If you just stumbled upon this blog, we are in the midst of leading up to the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day tomorrow. A couple days ago we put faces to the Holocaust and it is important not to overlooking the people in studying the Holocaust. If you missed that post, click here to see it. We also put the Holocaust in context in yesterday’s post. This is the third in the series.
Today, let’s attempt to answer how we know it was 6 million Jews killed. What sources of information can you think of? How about these:
- Reports of missing family and friends. Though there is a degree of validity here, it becomes less reliable when we consider that there were entire families and communities that were wiped out.
- Total Jews pre-1938 to total Jews post-WW2. Again, some validity. However, Jews began scattering prior to the beginning of WW2 and there are no sound statistics as to how many Jews were actually in Europe prior to the Nazi’s scheme to kill Jews. Additionally, Jews were scattered all over the world in 70 AD and there are still Jews discovering their heritage today!
- Verified records, documents, and live testimony. This is the most reliable data. Today, Yad Vashem has confirmed and verified the identities of over 4.5 million, and have pieces of evidence for a million or more to be confirmed and verified. Of note: there are no dental records, etc, as many of the victim’s bodies were burned. However, witnesses, surviving Jews, perpetrators, and bystanders provide the bulk of information. Notably, Nazi recordkeeping was precise and meticulous, due to Hitler and the regime’s intention of systematically killing Jews and recording those deaths so they knew when the job was done.
There are hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence of all kinds collected at Yad Vashem. For example, dozens of “reports” to the upper echelon of the Nazi regime record the deaths of Jews in death camps throughout central Europe. (See example to the left.)
The Holocaust was the result of radical Antisemitism by Nazi Germany, and could not have happened without it. Unfortunately, we are seeing the same attitudes and actions today that led to the Holocaust in Europe in World War 2.
Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Please join us as we pray specifically for Israel, and for the Lord’s intervention in the Antisemitic attitudes that are growing in America and around the world.
See you tomorrow!