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I am not a Holocaust denier but I am skeptical of some of the reported numbers and details of the historical event. Is there any evidence that 6 million Jews were executed as part of a plan to eliminate the Jewish people? I am also skeptical of some of the accounts of Jewish skin used for lampshades and shrunken heads of concentration camp inmates.

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I have suggested an edit to bring this question up to minimal standards; but please do improve it further by quoting the actual claims you are talking about. The phrase "is there any evidence" is very inappropriate in the context of a historical genocide which has been thoroughly researched. –  codesparkle Apr 24 at 2:28
    
@codesparkle I think was talking about the 6000 000 number being accurate...ish. He didn't deny the Genocide, he was just expressing his disbelief in the number (for no stated reason) –  chubakueno Apr 24 at 2:31
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Normally, I would recommend that this be broken into two questions (Were 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust? Were lamps made from skin?), but people have already answered, so I'm letting it go. –  Oddthinking Apr 24 at 4:13
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This anecdotal account found that one such purported lampshade turned out not to be real, and that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum believe it to be a myth. Not a definitive answer, though. –  Oddthinking Apr 24 at 4:17
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So regarding the 6 milion number, you say that you don't trust wikipedia on that matter? (with all the references etc) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Victims_and_death_toll You may write that you are not a denier, but the way you articulate puts you in that group in my view. –  natan Apr 25 at 6:09
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2 Answers 2

Numbers

The Nazis documented their extermination campaign. So they left detailed documentary records that provide good evidence that six million were killed.

For example, there are Nazi records of how many Jews were transported to Auschwitz and Soviet records of how many were liberated at the end of the war.


For example, approximately a million Jews on the Eastern Front were shot during 1941-42, and buried in large pits. This is known partly because the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing units that coordinated these massacres, prepared detailed reports on the murders - reports that contained precise death tolls, broken down into men, women and children.

These reports were sent to high ranking officials in Berlin, and to army, police and SS officers, as well as diplomats and even prominent industrialists. This wide distribution suggests that the perpetrators felt no shame at what they did. Had these killings not been part of Berlin's policy, the reports would never have been so widely distributed.

From Denying the holocaust, BBC


enter image description here

In the Museum Archives there are 252 lists of newcomers from different periods. Each list contains: date, date of registration, camp number, prisoner category, names and surnames, date and place of birth and occulation. (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Archives)

From Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum


Letter from SS-Sturmbannführer Jahrling to SS-General Kammler estimating the number of corpses that can be disposed off in 24 hours in the Auschwitz crematoriums, June 25 1943.

 1.) Crematorium I     3 x 2 muffles     340 persons
 2.) Crematorium II    5 x 3 muffles     1440 persons
 3.) Crematorium III   5 x 3 muffles     1440 persons
 4.) Crematorium IV    8 muffles         768 persons
 5.) Crematorium V     8 muffles         768 persons

Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers - J.C Pressac, the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p. 247:

I make that up to 4756 corpses each day. That would be 1,046,320 corpses in each year of five-day working weeks with two months out of operation (220 working days in a year).

Of course, the above is just a few small examples from a huge mountain of evidence.

TROPHIES

We know that armies commit atrocities, for example in Vietnam the US Tiger Force collected ears and scalps from the Vietnamese they killed.

As the ground troops swept through, in many cases they gunned down men, women and children, sometimes mutilating bodies — cutting off ears to wear on necklaces.

from NY Times

I cannot imagine any good reason for thinking that SS guards at extermination camps would all have been substantially more virtuous.

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wow, regarding the scan - not sure if everybody spotted the word "Schutzhaft". It means that the imprisonment is to protect the prisoner. In other words ALL the people on the list were officially innocent. –  Thorsten Staerk Apr 24 at 10:54
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@Thorsten: The use of "protective custody" (Schutzhaft) to round up people for concentration campls is discussed more here: ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005467 –  Oddthinking Apr 24 at 17:07
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In addition to the 6 million quoted above, there are several articles on the web (such as this one) that estimate five million non-Jews were killed in the Holocaust, including Jehovah Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, and the disabled, among others. –  tcrosley Apr 24 at 20:08
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The story about the lampshade is quite possibly true, at least according to the National Geographic society, who say that there is a lampshade that is definitely made of human material and for which evidence "points to" an origin in Nazi Germany. According to snopes there is a book on the topic (the wonders of Google!). However, this turns out not to be the case, see the comment by @Oddthinking below.

There appears no shortage of sources for evidence on the numbers killed, see also the excellent answer by @RedGrittyBrick above. I don't see any reason to be skeptical of any exaggeration, so I'd say "no, it hasn't been exaggerated". There also seems good documentary evidence that it was part of a deliberate plan.

However I have to say that making a lampshade out of human skin is not by any means the worst thing that happened in the concentration camps. It is a pretty damning indictment of what went on there if being skeptical of whether they made lampshades out of human remains is the level we have to reach before skepticism becomes reasonable.

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Ah, I stumbled on the same book: Wikipedia gives the spoiler: it was not made of human skin. –  Oddthinking Apr 24 at 4:18
    
@Oddthinking - good find! –  Dikran Marsupial Apr 24 at 7:51
    
One person I recall being accused was the Buchenwald commandant, Ilse Koch. Her Wikipedia page references a few news articles and court transcripts that say they were not made of human skin. However, the factory where the lampshades would have been made was burned down during bombing raids so hard the evidence may have been lost. –  Dan Herbert Apr 29 at 0:20
    
Quite to the contrary - the Nat. Geo. documentary in the end proves that the lampshade was made out of the cow skin and it was just contaminated with the Human DNA. –  Evgeny May 21 at 4:41
    
@Evgeny, I was going by what was written in the article, not the documentary itself, as I haven't seen it. However the important part of my answer is paragraphs two and three (see also RedGrittyBrick's rather better answer). –  Dikran Marsupial May 21 at 9:40
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