Did eleven million really die? Simon Wiesenthal’s many inventions


In the 1970s, Wiesenthal began to refer to “eleven million victims” of the Holocaust, six million Jews and five million non-Jews, but the latter number had no basis in historical reality. (…)

When Israeli historians Yehuda Bauer and Yisrael Gutman challenged Wiesenthal on this point, he admitted that he had invented the figure of eleven million victims in order to stimulate interest in the Holocaust among non-Jews. He chose five million because it was almost, but not quite, as large as six million. (…) In recent months, Wiesenthal’s concoction has been further improved upon by a group of rabbis and imams who visited Auschwitz under the aegis of the US State Department. The statement they issued after their visit referred to the “twelve million victims, six million Jews and six million non-Jews.” Now we have parity.

One wonders what’s next. (…)

Any falsification with respect to the Holocaust, whatever its purpose may be, gives comfort and solace, not to speak of ammunition, to Holocaust deniers. It enables them to turn the tables and to claim that the “defenders of the Holohoax” are the ones guilty of fabricating history.

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