Tragedy by the Numbers ...

On January 27, 2010, our nation paused to remember the 65th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. President Obama sent a delegation to Poland to visit one of the most infamous German death camps.

Between 5 and 6 million Polish citizens were killed during the Holocaust. Three million of these victims were Polish Jews, killed to further the Third Reich’s anti-Semitic policies.

Though evidence is fragmentary, scholars estimate another 2.5 to 3 million non-Jewish Poles were killed. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that at least 1.9 million of these non-Jewish Poles were civilians, killed for no reason beyond Nazi racism and brutality.

Here are some statistics.

   Deportees to Auschwitz
 Deaths in Auschwitz
Jews 1.1 million 1 million
Poles (non-Jewish) 150,000 75,000
Roma / Sinti 23,000 21,000
Soviet POWs 15,000 15,000
Others 25,000 15,000


Allied Soldier Deaths in WWII Source
Soviet Union 8-10 million 1
United States 405,399 2
United Kingdom 347,600 3
Poland 300,000 4
France 210,000 5

1. Overy, Richard. Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945, Penguin Books, 1998
3.,%20Statistics%20and%20Service.pdf p. 10
4. Davies, Norman. No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945. p. 276
5. Frumkin, Gregory. Population Changes in Europe Since 1939, Geneva 1951.


Yad Vashem – Righteous Among Nations

The title of Righteous Among Nations is granted by the Nation of Israel to honor non-Jewish individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Citizens recognized by Yad Vashem
Poland 6,135
Netherlands 4,947
France 2,991
Ukraine 2,246
Germany 460
Russia 163


Polish Citizens in Other Concentration Camps

Unfortunately, we will never know the exact numbers of victims in each camp. Nazi efforts to obscure evidence were at least partially successful. Here is some of what we do know:

  • Over 35,000 Polish citizens – a term that includes both Jewish citizens of Poland and non-Jewish Poles – were held at Dachau.
  • Some 33,000 Polish citizens, all women, were held at Ravensbruck.
  • Nearly 20,000 Polish citizens perished in Sachsenhausen
  • 30,000 died in Mauthausen
  • about 17,000 died in Neuengamme.

Source: Lukas, Richard C. The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944. p. 38-39.)

Prepared by the PAC Washington Office, February 2010

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