[Updated on 04.04.2012 to replace broken links to the former RODOH forum.]
In the following I shall attempt a country-by country tabulation of non-Jews who perished through criminal violence by Nazi Germany and its allies during World War II, i.e. of non-Jews who died at the hands of the Nazi “killing apparatus” as defined in Part 1.
This tabulation, which lays no claim to being scientific and is open to any constructive criticism that may lead to improving its accuracy, is based on data known to me from various sources as well as my own estimates. Where I have no data from other sources at my disposal, I use the very detailed Wikipedia page on World War II casualties and other information provided by Wikipedia.
1. Soviet Union
Between 2.53 million and 3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war perished in German captivity due to brutal treatment including mass murder by shooting or starvation, see my article One might think that … and the HC forum thread The Fate of Soviet prisoners of War.
The siege of Leningrad, mentioned in the same article as a criminal undertaking because its purpose was not the surrender of the city but its depopulation (i.e. not a military but an arguably genocidal objective), claimed about one million civilian lives (see also the HC forum thread The Siege of Leningrad).
As concerns Soviet citizens shot, gassed, hung or burnt to death by German and Romanian occupation forces, the Soviet Extraordinary Commission (see Nick Terry’s post of 26 Feb 2006 22:42 on the Axis History Forum) gave a number of ca. 6 million, thereof 2.8 million Jews and 3.2 million non-Jews. While the figure for Jews seems fairly accurate if compared with more recent data (see the post following my aforementioned article), I consider the figure for non-Jews to be too high; it probably includes collateral civilian victims of military operations as well as civilians executed by shooting, gassing, hanging or burning. The number of the latter in the course of anti-partisan operations (the brutality of which is described in detail, for the territory of Belorussia, in Christian Gerlach’s book Kalkulierte Morde, see translated excerpts on the HC forum thread The Nazi struggle against Soviet partisans) has been estimated at ca. one million (Richard Overy, Russia’s War, page 151). One million civilians killed by the Wehrmacht in anti-partisan fighting are mentioned in a 1999 interview by the German newsmagazine SPIEGEL with German historian Rolf-Dieter Müller. The USHMM provides the following information regarding anti-partisan fighting in the Nazi-occupied Soviet territories:
Some of the so-called anti-partisan operations, particularly in the occupied Soviet Union, were in effect efforts to depopulate the Soviet countryside. The Germans massacred hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Soviet civilians in their villages. The vast majority of these victims had little or no connection to partisan resistance.
How many civilians died of starvation, related diseases and exposure in Nazi-occupied territory due to Nazi exploitation policies including ruthless food requisitioning, expulsions/deportations and forced labor? In footnote 21 of their article Soviet Deaths in the Great Patriotic War: A Note, Michael Ellman and S. Maksudov mention “preliminary calculations” made by one of them according to which ”deaths from the German occupation (killing of Jews, deaths in the siege of Leningrad, deaths from the fighting, excess deaths on the occupied territories resulting from the deterioration in living conditions) were about 7 million. Of these, about 1 million were in the siege of Leningrad and 3 million were Jews. Of the latter, about 2 million were Jews from the newly annexed territories, and 1 million Jews from old Soviet territory”. These ”rough preliminary estimates on a topic which still awaits serious research” leave 3 million non-Jewish civilians in Nazi-occupied territory who died as collateral casualties of the fighting, were massacred in anti-partisan operations or died due to the deterioration in living conditions. If equal probability is assigned to each of these 3 possibilities (collateral casualties, victims of anti-partisan operations, deaths from deterioration in living conditions), we get one million collateral civilian deaths (not included in this tabulation), one million victims of anti-partisan operations and one million deaths from deterioration in living conditions. Deaths in the latter two categories can be mostly attributed to the policies and actions of the Nazi occupiers and their allies, including the implementation of the murderous “Hunger Plan” addressed in this article. However, I shall conservatively assume that only half of the ca. 3 million non-Jewish Soviet civilian deaths in Nazi-occupied territory were directly attributable to the implementation of the Nazis’ criminal occupation and exploitation policies, the balance being collateral victims of the fighting at the front, starvation deaths due to the Soviet scorched-earth policy during the retreats in 1941/42 (which for time reasons already cannot have caused nearly as much damage and mortality as the Nazis’ exploitation policies and the scorched-earth devastation wrought by retreating German forces) and civilians killed by irregular forces fighting the occupier.
The sum total of Soviet prisoners of war and non-Jewish civilians killed by criminal Nazi violence would thus be between ca. 5.03 million and 5.8 million, broken down as follows:
2.53 million to 3.3 million prisoners of war
1 million civilian victims of the siege of Leningrad
1.5 million civilian victims of anti-partisan operations and other Nazi brutality in occupied territory, including forced-labor exploitation and starvation induced by Nazi exploitation policies.
The number of Soviet non-Jewish victims of Nazi crimes alone equals or exceeds Wiesenthal’s “invented” total of 5 million non-Jewish victims. It also comes close to the total of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution and mass murder in all of Europe. Regarding the latter see Nick Terry's AHF reference thread Number of Victims of the Holocaust.
The USHMM’s article Poles: Victims of the Nazi Era contains the following information about the number of non-Jewish victims of Nazi occupation in Poland:
In the past, many estimates of losses were based on a Polish report of 1947 requesting reparations from the Germans; this often cited document tallied population losses of 6 million for all Polish "nationals" (Poles, Jews, and other minorities). Subtracting 3 million Polish Jewish victims, the report claimed 3 million non-Jewish victims of the Nazi terror, including civilian and military casualties of war.
Documentation remains fragmentary, but today scholars of independent Poland believe that 1.8 to 1.9 million Polish civilians (non-Jews) were victims of German Occupation policies and the war. This approximate total includes Poles killed in executions or who died in prisons, forced labor, and concentration camps. It also includes an estimated 225,000 civilian victims of the 1944 Warsaw uprising, more than 50,000 civilians who died during the 1939 invasion and siege of Warsaw, and a relatively small but unknown number of civilians killed during the Allies' military campaign of 1944—45 to liberate Poland.
So much for the accuracy of the claim, unfortunately still repeated on sites like those mentioned in Part 1 of this article, that 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed in whatever it is that these sites mean by the “Holocaust”.
The current estimates by Polish scholars also include collateral civilian casualties of war, so the number of Polish civilians who fell victims to Nazi occupation policies must be somewhat lower than 1.8 to 1.9 million. Assuming a total of 300,000 civilian victims of the 1939 invasion, the Warsaw Uprising and the military campaign of 1944-45, and that two thirds of these were collateral casualties of the fighting and not victims of Nazi executions and massacres, the number of Polish non-Jews who perished due to Nazi occupation policies would be 1.6 to 1.7 million, the lower figure being close to an estimate of 1.55 million by Polish historian Bogdan Musial, mentioned in a H-Holocaust post by Steve Paulsson. It is not stated in this post whether Musial’s estimate includes collateral war casualties or not, or whether it refers to the territory of Poland in 1939 (including areas that later became part of the Soviet Union) or to the postwar Polish territory. In the former case, and assuming that Musial counted not only ethnic Poles but also ethnic Belorussians and Ukrainians, there is a partial overlapping between Musial’s figure and the estimates about Soviet civilian victims in item 1 above. In order to be on the safe side considering these unknowns, I’ll reduce Musial’s figure by one-third (which, of course, is a mere guess) and assume that the number of non-Jewish Polish civilians killed by Nazi occupation policies on the territory of the present-day Polish Republic was about one million.
Adding these one million to the 5.03 to 5.8 million Soviet non-combatants killed by Nazi criminal violence, we have 6.03 to 6.8 million non-Jewish victims of such violence in the Soviet Union and Poland alone, i.e. an order of magnitude close to or exceeding even the highest estimates on the number of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution and mass murder throughout Europe.
The Wikipedia page on World War II casualties mentions 43,000 non-Jewish civilian dead for Czechoslovakia. Footnote 11 mentions 26,500 non-Jewish victims of Nazi reprisals, 10,000 civilians killed in military operations and 7,500 victims of the genocide of Roma people. These figures add up to 44,000. For the purpose of my count I’ll assume 33,000 non-Jewish victims of Nazi repressive or exterminatory violence in Czechoslovakia.
The late Croatian economist and United Nations specialist Vladimir Žerjavić published a detailed study on Yugoslavia’s war losses during World War II, some figures from which are available on this site. Of the total of 1,027,000 losses, according to Žerjavić, 947,000 occurred on Yugoslavian territory and 80,000 abroad (Table 3). These include 237,000 resistance fighters, 209,000 “collaborators and quislings” and 501,000 “victims”, thereof 216,000 in camps and 285,000 “in places” (Table 5). I assume that the category “collaborators and quislings” refers to ethnic Croats, Slovenians, Germans and others killed in combat or otherwise by forces of the People’s Liberation Army, whereas the 501,000 “victims” include people killed by either the German, Italian or Hungarian occupiers, the Royalist Chetniks or the forces of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) , Nazi Germany’s ally. Serb civilian losses on the territory of the NDH, according to Žerjavić, totaled 197,000; thereof 45,000 were killed by German forces, 15,000 by Italian forces, 28,000 in “prisons, pits and other camps” and 50,000 were killed in the Jasenovac-Gradina camp, whereas 25,000 died of typhoid and 34,000 were killed “in battles between Ustashas, Chetniks and Partisans”. The total of Serb civilians who fell victim to criminal killings by Axis forces on the territory of the NDH would thus be 138,000, out of 197,000 civilian victims in total, or ca. 70 %. Applying this relation to the above-mentioned total of 501,000 civilian victims on Yugoslav territory, we get about 350,000 victims of criminal killings vs. 150,000 deaths from disease or as collateral casualties of the fighting. Mass killings did not only take place on the territory of the NDH, but also in other parts of former Yugoslavia. Reprisal actions by German forces in Serbia until 1 December 1941 killed 15,000 people, of which some 4,500 to 5,000 were Jews and Gypsies. In the Serbian region of Vojvodina, Axis forces are reported to have killed a total of 55,285 people between 1941 and 1944. These partial figures, as well as the fact that Axis (mainly German, Italian, Hungarian and Croatian) forces were more numerous and better organized than the Chetniks, also in what concerns their killing operations, make it seem reasonable to assume that at least three in four victims of criminal killings on Yugoslavian territory, i.e. ca. 260,000 out of 350,000, were killed by Axis forces. Included herein are ca. 33,000 Jews killed on Yugoslavian territory according to Žerjavić’s Table 3, the balance of ca. 227,000 being non-Jewish victims including Serbs, Roma Gypsies and members of other ethnicities.
Žerjavić also mentions a total of 80,000 inhabitants of Yugoslavia who were killed abroad, thereof 24,000 Jews, 33,000 Serbs, 14,000 Croatians, 6,000 Slovenians and 3,000 Muslims. The Serbs are likely to have been prisoners of war from the Balkans campaign or civilian forced laborers who died in German captivity. According to an article about prisoners of war on the website of the German Historical Museum, which I once translated (see “witness”’s post of 24 Sep 2003 00:26 on the Axis History Forum), about 100,000 Serbian prisoners taken in 1941 during the German Balkans Campaign, so-called “Südostgefangene” (south eastern prisoners) were employed in the German economy under the worst conditions. German historian Hellmuth Auerbach, in an article about the victims of National Socialist violence and the Second World War included in Wolfgang Benz et al, Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile (the article is also available online), mentioned (my translation) “at least 500,000 Yugoslavs who died in German labor camps and concentration camps”. While this figure (which is incompatible with Žerjavić’s calculations) strikes me as too high, it is likely that conditions for Serbian prisoners of war and civilians in Nazi concentration and labor camps outside Yugoslavia were not much better than in the Sajmište concentration camp near Belgrade. I therefore consider it justified to add Žerjavić’s 33,000 Serb fatalities outside Yugoslavia to the estimated 227,000 non-Jews killed by Axis forces on Yugoslavian territory, for a total of 260,000 non-Jewish Yugoslavian victims of Axis crimes during World War II.
I know of no data about non-combatant casualties due to the action of Axis forces.
The World War II Casualties page mentions 15,000 Romanians who died in German captivity and 36,000 victims of the genocide of Roma people. I know no details about the conditions of captivity for Romanian POWs, i.e. whether they were as brutally treated as Soviet, Serbian or Italian prisoners of war (see items 1 and 4 above and 10 below), but as these deaths must have occurred during the period between Romania’s joining the Allies in August 1944 and the end of the war, and as the number of prisoners of war taken by the Germans from among the 538,000 Romanian soldiers who fought against the Axis in 1944-45 cannot have been very high, the assumption seems warranted that Romanian prisoners of war were treated no differently from Soviet ones, also considering probable German resentment about Romania having switched sides. Therefore I add the Romanian POWs who perished in German captivity to the victims of the Roma genocide in Romania, which gives a total of 51,000 non-Jewish Romanian victims of Axis crimes.
According to the World War II Casualties page, there were 28,000 victims of the genocide of Roma people in Hungary.
The available data mention an “unknown number” of civilians included in ca. 10,000 Anti-Fascist partisan deaths. I know nothing about the particulars of Axis anti-partisan fighting in Bulgaria and therefore refrain from even guessing what the number of civilians killed in anti-partisan operations may have been.
The World War II Casualties page mentions “60,000 non-Jewish civilians, 20,000 non Jewish deportees and 140,000 famine deaths during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II”. The total of these figures is 220,000. However, the famine cannot be wholly attributed to Axis occupation forces, who don’t seem to have pursued a starvation policy here like in the Soviet Union (see item 1 above). According to the Wikipedia page about the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, “Requisitions, together with the Allied blockade of Greece, the ruined state of the country's infrastructure and the emergence of a powerful and well-connected black market, resulted in the Great Famine during the winter of 1941-42 (Greek: Μεγάλος Λιμός), when an estimated 300,000 people perished.”. I take the lower figure on starvation deaths (140,000) and assume that Axis requisition policies accounted for about half hereof. The total number of Greek non-Jewish victims of Axis crimes would thus be 60,000 + 20,000 + 70,000 = 150,000.
In his article about German War Crimes against Italians, German historian Gerhard Schreiber writes the following (my translation):
There is no war crime or crime against humanity that members of the German Wehrmacht, SS and Police did not commit against Italian men, women and children after Italy's exiting the war on 8 September 1943.(1) In the following, however, only killings legitimated by the state, i.e. ordered by the National Socialist political and military leadership, are taken into account. Such misdeeds claimed about 16,600 civilian victims, thereof about 7,400 Jews. Additionally there were about 37,000 political deportees and thousands of members of the Italian armed forces shot while or after laying down their arms, furthermore many of the about 46,000 military internees who perished in prisoner of war or labor camps, during transport or during forced labor. In fact these were soldiers loyal to the king captured after the Italian-Allied armistice, whom the German side denied the rights provided for in the Geneva Convention about the treatment of prisoners of war dated 27 July 1929.(2)
As Schreiber does not attribute all deaths among the military internees to “misdeeds”, I’ll assume 30,000 military internee victims of criminal behavior on the part of their captors. This figure tallies with the one given on the World War II Casualties page. It is not clear whether the latter figure includes the “thousands of members of the Italian armed forces shot down while or after laying down their arms”, which are mentioned by Schreiber but not included in his figures. I assume that they do and add up 30,000 POWs, 37,000 political deportees and 16,600 minus 7,400 = 9,200 non-Jewish civilian victims of German “misdeeds” to a total of 76,200 non-Jewish Italian victims of Axis crimes.
I know of no data about non-combatant casualties.
The World War II Casualties page mentions 40,000 French POWs who died in Germany. This number must be set against the total of French prisoners of war taken by the Germans – 1.9 million during the 1940 campaign alone (see my translation of an excerpt from Christian Gerlach’s Krieg, Ernährung, Völkermord, in which Gerlach compares the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war with that accorded to the French prisoners of the 1940 campaign). A lower figure is given by Christian Streit on page 244 of his book Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945, 2nd edition 1997, from which I translated the following excerpt:
If one deducts from the total number of Soviet prisoners who fell into German hands those who were still in captivity on 1 January 1945 – 930,287 -, the estimated number of releases – 1,000,000 – and the estimated number of prisoners who got back to the Soviet side through escape or during the retreats – 500,000 –, there results a number of about 3,300,000 prisoners who perished in German captivity or were murdered by the Einsatzkommandos, i.e. 57.8 per cent of the total number of prisoners.
The full significance of this number shows when comparing it to the mortality of other prisoners in German custody. Until 31 January 1945 there had died 14,147 of the French, 1,851 of the British and 136 of the American prisoners. In relation to the respective total number these deaths amounted to 1.58 per cent for the French, 1.15 per cent for the British and 0.3 per cent for the Americans. [Footnote: Based on the number of existing prisoners as of 1.11.1944, according to a listing of the Wehrmacht Information Bureau: French 893,672, British 161,386, Americans 45,576. The number of French prisoners was originally much higher, but a great many had been released. Of the Polish prisoners there were 67,055 still registered on 1.11.1944, so that the mortality (with 3,299 deaths) would be 4.92 per cent. It must be taken into account in this respect that also in their case the overwhelming majority had been released, although they had been treated considerably worse than the released French prisoners of war. If in the case of the French also those released were taken into account, the distance towards the mortality of Soviet prisoners of war would be even greater.]
Considering the comparatively low mortality rate (by any count) of French POWs, and the fact that the conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war were largely complied with by the Germans in the western theaters of war (see “witness”’s post of 24 Sep 2003 00:26 on the Axis History Forum), it does not seem justified to count the French POWs who died in German captivity as victims of Axis crimes.
Regarding civilian victims in France, the World War II Casualties page mentions “230,000 victims of the Nazi reprisals and genocide (including 83,000 Jews)”. Included in the 147,000 non-Jewish victims are 15,000 victims of the genocide of Roma people and “20,000 anti-Fascist Spanish refugees resident in France who were deported to Nazi camps”.
The World War II Casualties page mentions “16,900 non-Jewish victims of Nazi reprisals and repression”. Not included in this number are 500 victims of the genocide of Roma people in Belgium, who bring the total of non-Jewish Belgian victims of Axis crimes to 17,400.
The World War II Casualties page mentions 58,050 non-Jewish victims of Nazi reprisals and repression and 16,000 deaths in the Dutch famine of 1944, plus 500 victims of the Nazi genocide of Roma people not included in these figures. I consider the Dutch famine of 1944 to have been wholly the German occupiers’ responsibility, insofar as it was unleashed by a retaliatory food embargo decreed by the occupiers and worsened by, among other factors, the destruction of locks and bridges by the retreating German forces to flood the country and impede the Allied advance. The total of Dutch non-Jewish victims of Axis crimes would thus be 74,550.
The only non-Jewish victims of Axis crimes mentioned on the World War II Casualties page are 200 victims of the genocide of the Roma people. Information on this page shows that there were also non-combatant occupation victims among the Luxembourgers who were neither Jews nor Gypsies, but I have no source allowing for their quantification.
The World War II Casualties page mentions 658 political prisoners and members of the underground who died at home and 1,433 who died abroad, a total of 2,091. Armed resistance fighters are apparently not included in this figure, as they are listed together with members of the regular forces as military casualties (I consider non-violent underground members who were killed by the Germans or died in German captivity to be victims of Axis crimes, but not armed partisans as it is controversial whether and under what conditions they are legal combatants; casualties of armed partisan forces are thus for the purpose of my count treated like military combat casualties even where partisans were executed following capture, i.e. not included in the count.)
The World War II Casualties page mentions 628 non-Jewish civilian victims of Nazi reprisals.
The World War II Casualties page mentions 10,000 victims of Nazi political persecution from 1939 to 1945 and 6,500 victims of the genocide of Roma people. The total number of non-Jewish Austrian victims of Axis crimes would thus be 16,500.
Nazi repression and genocide in Germany proper is stated on the World War II Casualties page to have claimed 762,000 victims, including “300,000 political prisoners, victims of the Action T4 euthanasia program, Gay men and 160,000 German Jews”. While the figure for German Jews is accurate, the balance of 602,000 non-Jewish victims seems to be a distinct exaggeration, especially as 302,000 are supposed to have been others than political prisoners, victims of the Action T4 euthanasia program and homosexuals. The genocide of Roma people is stated to have claimed 15,000 victims in Germany, so who are the remaining 287,000 supposed to have been?
An addition of victims from the various categories leads to a far lower total:
“Euthanasia”: according to the USHMM, the Action T4 euthanasia program and its unofficial sequels claimed a total of 200,000 victims, including “geriatric patients, bombing victims, and foreign forced laborers”. In his article referred to under item 4, Hellmuth Auerbach mentioned (my translation) “about 100,000 mainly German mental patients and handicapped persons (so-called Euthanasia victims)”. I choose the lower figure, also considering that the higher one is stated to include non-Germans, who would already have been counted under the items referring to their countries of origin.
Homosexuals: The Wikipedia page History of gay men in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust mentions an estimated “5,000 to 15,000” who were incarcerated in concentration camps, and informs that a leading scholar on the subject “believes that the death rate in concentration camps of imprisoned homosexuals may have been as high as 60%”. Assuming the lowest estimate on the number of concentration camp inmates, this rate would mean 3,000 deaths.
Jehovah’s Witnesses: According to the USHMM,
The number of Jehovah's Witnesses who died in concentration camps and prisons during the Nazi era is estimated at 1,000 Germans and 400 from other countries, including about 90 Austrians and 120 Dutch.(…)In addition, about 250 German Jehovah's Witnesses were executed -- mostly after being tried and convicted by military tribunals -- for refusing to serve in the German military..
This means that about 1,250 German Jehovah’s Witnesses were fatal victims of Nazi repression.
Political prisoners: Auerbach mentioned (my translation) ”about 130,000 non-Jewish persons of German nationality who actively or passively resisted the regime on political or religious grounds”. Deducting 1,250 Jehovah’s witnesses, this would leave 128,750 Germans who were executed or perished in prisons or concentration camps due to political opposition. This number seems high to me considering that only a minor part of concentration camp prisoners and deaths in concentration camps were German citizens, as pointed out by Richard Overy on pages 611 ff of his book The Dictators:
The German camps were overwhelmingly populated by non-Germans for more than half their life. During the war years an estimated 90-95 per cent of camp prisoners were drawn from the rest of Europe. The great majority of those who died or were killed in all the camps were drawn from their non-German populations. The SS sub-camps at Gusen contained only 4.9 per cent ethnic Germans in 1942 (half the prisoners were Spanish republicans, over a quarter Russians). At Natzweiler only 4 per cent of the political prisoners by 1944 were Germans; at Buchenwald only 11 per cent were German in May 1944. By 1944 there were more Soviet citizens in captivity in Germany than in the USSR.
On the other hand, Nazi terror against the German population was carried out not only through confinement in concentration camps, but also through the judicial system and, in what concerns the armed forces, the military courts-martial. In his study Furchtbare Juristen, about the German judicial system before, during and after the Nazi era, German legal scholar Ingo Müller estimates a total of 80,000 victims of Nazi judicial brutality, including the courts in the occupied territories which issued death sentences “in an inflationary manner” against non-German nationals. A significant part of these victims of judicial murder were Germans, including soldiers sentenced to death by flying courts-martial for actual or suspected desertion (about 15,000 German soldiers were executed for desertion during World War II, whereas only 48 death sentences were carried out in the German Army between 1914 and 1918) and civilians executed for such puny offenses as making derogatory remarks about the Nazi regime or grabbing a sausage and a bottle of perfume while helping to remove large stocks of both from a burning building following a bombing attack (among other cases described in Müller’s book).
Taking into account the judicial murders, and also for lack of a sourced alternative, I accept Auerbach’s figure of 130,000 as being the total of all non-Jewish German victims of Nazi crimes other than the victims of the Roma genocide and the disabled who fell victim to the “euthanasia” program, including opponents on political or religious grounds as well as “asocials” and criminals held in concentration camps, soldiers executed for desertion and civilian victims of judicial murder, and also people killed by diehard Nazis in the last months of the war for hanging out a white flag, disarming teenage Hitler Youths and telling them to go home or simply failing to join Volkssturm units in last-ditch defense efforts.
The total number of German non-Jewish victims of Nazi repression and genocide would thus be 245,000 (15,000 German Roma, 100,000 disabled and 130,000 others).
20. Sum total
According to the above estimates (rounded up or down to the nearest thousand), the total number of non-Jews who perished through criminal violence by Nazi Germany and its allies during World War II, i.e. of non-Jews who died at the hands of the Nazi “killing apparatus” as defined in Part 1 of this article, is the following:
Soviet Union 5,030,000 to 5,800,000
Total 7,131,000 to 7,901,000
Even the lowest of these totals (7,131,000) exceeds by far not only the 5 million non-Jewish victims “invented” by Simon Wiesenthal but also the highest estimates (around 6 million) of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazi “killing apparatus”. If we consider Nick Terry’s minimum estimate of ca. 5,364,000 Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, the minimum total of people who died at the hands of the Nazi “killing apparatus” would be 5,364,000 + 7,131,000 = 12,495,000, thereof 43 % Jews and 57 % non-Jews.
Only a minority of the non-Jewish victims of Axis crimes belongs to the categories included in Mrs. Schwartz’s “Five Milion Forgotten” (see Part 1). According to item 2 above, her figure of 3 million “Polish Christians and Catholics” must be divided by two or three, depending on whether or not it covers the territory of Poland in its pre-war borders, i.e. including the areas that later became part of the Soviet Union. Her figure for Roma dead in the section “Who Were the Five Million Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims?” of her website (half a million) corresponds to the high range of estimates on the victims of the Roma genocide; more conservative estimates (including, according to this article, those of Donald Kendrick and Grattan Puxon, on whose book the numbers per country mentioned in the World War II casualties page are based) indicate around 200,000 Gypsies killed by the Nazis. As concerns disabled people, the highest estimate mentioned under item 19 above is that of the USHMM (ca. 200,000), which includes non-German victims. Mrs. Schwartz’s figures for homosexuals killed in Nazi concentration camps (5,000 to 15,000) actually refer to the estimated number of homosexuals imprisoned in concentration camps; if 60 % of these died, as considered possible by a leading scholar on the subject (see item 19 above), the number of dead would be between 3,000 and 9,000. The total number of German and non-German Jehovah’s Witnesses who died at the hands of the Nazis, according to the USHMM, is 1,650. As to Mrs. Schwartz’s categories “Men and Women of Courage From All Nations” and “Priests and Pastors”, the sad fact is that comparatively few of the civilian victims of Axis repression had turned against the Nazis by hiding Jews, providing assistance to partisans, holding sermons to their parish or in any other none-violent manner (armed resistance fighters are not included in my count, see item 16 above). Most victims were caught up in reprisals or anti-partisan operations independently of any action of their own.
According to the above, the number of non-Jewish victims of the “Nazi killing apparatus” as defined in Part 1 of this article is considerably higher than the 5 million non-Jewish victims “invented” by Simon Wiesenthal, while on the other hand, the combined number of Polish Christians, Gypsies, disabled people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and opponents of the Nazis on political or religious grounds, i.e. the categories pointed out on the “Five Million Forgotten” site, makes up just about 20 % of my lower total of over 7 million victims of criminal violence by the Nazis and their allies (roughly 1 ½ million).
Now, what’s the purpose of this exercise, which some may consider a rude and/or pointless reduction of incommensurable human suffering to crude figures?
I think it is important, given the widespread lack of knowledge about non-Jewish victims of Nazi crimes, the false notions that are in this regard conveyed by sites like “Five Million Forgotten” and the incidental, though probably unintended playing-down of non-Jewish suffering and death at the hands of the “Nazi killing apparatus”, with the hollowness of Wiesenthal’s “five million” as a key argument, by Michael Berenbaum , Walter Reich and others, to provide an idea of the overall magnitude of Nazi criminal killings of non-Jews that is as detailed and accurate as possible.
The present article pretends to be no more than a first attempt in this sense, which I hope will encourage researchers with a broader access to sources than I have to further develop and study the subject.
A discussion of this article has been opened on the RODOH forum.