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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Poland 05-7: Holocaust demography

Numbers - and wrong numbers

from: Poland; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 13

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<Demographic Total.

Up to September 1939 Poland had a Jewish population of 3,351,000.

[[The figure of 3,351,000 is a number without considering the emigration movement 1931-1939 which caused a low birthrate, and without considering the Stalin deportations. Considering the emigration movement of the young generation in the 1930s the total figure has to be diminished by at least 500,000. Add to this about 300,000 Jews fled from western to eastern Poland in 1939 and then were deported to central Russia because they resigned to the Soviet passport. Add to this further Stalin deportations were performed to central "Soviet Union" with capitalist Jews and their families. Further on one has to consider the Big Flight from Barbarossa in 1941 performed by the Russian army with all Communist administration and industrial staff with many Jews. All in all it can be estimated that there were about 2,200,000 Jews in Poland who came under the Nazi regime. From these a part was hiding in hideouts, or changed religion or the name by forged documents which were easy to have by Jewish organizations. So, it can be estimated that in total about 2 mio. Jews were hit by Nazi rule, and a part of these were fighting as partisans]].

Exact figures on the number killed between September 1939 and 1944 are not available, but the following account is a relatively well-founded estimate. Shortly after the end of the war, the Central Committee of Polish Jews began registering all surviving Polish Jews

[[Jews with changed names and changed religions were not registrated any more]]

and by June 15, 1945, 55,509 had registered. Since some people registered several times with different local committees a round figure of 55,000 is assumed, which included a certain number of Jews who succeeded in returning to Poland from the Soviet Union.

[[Many Polish Jews did not return from central Russia and were not registered]].

To this must be added 13,000 Jews in the Polish army formed in the U.S.S.R. in 1941, and approximately 1,000 Jews (out of 2,000) who had saved themselves by posing as "Aryans" and had not registered with the Jewish committees, bringing the total to 69,000.

The number of Polish Jews who were saved by fleeing in September 1939 to the Soviet Union, to certain European countries, to Palestine, or to North and South America, or who survived the camps in Germany, is estimated at a maximum of 300,000 (250,000 of whom had fled to the U.S.S.R.). The sum total of surviving Polish Jews is therefore about 369,000, i.e., 11% of the prewar population, while 2,982,000 Jews were killed.> (col. 771)

[[The Stalin deportations 1939-1940 are not mentioned, the Stalin deportations of class enemies 1940-1941 are not mentioned, the Big Flight from Barbarossa in 1941 is not mentioned. The number of Jews who could save their lives in central Russia must be much higher than 300,000, perhaps 600,000. From the estimated 2,200,000 Jews coming under Nazi regime (see above) a part was hiding in hideouts, or changed religion or the name by forged documents which were easy to have by Jewish organizations. So, it can be estimated that in total about 2 mio. Jews were hit by Nazi rule, and a part of these were fighting as partisans. Perhaps 1.8 mio. Jews have been killed in Poland by massacres, diseases, hunger and cold in camps, furthers have been killed in partisan fights. According to Martin Gilbert "Endloesung" (Germ. "Final Solution") 1982, edition of 1995 on p. 242, are 300,000 Polish Jews mentioned surviving the German camps]].






Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Poland,
                          vol. 13, col. 771-772
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Poland, vol. 13, col. 771-772


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