tel Aviv/New York) 1978, Nr. 26, pp. 113f.

[63] E. Kulischer, The Displacement of Population in Europe, op.cit., p. 113.

[64] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiedergutmachung

[65] Heinrich Härtle, Deutsche und Juden. Studien zu einem Weltproblem, Druffel Verlag Leoni am Starnberger See, 1977, p. 302.

[66] http://www.global- alliance.net/SFPT/GermanGovernmentIndemnificationSummaryJan2001.htm

[67] The Ha’aretz link has since disappeared, all I have is the reference to it on Wikipedia, look under "Survivors’ welfare in Israel": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftermath_of_the_Holocaust

[68] Prof. Sergio DellaPergola: http://www.icheic.org/pdf/ICHEIC_demography1.pdf

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Wilfried Heink
Title: Well, where are they then?
Published: 2010-05-31
First posted on CODOH: May 31, 2010, 12:11 a.m.
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