Human Tragedy and the importance of Numbers.

Everyone knows how important numbers are in any tragedy. The lastest being in Moscow and we all saw how the ‘success’ of 30 hostage deaths became the ‘slaughter’ of 100.

With 9/11 the speculations of 10,000 dead seemed possible to all those watching the towers fall, live on CNN. Yet the subsequent ‘war on terror’ rhetoric became more painful to justify as those numbers dwindled to 2,500.

The acknowledged number of those who died at Auschwitz in the 1947 Polish tribunal was 300,000.
Recent findings, e.g. those of the expert Jean-Claude Pressac, put the figure at 631,000 dead at Auschwitz of which 470,000 were Jews murdered by gas. Spiegel editor Fritjof Meyer more or less agrees: 510,000 dead, of which probably 356,000 murdered by gas.

As Jews fleeing persecution left for Palestine, the British, under their league of nations mandate were unsympathetic and turned them away.

But the Zionists would have there way. They just needed sympathy - they just needed the right numbers. The ‘four million dead’ at Auschwitz played a crucial role in obtaining worldwide support for the illegal state of Israel. The British had left Palestine thus the Zionists played the holocaust card, and continue to do so to this day: no debate on the holocaust is possible - It is non-negotiable.

I believe Revisionism to be a good thing. A recent example: Jenin was independently revised from a massacre, and this had a political consequence. Srebrenica still needs revising.

Numbers of dead in tragedies will always have a profound political consequence. That is why holocaust revisionism is of particularly importance.
If only 1/2 a million Jews and not 4, were murdered at Auschwitz then why does the 6 million total still stand?
How would Israeli justification for their state be affected if the revised figures were considered?
Why aren’t these figures considered (media silence)?
Why is it illegal in some countries to consider these figures?
All important questions - I’m sure some of you will emphasize their importance in your response (with personal accusations).

Peace.

Because the 6 million figure wasn’t arrived at by adding up estimated deaths from all the camps. It was determined by comparing pre-war and post-war European Jewish populations as a whole.

The 4 million-dead-at-Auschwitz “fact” has been rejected for decades by western historians who viewed it as simple Cold War Communist-bloc propaganda.

No. The Nazis were very explicit about their plan to exterminate all the Jews. Whether they managed to kill the accepted 6 million or merely a revisionist 2 million you still have a strong case for a Jewish homeland.

Because the weight of mainstream historical opinion opposes your interpretation. Fringe views are always marginalized. Or do you think its because the powerful Jews in the media are keeping it quiet … ?

Could you be more specific?

Would you feel validated if I called you a dirty Jew-hater? :rolleyes:

Clearly Israel’s existence vexes you. Why?

The Zionist movement existed long before the Holocaust ever happened. I don’t suppose that the movement to make Israel a nation would have been affected if fewer Jews died in WWII.

Um, what “media silence”? I haven’t noticed any media conspiracy not to discuss Holocaust revisionism. A simple search of the BBC online for “holocaust revisionism” brings up 2 pages of hits.

http://newssearch.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/results.pl?scope=newsifs&tab=news&q=holocaust+revisionism

Perhaps because they are closer to the issue than the United States, and it’s still a touchy subject, and they’ve found that it only leads to ugliness, and they have different traditions of “free speech” than the U.S. has?

Because the physical evidence for it, in terms of photographs, diaries, census statistics, and the memories of the survivors, is overwhelming.

Not really. Even 30 hostage deaths wouldn’t be a “success” as such. Even 1 hostage death wouldn’t be a “success”. It would have been better if there had been no deaths but, hey, that was never going to happen so the only way to view it is that 100 deaths is better than 700 deaths but it’s still a tragedy.

Not really. See above re the fact it’s a tragedy however many people die.

Also, the numbers dead have nothing to do with the justification for the war on terror. The terrorists didn’t know that so many people would manage to get out of the towers, their intention was to kill as many as possible. They knew there would be 10 000 (or whatever) in the building so they presumably hoped to kill something approximating that number.

The intention is the important thing, not the numbers dead. The terrorists would be just as evil if everyone had managed to escape and no one had died. This is because they intended to kill as many as possible.

Oh God, not another one. Yawn. Incidentally, in what way is the state of Israel illegal?

Jenin was not “independently revised from a massacre”. In the immediate aftermath of the Israeli action some media outlets started hysterically reporting that there had been a massacre but a subsequent UN inquiry found that there had not, in fact, been a massacre.

This is not revisionism. Revisionism is when you look back at already established facts and question them or interpret them in a new way. This isn’t what happened with the Jenin incident - there were no established facts when the UN started it’s inquiry, the UN inquiry is what established the facts.

If you now wish to take issue with the UN’s findings, that would be revisionism.

Not at all. The foundations of Israel were, I understand, laid out in the Balfour Declaration in the early 20s long before Hitler, Auschwitz and the second world war.

Hitler wasn’t the first person to persecute the Jews, they were kicked out of England for 400 years in the middle ages and the Russians did a rather nice line in pogroms during the nineteenth century, I believe.

Because they are bullshit. British soldiers liberated Belsen, when they returned to Britain they told gruesome tales of what they saw there. These tales were paralleled by the tales of US and Russian soldiers - were they all lying then?

Try googling “Wansee conference”, you will find the actual minutes of the meeting at which the final solution was hatched.

Do you mean Germany? As I understand, being a Nazi in Germany is illegal. This is a mistake IMO - you can’t ban an idea, this will just make it go underground and be all the more intoxicating for it’s illegality.

But I’m not sure that it’s actually illegal in Germany to question the number of people killed in the Holocaust.

Hmm, I think I’ve been quite nice really.

Peace to you too.

Pochacco:-

You say decades, but if you had visited Auschwitz as late as 1989 you would still see the memorial erected by Franciszek Piper stating that “Four Million People Suffered and died here…”.

This was then replaced with one that claims 1 and a half million. That is still 3 times the more recent findings, and this has not yet been acknowledged.

To illustrate the problems in gaining acknowledgement of numbers I quote Wáclaw Dlugoborski, from the Archives of the National Museum of Auschwitz, who told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 1998:

“Shortly after the end of the war it was fixed at four million by a soviet investigation commission, without inquiry. Even though doubts about the accuracy of the estimate existed from the very beginning, it became dogma. Until 1989, a ban was enforced in eastern Europe on challenging the number of four million killed; employees at the Auschwitz memorial site who doubted the accuracy of the estimate were threatened with disciplinary proceedings.”

Maybe, but my point was that numbers are significant. The inflated numbers won them worldwide solidarity and support (including military) in establishing a state unfairly and against the will of the local Arabs.

It is not my interpretation: Read Fritjof Meyer’s paper ‘The Number of Victims of Auschwitz’ in Osteuropa from May this year.
Meyer’s reputation is sound, being a left-wing liberal journalist and widely recognised for independent thought.
It is a fringe view because the powerful Jews in the media are keeping it quiet - there I said it :wink:

Germany. Meyer could technically be prosecuted under Germany’s laws for the suppression of free speech - but why would they want to - he’s no Nazi.

Yes.

Israel’s existence doesn’t vex me - Falsifying history does.

This only supports what I said. Western historians knew for decades that the 4 million figure for Auschwitz was inflated by the Communists for propaganda reasons. When Soviet hegemony crumbled in the late 1980’s the numbers were changed to represent the best consensus of Holocaust historians.

The 1/2 million figure you keep citing is far from accepted as fact by many scholars. It is one of the lowest of many such estimates. Hardly a firm foundation for you to build your case on.

**

Be careful, you’re letting your hidden agenda show … .

As I pointed out, arguing over the number of deaths at one camp does not change the ~6 million total which was derived from comparing total populations before and after the war.

Perhaps if only(!) 2 million Jews had been murdered by the Nazis the west would have been less supportive of Israel. Somehow I doubt it. In any case, debating such historical “what-ifs” is pointless. Israel did have the support of the western powers and exists now as a legitimate state.
**

Germany is understandably touchy about anything that smacks of a Nazi revival or a denial of Holocaust culpability. I hardly think their local restrictions on discussion of the Nazis can be taken as evidence of a worldwide Jewish suppression of the “facts”.

Then I presume you exercise the same vigor in correcting all historical injustices. Pray tell, what is your opinion of the Armenian genocide and its implications for the legitimacy of the states of Turkey and Syria? Or is it only the deaths of Jews that interest you?

Just to clarify one point for your ignorant mind, the 6 M figure is the generally accepted total for ALL OF EUROPE. Aschwitz was just one camp. I don’t believe that figure includes Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill and the other groups persecuted by the Nazis.

As I understand it, much of the facts surrounding the Hollocaust comes from the Nazis themselves. Apparently they had this bizarre obsession with documenting everything.

From: "ThePot@aol.com "
To: “kettle023@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Your blackness!

How does someone contradicting over 50 years of established history accuse someone of being “revisionist”?
I know it sucks that the Jews aren’t a wandering nationless minority anymore but what are you going to do?

;j ;j ;j ;j :mad: ;j ;j ;j ;j ;j ;j

Because the 4 million dead was a Soviet and not Western figure. About 900,000 is the current general estimation.

However, demographic studies still retain that regardless as to exactly how many perished in each various camp, around 5.8 million Jews died nonetheless.

Thank you for your varied points:

Just to answer a few…

Duck Duck Goose:

Yes it would have been harder for them without the worldwide solidarity and support brought about by those magic figures. This happened recently in the former Yugoslavia, when the Bosnian muslims cause was hardened (by the NATO bombing) after the exaggerations of Srebrenica.

Meyer’s report from Osteuropa was discussed in Die Welt - but played down. I havent seen it elsewhere - have you?

JoJO:

I agree with you that an individual death - for that individual - is death - it is irrelevant that more people have died. However for those left behind it is a blow for their race. And the Jewish race took a serious blow in WW2 - the greater that blow is - the more sympathy for the Jewish race there will be - get it?

So “four million-dead-at-auschwitz” was an established fact but was then revised? No no no… Facts at Auschwitz have NEVER been established, and they wont ever be so long as new findings are ignored.

The sheer numbers arriving was starting to piss the Arabs off. For strategic reasons the British sided with them and started turning the boats away. Israel was thus founded on terrorism against the British mandate, and not on the peaceful terms laid out by Balfour.

I haven’t DENIED atrocities - have I?

Pochacco:

I disagree. Many western powers in Europe and especially the people did support Israel but are (again) starting to lose their patience and sympathy with the Jews. Their state may be legitimate in the eyes of some, but anti-semitism is again on the rise, and they are understandably not too popular with the Arabs. Will the Jews will be asking themselves once again soon - Why us?
Maybe those historical “what-ifs” don’t seem so pointless after all…

The Europe in WW2 interests me specifically - hence my research in to the holocaust. I could talk about recent Serb injustices though if you like.

msmith537:

I like the way that you took my accusation that Israel has falsified history as the same calling someone a revisionist. How apparently warped you are to assume that a revisionist IS a falsifier of history.

Daoloth:

Thank you for the most decent response so far. I shall be looking further into these ‘demographic studies’.

I don’t get the entire “sympathy” angle. During and after the Nuremberg War Crimes trials in 1945-6, when the extent of the atrocity was established, there was no massive outcry among the Allied powers demanding a Jewish state.

On the contrary, the Haganah (the pre-1948 provisional Israeli army) engaged in various violent uprisings in defiance of the British administration, who was doing their damndest to block the creation of a Jewish state. Support for Haganah wasn’t coming from a sympathetic American government (as the op suggests), but largely from American Jews, i.e. private citizens. And when the various Arab nations attacked over the decades, the Israelis defended themselves, without receiving direct military support from elsewhere.

American foreign aid to Israel is huge now, but in the early years, it was hardly enough to establish a nation. If anything, the fact that Israel now exists is a testament to the determination of its founders despite the actions and indifference of the postwar Allied governments.

I honestly can’t see the logic of the op’s position. Is the claim that Jews lied about the number of WW2 victims as a means to gain support? What support, from who? Can a list be provided of nations that gave official support to the founding of the modern state of Israel, and to what extent?

Taking the religious element out entirely, Israel is a functioning democracy with peaceful transitions of power, a free press, full suffrage for women and has a number of other “democratic” factors that are absent in its hostile neighbors. If any nation deserved American support (if the Americans are serious about encouraging democracy and freedom internationally), Israel would be it, whether the Holocaust had happened or not (it did).

It was apparently a short essay by Fritjof Meyer in May 2002, published in a German magazine–I can’t tell whether it’s a hard-copy magazine or just an Internet magazine. Website here

http://www.osteuropa.rwth-aachen.de/frame.html

The essay in German.
http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Osteuropa/Fritjof_Meyer1.html

Someone has posted a translation of it.
http://www.air-photo.org/wwwboard/brev_letter/20667.html

So, you’re saying that because this extremely obscure short essay in German wasn’t published or discussed more widely, that proves that there’s a media silence conspiracy on the subject of Holocaust revisionism?

Well, why are you accusing Israel of falsifying history?

The sequence of events:

Spring-Summer, 1945: The Soviets, having liberated Auschwitz, declare that 4,000,000 were slain there.

Beginning Summer 1946: Western analysts begin looking for numbers but do not arrice at a conclusions.

Fall 1945 - Spring 1946: A multi-national commission surveys all of Europe for people who have been murdered, searching census records and interviewing city and national officials while trying to identify people in Displaced Persons camps so as to not to include tham in the list of dead. They arrive (April 1946?) at a figure of approximately 5.8 million Jewish dead without ever conssidering how many might have died at any specific location.

1946 - mid 1950s: Various analyses by western investigators reveal that the Soviet 4,000,000 figure is too high without coming to an exact number.

Now, where do you get an Israeli-falsified history out of this.

The (rounded) 6,000,000 figure is irrelevant to the number of deaths at Auschwitz.
The Israelis had nothing to do with propagating the Soviet figures for Auschwitz.

At this point, it does appear that you seem to have a different agenda than you have claimed.