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To The Editor

In your April 13 edition there is an article by Ron Kampeas decrying, what he calls the inflated count of non-Jewish victims, as another Holocaust Big Lie. He goes on to say that an estimate of 5 million non-Jews murdered by the Nazis   “ …is however, a number without any scholarly basis,” and ascribes it to being a made up number by Simon Wiesenthal. My intellectual honesty antenna always rises when anybody quotes “facts” without attribution, so I naturally wanted to see what Wikipedia had to say. There is a lengthy, heavily referenced article a
There is no mention of Simon Wiesenthal, but there is much written about the fact that there were about an additional 5 million murdered innocents. Largest among them were Poles, Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Russian POWs. Some quotes from the article are:
Non-Jewish Victims of Nazism included Slavs (e.g. Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Serbs), Romanis (gypsies), French, Belgians, Dutch, Greeks, Italians (after 1943), LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender);[a] the mentally or physically disabled, mentally ill;[b] Soviet POW s, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses,[c] Spanish Republicans, Freemasons,[d] people of color (especially the Afro-German Mischlinge, called “Rhineland Bastards” by Hitler and the Nazi regime); leftists, communists, trade unionists, capitalists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident not considered Aryan (Herrenvolk, or part of the “master race”) as well as those who disagreed with the Nazi regime.[e][19

Despite widely varying treatment (some groups were actively targeted for genocide, while others were not), some died in concentration camps such as Dachau and others from various forms of Nazi brutality. According to extensive documentation (written and photographic) left by the Nazis, eyewitness testimony by survivors, perpetrators and bystanders and records of the occupied countries, most perished in death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The World Must Know  by Michael Berenbaum is a skillfully organized and clearly told account of the German Holocaust that consumed, with unparalleled malevolence, six million Jews and millions of innocent others—Protestants, Catholics, Poles, Russians, Gypsies, the handicapped, and so many others, adults and children. This important book, a vital guide through the unique corridors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., merits the widest of audiences.”—Chaim Potok, author of The Chosen.Kampeas is concerned that including the other 5 million victims detracts from the Jewishness of the Holocaust, which in some sense it does. But it is more important to acknowledge that we are all humans, and all of humanity suffered from the Nazi terror. The Holocaust should be defined as the Jewish horror of WW II. But it is not wise to begrudge the inclusion of others as part of it also.These figures are from the Wikipedia article referenced in my letter.

Polish Jews                 24%
Soviet Jews 8
Romanian Jews             4
All other Eastern European and German Jews              6
Ethnic Poles, Belorussians and Ukrainians                     22%
Soviet POWs                                                                 20
Political Dissidents    10
Yugoslavians 3
Roma       2
Disabled and others            1

Bob Scher
Clifton Park


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