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.
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.
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.
We know that armies commit atrocities, for example in Vietnam the US Tiger Force collected ears and scalps from the Vietnamese they killed.
from NY Times
I cannot imagine any good reason for thinking that SS guards at extermination camps would all have been substantially more virtuous.
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.
protected by Jamiec♦ Apr 24 '14 at 8:34
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