Elie Wiesel And The Holocaust

By Dr. T. DOUGLAS REILLY
Los Alamos

The death of Elie Wiesel (weasel in German) brings many stories of his life; his internment in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bürgenwald, his many books, and his insistence the world must never forget. I’ve been to Warsaw and seen the monument to the many Poles who died in concentration camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau; it’s at the site of the bus station where Poles were herded onto buses that took them to the railroad station, where they were taken, like cattle, to the various camps. I’ve seen the monument a couple blocks away to the 7,500 or so Poles killed in Katyn by the Soviet Army.

Of the 6 million or so Jews killed in the concentration camps, 3 million were Polish. Poland had the largest Jewish population in Europe at the time of WWII. At the end of the war there were barely 15,000 left. In Poland it is well known that almost 3 million non-Jewish Poles were also killed in the camps.

I’ve read the death toll of the Holocaust to be anywhere from a little less than 16 million to over 20 million people, including Ukranians, Romanians (Romy – gypsies), homosexuals, disabled, i.e. anyone non-Aryan. In Europe these other victims are very well known. Why in the USA is the Holocaust only known as the 6 million Jewish victims? The Jewish Holocaust is surely horrific, but so are the other more than 10 million non-Jews who also died in the Holocaust. Why?

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