The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The following quotes are from an essay by Franciszek Piper in _Anatomy of 
the Auschwitz Death Camp_, Gutman et al., Indiana University Press, 1994. 
 Dr. Piper has been employed in the Department of Historical Research at 
the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum since 1965, and now heads the 

   p. 61:
   In _The Final Solution_, one of the first books to deal with the
   Holocaust, published in 1953, the figure of four million was
   radically reevaluated.  English historian Gerald Reitlinger
   estimated the number of victims of Auschwitz to be roughly 800,000
   to 900,000, based on an analysis of the losses of Jews reported by
   specific countries as well as his study of extermination records.
   Since then, other estimates lower than the figures quoted by the
   Soviet and Polish commissions have been advanced, especially in
   Western publications.  These estimates have ranged upward from one

This fellow asks "who lowered the numbers"?  Obviously the real figures 
were known as early as 1953, long before so-called "revisionists" hit the 

Furthermore, as we're about to see, Dr. Piper himself began a study in 
1980 (which I believe is shortly after he became head of the Historical 
Research department) to determine the number of victims.  His conclusions 
were obviously not based on the four million figure, and just as 
obviously (note the date) had nothing to do with the prattlings of the 

   p. 68:
   This author undertook the study of the number of Auschwitz victims
   in 1980, as part of a broader research project planned and carried
   out by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.  The study's conclusions
   were presented in an extensive document, of which this essay is an
   abridged version, containing only the main theses, premises, and
   pp. 71-2:
   Based on these calculations (1,300,000 deportees minus 200,000
   survivors), at least 1,100,000 persons were killed or died in the
   camp.  But if this number is regarded as a minimum estimate, what
   figure can we accept as a hypothetical ceiling?
   [...]  ...a hypothetical increase in the number of Jews killed at
   Auschwitz can occur only if one lowers the estimates of losses in
   other camps and extermination sites and adjusts the Auschwitz tally
   accordingly. [...]  If Auschwitz is "credited" with this difference,
   the number of Jewish victims killed in the camp would rise to about
   1.35 million, with the total number of Auschwitz victims reaching
   about 1.5 million.

Courtesy Jamie McCarthy     Co-Webmaster of

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