Sunday, April 04, 2010

New York Times, June 10, 1945 - Estimate of number of Jews murdered

The New York Times reported on June 10, 1945, about the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. Since this is such an early report, some of the information in this article was later known to be inaccurate, but this is the first version of what happened to the Jews of Europe under the Nazis.
All Those Left in Europe were Marked for Death by 1946, AMG [Allied Military Government] Investigation Shows
Only 150,000 Survived
Extermination Plan Revealed - Russians Estimate Several Million Died in East

FRANKFURT ON MAIN, Germany, June 8 (Delayed) (U.P.) - The Nazis exterminated at least 80 percent of Germany's Jews, and every remaining Jew in occupied Europe was marked for murder before the summer of 1946, it was revealed today.

It now is possible to give the full story of the Nazis' plan to wipe out all of Europe's 12,000,000 Jews. Allied Military Government authorities, after a painstaking study, reported that a majority of the Jews in Germany met death between 1939 and 1942. Russian officials estimate several million Jews were exterminated at concentration camps in Poland and White Russia during the German occupation.

On the basis of this information, it is believed that less than 20 percent, or about 150,000 of the original group in the Reich, survived the reign of terror. These survivors are being returned to their homes as soon as possible. Germans who dispossessed them are being ousted. In most cases, this is done without serious friction, despite the years of intensive anti-Semitic propaganda.

Synagogues Reopened

In several cities, including Aachen, Cologne, and Frankfort on Main, synagogues have been reopened and Jewish services conducted for the first time since November, 1938.

Some homeless Jews are cared for by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Included are 500 Jewish children, mostly between the ages of 15 and 17, but some as young as 10. They were rescued from the Buchenwald camp and now are at Thionville in Lorraine, in the French zone.

The Nazis' master plan was engineered by Dr. Alfred Rosenberg, reportedly an Allied prisoner. He was aided by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler. The plan originally called for a "Jew-free Reich" by April 1, 1942, as a birthday present to Adolf Hitler, but it was slowed down by transportation difficulties.

Its first stage began after Poland fell in 1939. Jews were to be used as slave laborers in war factories built in that country. They were to die gradually of starvation,  disease and cold. The first contingent of Jews from Germany was rounded up in Stettin, Cologne and Frankfort on Main - about 50,000 in all. They were shipped to Lublin in October and November, 1939. Transportation trouble set in and only a few thousand were deported eastward during the next two years.

Few left unmolested

The drive began in earnest in September, 1941. It continued full blast until scarcely a Jew was left unmolested in Germany or any occupied country. In Berlin the Nazis began in 1941 to deport about 20,000 persons eastward each month. They were stripped, searched, robbed and then packed in trucks and rail cars. Some worked in airplane and textile plants. Others were thrown into ghettos. Thousands went straight to extermination camps.

Relatives and friends in the Reich seldom if ever heard of them again. More than once the trains were stopped and all Jews were ordered out and massacred.

The third stage of the program was launched early in 1943, well after the original deadline for the whole plan. The Nazis rounded up and deported Jews from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Some were sent to Poland and others to concentration camps in Germany. Tens of thousands were killed monthly in these camps. The Nazis in 1943 began emptying the ghettos of Warsaw, Riga, Lublin and other large cities, and started systematic extermination by gas.

UNRRA officials expressed the belief that if the war had lasted another year, the Nazis might have come very close to their objective of wiping out all Jews in Europe.

Starvation Still Reported

The Vaad Hatzala Emergency Committee, with headquarters at 32 Nassau Street, disclosed yesterday that Jewish survivors of Nazi horror camps, freed but temporarily residing there until they can be repatriated or emigrated, "are living under conditions bordering upon starvation." The committee said that it had received word of the plight of the Jewish survivors from Isaac Sternbuch, its representative in Switzerland, who made a cabled plea for relief funds.

Mr. Sternbuch said all available food stocks purchased abroad with Vaad Hatzala funds already had been dispatched on International Red Cross trucks to concentration camps at Landsberg, Dachau, Mauthausen and Theresienstadt.

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