Holocaust Research Paper

The superimposed red line is the total number of murders per month after inclusion of Auschwitz victims and Einsatzgruppen shooting victims (see section S1).

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The large peak in the year 1944 (red line) represents Auschwitz victims.

The thick magenta line indicates the Rwanda kill rate (243,300 murdered per month).

Operation Reinhard is shown to be an extreme event, based on kill rate, number, and proportion (99.9%) of the population murdered in camps, highlighting its singularly violent character, even compared to other more recent genocides.

The Holocaust kill rate is some 10 times higher than estimates suggested by authorities on comparative genocide.).

As a result, the literature remains vague on what actually occurred during the chaos of Operation Reinhard, and efforts to address this gap have begun only in recent years () carefully compiled dataset of train deportations to the three key death camps.

This paper first reconstructs the temporal dynamics of what actually occurred during Operation Reinhard, providing the first aggregated high-frequency time series of killings as the Operation progressed over 19.However, the tempo, kill rates, and spatial dynamics of these events were poorly documented.Using an unusual dataset originating from railway transportation records, this study identifies an extreme phase of hyperintense killing when 1.47 million Jews—more than 25% of the Jews killed in all 6 years of World War II—were murdered by the Nazis in an intense,100-day (~3-month) surge.It uses the time series to expose the unusual speed and kill rate during Operation Reinhard, a characteristic that has been poorly quantified in the past.The rate of killing is found to be an order-of-magnitude larger than the estimates routinely cited by many internationally recognized authorities of comparative genocide ().For example, textbooks and the literature often state that the kill rate of the Rwanda genocide was three to five times more intense than the Holocaust.Our results allow us to quantitatively show that this claim is incorrect and thereby illustrate the importance of accurately quantifying not only the Holocaust but also modern conflicts in general.In the process, we identify kill rates of extreme magnitude that are almost twice as high as the Rwanda genocide and roughly 10 times higher than commonly believed.This paper is generally concerned with Operation Reinhard, which has been referred to as “the largest single murder campaign within the Holocaust” ()—the region known as the General Government (GG).Neither is this information easily found in specialist textbooks, given that they are not particularly specific and offer only limited characterization.However, this is not unexpected since the Holocaust was, after all, a highly complex and chaotic period in history.

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