1. What evidence do we have even for the 4 million number? What if we find out that the number is really more like 1 million?
A Jewish friend of mine once told me that a quarter of the world was Jewish before the Holocaust.And where did you hear this testimony?
I think that Abraham's seed has now touched all men - all of us are Jews, truly. All of us have been united to the House of Israel and the Son of Man who was God in the flesh.
But the idea that several hundred million died in the Holocaust? I think my friend did not understand the whole situation.
But I've always heard 4 million as the number, more or less. Anything else is inconsistent with the vast majority of the testimony I've heard.
The whole calculus of "suffering" and evil is sorta sick from the ground up.
Are 4 million better than 6? I dunno. Seems wrong. I ain't no utilitarian or at least try to avoid the Anglo-American pull in that direction.
For historians and the like, these are issues to be sorted out and there should be no magic 6 million number. And I don't see how this gives or robs Jews of "genocide cred".
They like many others were systematically sought out, deprived of property, family, basic humane treatment, and then life on an enormous scale. This cannot be denied.
2. What of the countless Catholics, Poles, and Gypsies who were interned in the concentration camps? Why is this portrayed as just a Jewish thing?
Jews (of which I am one) portray this as "a Jewish thing" (without, btw, minimizing for one second the horrific murder of countless Catholics, Poles, Gypsies, etc--many at the hand of Stalin and not a few at the hands of so-called "Christians") because there was a public and concerted effort on the part of the Nazis to completely
eliminate the Jewish "race", amongst other so-called "undesirables". Ever been to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. or Yad Vashem in Jerusalem?
I might be mistaken but I believe that the number of 6 million was arrived at by comparing the pre-war Jewish population with the post-war Jewish population. Now, how *those* figures were arrived at, I couldn't tell you. (Here's a quote from Answers.com: the figure of 6 million first became public in an affidavit by Wilhelm Hoettl, dated 25 November 1945 and presented to the Nuremberg Tribunal in evidence. (Hoettl was a close associate of Eichmann
). (Here's more from him: "Approximately 4,000,000 Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways, the major part of whom were shot by operational squads of the Security Police during the campaign against Russia."
gleaned from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_H%C3%B6ttl
which references this: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/12-14-45.asp
, which I admit to not having read yet.)
So, perhaps I *am* mistaken, after all.
In answer to your question, "What if we find out the number is really more like 1 million?", let me respond in true stereotypical Jewish fashion with a question of my own--Why are there so many people who seem to like to reduce or minimize the number of Jews murdered? And, would it make it somehow less significant or horrific if the number was 1 million? Would that act as some kind of salve to someone's conscience?