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A Mathematical Biologist Reconstructs the Grotesque Efficiency of the Nazis’ Killing Machine – Gary Stix (Scientific American via Daily Alert)

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Jan. 11, 2019

  • This month Science Advances published a study titled “Quantifying the Holocaust: Hyperintense Kill Rates During the Nazi Genocide,” by mathematical biologist Lewi Stone.
  • Stone’s analysis of deportation train records indicates about a quarter of Holocaust deaths was concentrated in a single period, from August through October 1942, at three camps in Poland. And the largest Holocaust murder campaign only abated because so few Jews were left in German-occupied Poland.
  • Stone said in an interview: “My work investigates a period in 1942, referred to as Operation Reinhard, when the Nazis efficiently shuttled about 1.7 million victims – often whole Jewish communities – across the European railway network in train carriages to Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor. Almost all of those who arrived at these death camps were murdered, usually within hours in the gas chambers.”
  • “My study…reveals a sudden massive slaughter after Hitler ‘ordered all action speeded up,’ as one SS officer put it, on July 23, 1942. Approximately 1.5 million Jews were murdered in only 100 days, including shootings outside the death camps. On average, 450,000 victims were killed each month during August, September and October of that year. That’s approximately 15,000 murders every day.”
  • “The minimal time in which the operation took place indicates the enormous coordination involved by a state machinery responsive to the Fuhrer’s murderous will to eradicate a people. The train records show how zones were emptied of Jewish communities one by one in an organized manner, and how intense kill rates were achieved in targeted areas that only slowed as victims ran out.”
  • “As Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews,remarked, ‘Never before in history had people been killed on an assembly-line basis.'”
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