What sources are used when detailing the death tolls of concentration camp victims of WW2?

I am looking for the SOURCE of the records. What entity / entities first recorded or collected, tabulated, etc. the death toll of concentration camps in Germany and Poland and please leave a link for the information. The internet is a great resource but it has not revealed the original records I am looking for.

Many history books have the figures that are referenced against other figures, but where did the figures originate? Please leave a link to the original source of the documents. (obviously any internet link will be a copy of the original, but as long as it is a direct copy of the originals that is fine)


Ricky, thanks for your answer. I am looking for reputable, military, war-time records. I do not want biased sources of information.

Update 2:

Rear Adm., I appreciate you wanting to express yourself, that is great. Unfortunately, you have not contributed any information of any value to this question. As for your accusation, I would first have to position myself on the side of your accusation and prove my way out of it. I will not do any honour to such a misguided accusation but I send you well wishes and hope you can one day feel the love of existence without anger.

Update 3:

Carl - Thank you for an honest approach. I see that it may be difficult to find the actual figures of those who died in concentration camps but those figures must have come from somewhere. To use prewar and postwar census for death tolls does not give an accurate representation as it does not take into account emigration, forced expulsion, or escape from the Socialist landscape at the time.

Also, eyewitness testimony has been known by scientist for some time to be the most fallible:



For this reason, I would not say that the study is seriously less accurate and I would need to find the documents that history has seemingly lost.

4 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    One can still find copies of hundreds of deportation lists for those sent to camps, and numerous camps kept records of those inmates forced into labor.

    Many death lists have been published by country, region, or camp, though you will not find such lists for every country, region, or camp.

    Over a thousand memorial books have been published to document the fate of those who perished. Such books, also known as yizkor books, usually focus on a town or a region, detailing the town's history and memorializing those who died. Most are written in Hebrew or Yiddish.

    The International Tracing Service in Arolsen, Germany maintains a master index of information relating to more than 14 million individuals. More information is available from their Web site, or the Service can be contacted directly at:

    International Tracing Service

    Grosse Allee 5-9

    34444 Arolsen, Germany

    The Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center of the American Red Cross, in conjunction with the International Tracing Service, can provide assistance in determining the fate of those who died in the Holocaust, in documenting forced labor or internment in a concentration camp, or in locating survivors. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.

    Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Israel, has documents pertaining to the Holocaust that are not always available elsewhere, including millions of Pages of Testimony provided by those with knowledge of the victims. These pages are a part of Yad Vashem's attempt to document each individual who died in the Holocaust. In November 2004, Yad Vashem launched the Central Database of Shoah Victims Names, which provides information about nearly three million Jewish Holocaust victims drawn from Pages of Testimony and other sources. While Yad Vashem's collection efforts have resulted in the most extensive list of Jewish victims currently available, it, too, is incomplete.

    Finally, The Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Jewish Holocaust Survivors here at the Museum has over 100,000 records documenting the lives of survivors and their families.

    For additional Holocaust statistics, see:

    Benz, Wolfgang, editor. Dimension des Volkermords: Die Zahl der judischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1991.

    Fleming, Gerald. Hitler and the Final Solution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

    Lestchinsky, Jacob. Crisis, Catastrophe, and Survival: A Jewish Balance Sheet, 1941-1948. New York: Institute of Jewish Affairs of the World Jewish Congress, 1948.

    Levin, Nora. The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry, 1933-1945. New York: Schocken, 1973

    Reitlinger, Gerald. The Final Solution, the Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1987

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Concentration camps were not used for murder per se, they were used to house people long term as either prisoners or slaves.

    The death camps are what you are referring to. Furthermore, you will not find evidence for an estimated six million Jewish people being transported to the camps and then put to death since the killing started elsewhere via mobile death squads rounding people up and shooting them.

    Regarding the Jewish: "A study led by Wolfgang Benz of the Technical University of Berlin suggests 5.29–6.2 million.[279][280] Yad Vashem writes that the main sources for these statistics are comparisons of prewar and postwar censuses and population estimates, and Nazi documentation on deportations and murders.[279] Its Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names currently holds close to 3 million names of Holocaust victims, all accessible online. Yad Vashem continues its project of collecting names of Jewish victims from historical documents and individual memories.[281]"

    "In the 1990s, the opening of government archives in Eastern Europe resulted in the adjustment of the death tolls"

    Basically, you are not going to find an original source online. It is all in government archives, captured Nazi German archives, and census data.

    Edit: "To use prewar and postwar census for death tolls does not give an accurate representation as it does not take into account emigration, forced expulsion, or escape from the Socialist landscape at the time."

    You completely ignored the part where it says: " Nazi documentation on deportations and murders" and victim names.

    "For this reason, I would not say that the study is seriously less accurate and I would need to find the documents that history has seemingly lost."

    Considering it notes "Nazi documentation" and "government archives", not to mention professional historians have been crawling through these archives for decades and that is why we have the estimates we do and general consensus that they are correct. Your conclusions are flabbergasting and it for this reason, I would now agree with the Rear Admiral. You are not interested in the truth.

  • 5 years ago

    There used to be a movie called "Return To Auschwitz" that used to be made in 1979. Excellent film. It's about a lady who returns to Auschwitz with her son recounting her experience. Anne Frank :-) - This would now not be to your taste however offers a relatively just right picture as to what used to be going down and what life was like in the course of the conflict. The Piano Man ( A quite excellent movie, it is about this man who hides underneath rubble to hinder getting caught my Nazi soilders. . It's mighty ! And fully sensible about what occurred in those days. Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'ultimate resolution': The historical past of the final solution phase of the Nazi Holocaust, in particular with the most famous of the death camps. Schindlers list: probably the most excellent world struggle 2 films i've ever obvious. It's about these jews who get sent to work in Schindlers manufacturing facility and Schindler doesnt fully grasp what the Jews are going by way of so he can pay the concentration camp for as many Jews as feasible ............. Boy within the striped pyjamas: Reaallly sad a couple of Jewish boy in Auschwitz and a German boy who's the son of a German commander, and who's staying in a apartment near there. They come to be high-quality associates and speak thorugh the wall.

  • 8 years ago

    The original sources are the very careful records kept by the Nazis. I don't know that there is a link available as they are probably not computerized.

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