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For the important period of Russian-Soviet history there are only three censuses:
the Great Census of 1897
the All Soviet Census of 1926
the census of 1959.
The totals for the three are approximately 125 MM, 145 MM, 175 MM. Now, the growth rate at the time of the first census was relatively high.
Some Difficulties in Getting Reliable Figures
The most obvious and troublesome difficulty is the scarcity of census materials. In some areas, the last prewar census was made in 1930,1931, or 1933.
Chris comments that some writers have concentrated on the census returns supervised by Oscar Wilde's father, without any critical analysis of that source. Chris remarks that individuals were rewarded at the time for fabricating evidence.
“When a census was taken (Exodus, Chapter 30; Numbers, Chapters 1 and 26), the quantification was determined indirectly by using half-shekel coins as surrogates for people.
“In the Book of Samuel, King David is punished for ordering an unauthorized census.
A more likely figure would be 4,700,000, which would account for the Jews in Vilna and Estonia as well as for the additional 20,000 Jews in Old Russia as enumerated in the census of January, 1939.”
However, an appendix has been added which attempts to arrive at a more realistic estimate of Soviet war casualties based on an analysis of postwar USSR census figures from 1959, 1970 and 1979 and a comparison with the Soviet census of 1939 adjusted to the extent possible for border and population changes
They indicate that Sanning was correct in assuming that Soviet post-war census data about the number of Jews who survived World War Two were unreliable.
No other known source claim a mass killing of even remotely this size during 1942, and moreover the figure of 60,000 victims is numerically impossible: In January 1942 there lived some 15,000 Jews in the Vilna ghetto, while according to a census carried out at the end of May the same year, the inhabitants