Thursday, April 16, 2015

The European Holocaust didn’t end

Today, April 16, 2015, is Israel Holocaust Day. We all know about the Holocaust. We know how many Jews it murdered.

We believe the Holocaust is over. We think it ended seventy years ago.

We believe it no longer cleanses Europe of Jews. We think it couldn’t happen again.

Think again. The Holocaust didn’t end.

In 1933, there were app 9.5 million Jews in Europe (“Jewish Population of Europe in 1933: Population Data by Country”, The Holocaust Encyclopedia, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, updated June 20, 2014). By the end of World War Two, the Holocaust killed enough Jews to drop the Jewish population in Europe to 3.5 million (“Jewish Population of Europe in 1945”, ibid).

Since World War Two, Europe’s population has grown dramatically. Europe’s devastated population centers have rebuilt. Since 1945, the total population of Europe appears to have increased perhaps 50 per cent—even accounting for the millions killed in World War Two.

But Europe’s Jewish populations have not rebuilt. There has been no such post-war resurgence for Jews in Europe.

The post-war history of Europe's Jewish population change in Europe is shocking. To understand the horror of what continues to happen to Europe’s Jews, look at how some Jewish population centers in Europe have changed (the numbers come from the Holocaust History and Memorial Museum and the Jewish Virtual Library):

  1. Poland: 

1933: Jewish population: 3.2 million Jews.

2014: 3,200 Jews; net population change: minus 99 percent

2.  Hungary: 

1933: Jewish population: 445,000

     2014: 47,900; net population change: minus 89 percent

3. Austria: 

1933: Jewish population 250,000

      2014: 9,000; net population change: minus 96 percent

4. Romania: 

1933: Jewish population: 757,000

     2014: 9,400; net population change: minus 98 percent

5. Bulgaria:

1933: Jewish population: 50,000

     2014: 2,000; net population change: minus 96 percent

6. Lithuania: 

1933: Jewish population: 155,000

     2014: 2,000; net population change: minus 98 percent

7. Latvia:
  1. 1933: Jewish population: 95,600

         2014: 5,600; net population change: minus 94 percent

8. Czechoslovakia:

1933: Jewish population: 357,000

     2014: now modern Czech Republic/Slovakia:  6,500;

                 net population change: minus 98 per cent

9. Yugoslavia:

1933: Jewish population: 68,000

2014: Yugoslavia today is Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Slovenia: 3,300; net population change: minus 95 percent

Total number of Jews in these European countries:

1933: 5,377,600      2014: 88,900

net population change: minus 98 percent

The Holocaust wiped out most of Europe’s Jews. But following World War Two, Jewish population numbers continued to plummet. For example, during the forty-five year period, 1945-1990, the number of Jews in Europe fell 34 per cent, from 3.5 million after the War to 2.3 million.

But that wasn’t the worst Jewish population drop after 1945. During the 25-year period, 1990-2014, the number of Jews fell another 39 per cent.

The destruction of Europe’s Jews hasn’t ended. It’s begun to accelerate.

The Holocaust didn’t end in 1945.


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