Until today (February 3, 2017), I believed that the number commonly cited of murdered victims by the Nazis was 11 million (6 million Jews and 5 million others – Catholics, Romas, homosexuals, communists, trade unionists, etc.). It turns out that Simon Wiesenthal, the famed “Nazi hunter,” made up the 5 –million number of non-Jewish victims in order to catch the attention of the non-Jewish world in the 1970s that were ignoring the crime of genocide by the Nazis against Judaism and the Jewish people.

The real figure, according to Holocaust historians Yehuda Bauer and Deborah Lipstadt, is more on the order of 500,000 non-Jews murdered, certainly not a small number by any measurement, but not 5 million. The total number of people who died as a consequence of the Nazi aggression is about 35 million.

Read this article in “The Times of Israel” by Ron Kampeas (February 1) for details and the unintended impact of Wiesenthal’s made-up fiction on politics today.

An oft-cited statistic of 4 million non-Jewish Holocaust deaths has no basis in fact, experts say and may be contributing to [Holocaust] denial efforts…All of the world had to be annihilated,” [Holocaust historian Yehuda] Bauer said. “That was the intent. There was never an idea in Nazi minds to murder all the Russians…

The number 5 million also adheres to no known understanding of the number of non-Jews killed by the Nazis: While as many as 35 million people were killed overall because of Nazi aggression, the number of non-Jews who died in the concentration camps is no more than half a million, Bauer said.”