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. Apr 24, 2014 at 2:28
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    @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, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 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.
    – bla
    Apr 25, 2014 at 6:09

3 Answers 3



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

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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).

Large amounts of evidence

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

According to the US holocaust memorial museum

Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg trial.

And of course, there is a lot of evidence other than that submitted at Nuremberg. Some of this additional evidence can be found at numerous museums and libraries around the world.

Other references

From comments below.

  • Schutzhaft - The use of "protective custody" (Schutzhaft) to round up people for concentration camps is discussed more here: Law and Justice in the Third Reich, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Oddthinking

  • Non-Jewish victims - 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

  • Denial - Convicted Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf has a web-site where he publishes books that contend that the Holocaust never happened. - infatuated

  • ICRC - The International Committee of the Red Cross has 25,000 pages of information that it acquired on the subject prior to the end of World War II. - Himarm

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    I have cleaned up a load of useless comments, extended discussion should be taken to chat. New answers should be posted as such. Please avoid discussion, other than used to improve the answer, in comments.
    – Jamiec
    Jun 5, 2015 at 12:13
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    @Mustang How can you fake 25.000 pages of information that the ICRC has in 5 minutes? (A lot of those are on public display at the ICRC museum in Geneva, and I've seen it personally). The same goes for the documentation that the Nazi left behind. Those are huge quantities of documentation, and it would be no easy feat to fake those all. So if you say those are all fake, then the burden of proof lies with you and then you are free to post an answer detailling why all this evidence is fake and what contrary evidence you have. But just saying 'it's all faked' without proof is way too easy.
    – drat
    Mar 12, 2016 at 12:46
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    Also ironic that you cite the red cross when it estimated only 400,000 deaths in German prison camps total.
    – D J Sims
    Apr 28, 2016 at 4:58
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    I don't understand what you're proving with the trophies section. There's no evidence for any so called Jew skin lamp. Also, that whole section is not providing evidence of anything. It's begging the question.
    – user11643
    Jul 4, 2016 at 19:08
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    You really should add Eisenhower's efforts in documenting and force marching allied troops through concentration camps so the truth was witnessed to what the Nazis did
    – user36356
    Mar 9, 2018 at 21:18

The story about the lampshade was presented as being possibly true by 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, 2014 at 4:18
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    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, 2014 at 4:41
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    @DikranMarsupial The point is that there is zero material evidence to the lampshades of the human skin, and you still use the statement in the reasoning. All specimens that were reported to date were made of animal skin.
    – Evgeny
    May 27, 2014 at 1:53
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    Your post is rubbish, your very first sentence refers to a national geographic article that (if you read the end) was just an advert for a program that was about to be shown, to find the origins of a lampshade. The program concluded against it. Also, it is important to note, "Both the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem, declined to take possession of the lampshade, saying that the concentration camp lampshades made of human skin were probably a "myth"
    – barlop
    Aug 2, 2015 at 20:34
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    Your first line still states that the story is, I quote, "quite possibly true". You should, finally, fix that.
    – DevSolar
    Feb 3, 2016 at 8:11

Additionally to great answers provided @DikranMarsupial and @redgrittybrick I would strongly recommend Chronicles of Terror - a digital repository of the witness depositions made before Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland (predecessor of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance).

As of today it contains depositions 3927 testimonies (2530 with English translation), mostly collected shortly after the war. While alone don't provide any exact numbers, they document scale of Nazi atrocities.

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