Valdemar Malin | A fateful date unnoticed by history

1. Introduction

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Photo copyright: August Brill , CC BY 2.0

On September 1, 1939, German Wehrmacht crossed the border of Poland. World War 2 has begun. Columns of German tanks and troops were moving East in the direction of Warsaw. By September 5, 1939, they entered a Polish town Piotrkow Trybunalski located in the central Poland.

It was an old historic town founded in the 13th century. But by the time of German invasion, it became small (50,000 people) and unremarkable. Except that there was relatively large (25.000) Jewish community living there for centuries.

The town was seriously damaged after artillery and aerial bombardments. But the new German administration was not concerned about it. They were making preparations for solving more important problem—on October 8, 1939, they announced the creation of… ghetto!

And in about next 2-3 months, all Jews were expelled from their homes by force and driven into a tiny ghetto area crammed like sardines in a can.

You may say that there is nothing new in this story. Not only this town, but all Jewish communities, big and small, were subjected to violance everywhere—in all towns and cities occupied by the Nazis during the war.

This is true, except for one notable fact—this ghetto was the first ghetto set up by the Nazis on occupied territories!

The fact that this small and unremarkable town became the birthplace of the first Nazi ghetto made it notoriously famous. And the date it was created became the birthday of Nazi ghetto. Now, those who are interested in history know about this town, while historians are studying this infamous event granting a historic significance to that date.

You can find the facts about this event in historic literature and on the internet. They are all well-known. This essay offers an unknown and unusual interpretation of these facts.

It turns out that the notorious fame gained by this town goes far beyond of being the birthplace of the Nazi ghetto—the atrocity that, by the level of human cruelty, dwarfed everything that the Nazis commited before.

At the same time, the ominous birthday date of this event has much bigger historic significance than it has been granted before!

Therefore, the goal of this essay is to reveal real historic significance of this event that was has been misunderstood and hidden in the maze of history for so long.

But before we venture into this maze, a couple of words about the source used for the essay.

This source is the book Law of Conservation of Jews by the the author of this essa, It gives new and unusual explanations of unsolved puzzles of Jewish history. Among them is the biggest onewhy Jews haven’t so far vanished from the face of the Earth if the chances of their survival have always been close to zero.

Following the style of the book, this essay also gives new and unusual explanations of a controversial, fateful date—the date of the beginning of the Holocaust unnoticed by official history!

  1. Who Can Answer This Question?

The Jewish people suffered many tragedies during 4000 years of their existence. But one of the most horrific tragedies has been a historic event named “the Holocaust.”

The Holocaust was the result of a heinous plan designed by the Nazis to deliberately and systematically annihilate European Jews under the code name the “Final solution of Jewish question.”

Holocaust is the extreme form of genocide. Although the term genocide appeared long ago, right after the WW2, historians could not come to consensus about its final definition, up to this day. They could not come to consensus even about when the Holocaust began!

The end of the Holocaust is no-brainer—it is May 1945. But to determine the beginning of it turned out to be not that simple. No wander the debate on the subject has been going on up to this day?

Many historians consider January 1933 as the date when the Holocaust began. The Nazis came to power that year and immediately put in motion their cruel anti-Jewish policies. The goal was to make Jews suffer as much as possible in order to force them to leave Germany.

Other historians object considering November 1938 to be the real date of the beginning of the Holocaust. At that date, the pogrom called the Kristallnacht (Night of broken glass) took place nationwide marking the beginning of the state-sponsored persecution of Jews.

There is also an opinion that the beginning of the Holocaust should be directly related to an event of mass killings of Jews.

For example, one of this event was the mass killings of Jews on the occupied territory of the USSR started in August 1941.

Another event was a secret meeting of the ruling elite of the 3rd Reich at which Hitler gave go ahead to implementation of the plan the “Final solution.”

Equally important was the Wannsee Conference convened in January 1942. At this meeting, the high-ranking officials of the SS and German Government were discussing measures necessary for speedy implementation of this plan and turning the chaotic mass killings into efficient industry of murder.

So, when on Earth did the Holocaust begin? Too many answers to this question! It is hard to believe that the date of such important historical event has not been defined so far.

Is it even possible to determine this date—clearly and accurately? Maybe it should be defined by the emotional factors—the level of persecution of Jews or the extent of their suffering?

The book Law of Conservation of Jews proposed an original demographic interpretation of Jewish history. An assumption was suggested and substantiated that many of the puzzles of Jewish history can be solved based on Jewish demographics (the size of Jewish population in the world).

In other words, the objective numbers corresponding to the pattern of changes of Jewish population over time tell Jewish history better than any subjective historian does.

This essay offers an assumption that the puzzle of date, at which the Holocaust began, can be solved differently—not on the basis of emotions, but on the basis of demography.

This is how this assumption was substantiated.

  1. Challenge to Official History

Before the invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939, the Nazis were mercilessly persecuting German Jews. However, they had no intention to systematically kill them. Their intention was to make Jews suffer as much as possible in order to “persuade” them to leave Germany.

For example, in January 1933, when Nazi came to power, there were 525,000 Jews. This is just 0.8% of total German population (67M).

By June 1933, about 37,000 Jews (7% of Jewish population) emigrated because of the persecution. As the level of persecution increased, Jewish emigration and flight from Germany increased too. But there were no systematic killings.

Even in November 1938, during the “Kristallnacht” (the night of broken glass), which was, in fact, a nationwide Jewish pogrom, there were no mass killings. Not thousands, but about 90 Jews were sporadically killed.

As a result of the severe persecution, by September 1939 (right before the invasion of Poland), there were 215,000 (40%) Jews remained in Germany. The rest of German Jews (more than 300,000 or about 60%) were not killed, they just fled to other, mostly European, countries, saving their lives, temporarily. But the mass flight of Jews from Germany is not the same as mass killings.

Gregory H. Stanton, a professor of law at the George Manson University (VA, USA), presented a model that identifies 10 stages (or processes) leading to genocide. The list includes segregation, dehumanization, discrimination and other processes, with persecution and extermination concluding the list.

Thus, many stages of genocide (as identified by Prof. Stanton) took place in Germany. Severe persecution took place. Extreme deprivation and suffering of Jews took place also. But there were no systematic mass killings of Jews anywhere!

Can an event be considered genocide or Holocaust if there were no systematic mass killings, and all Jews remained alive?

Still, the official point of view held by many historians is that the tragic event of January 1933 or November 1938 is the beginning of genocide or the Holocaust.

Or the events directly related to the start of mass killings of Jews such as the August 1941 mass killings on the occupied territory of the USSR; the December 1941 secret meeting of the Reich Chancellery; or the January 1942 the Wannsee Conference.

This essay challenges the commonly accepted opinions on the beginning of the Holocaust by looking at the event from the demographic point of view.

The Holocaust didn’t begin in January 1933 when the Nazis came to power and started persecuting German Jews. The beginning of the Holocaust is not defined by the beginning of or the level of persecution. Persecution of one group of people by another group is a permanent phenomenon in our imperfect world. Otherwise, the entire human history should be considered one uninterrupted genocide!

The Holocaust didn’t begin even in November 1938 at the peak of persecution when the pogrom called Kristallnacht broke out and made German Jews suffer as much as they didn’t suffer for a long time. The beginning of the Holocaust is not defined by the degree of suffering either. How to compare human sufferings? Even after the Holocaust, people can’t stop arguing who suffered more!

From the demographic standpoint, these tragic events cannot be the beginning of the Holocaust also because there were no mass killings of Jews, and, as a result, Jewish population in the world did not change.

What about the tragic events, which are, in fact, related to mass killings of Jews?

No, the Holocaust didn’t begin then! Not in August 1941; not in December 1941; and not in January 1942!

These dates cannot be the beginning of the Holocaust because the Holocaust has already begun!

And here we come to a chain of events the essence of which was overlooked in the maze of history and whicn can be intrerpreted differently.

Then what is the date of the beginning of the Holocaust?

  1. When did the Holocaust Begin?

The beginning of the Holocaust is…October 8, 1939! And it happened in a small Polish town Piotrkow Trybunalski! This was the fateful date and place when and where the very first Jewish ghetto was set up by the Nazis in the occupied territories.

Such bold and provocative assumption, which contradicts the official interpretation of Jewish history, needs convincing proofs to be taken seriously. Therefore, historic facts will be presented to show that the process of “ghettoization” was an integral part of the Holocaust.

Since the Holocaust is the extreme form of genocide, we will be looking for the distinguishable signs of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis in the ghettos such as:

1) Qualitative signs (indicators) of genocide. They are defined by the Article II of the Genocide Convention adopted by the United Nations after WWII.

2) Quantitative indicators of genocide. These are defined by considerable changes in Jewish demography (the size of Jewish population).

You may disagree. To consider ghetto a part of the Holocaust may seem as a clear exaggeration. Putting Jews in the ghettos might well be just a natural continuation of the Nazi pre-war policy of persecution!

But here is the point. The forced “ghettoization” was not a continuation, but a radical change in that policy, while the actions of the Nazis became really genocidal.

That’s what we will try to prove now—the Nazi ghettoization was an integral part of genocide (Holocaust). We will compare the distinguishable qualitative signs (indicators) of genocide according to the Article II of the Genocide Convention (marked in italics) with the Nazis actions in the ghetto.

1) Causing physical harm (by violent mass expulsion, imprisonment or deprivation of liberty).

Special units SS on the occupied territories immediately expelled Jews from their homes and driven them into the ghettos by force.

Jews were confined into a small fenced ghetto territory with armed guards outside. It was not allowed for them to get out or for anyone else to come in without special permission.

This meant that all Jewish population was, in fact, prisoners, segregated and isolated from the outside world, who were deprived of their freedom en masse.

2) Causing mental harm (by public humiliation, dehumanization and threats).

Jews were humiliated when forced to wear the arm bands with yellow stars of David on it. They were openly dehumanized in newspapers presenting them as the most inferior race and non-human as rats. And since Jews are rats, the Nazis threatened to exterminate them.

3) Inflicting unbearable living conditions (by depriving population of vital necessities).

Jews were starving, but they were not permitted to get food from outside of the ghetto. Without their possessions and properties, confiscated by the Nazis, without employment and medical care, Jews were deprived of all means of existence.

4) Transferring children to another group (to prevent population of the persecuted group from being restored).

Jewish children were transferred into the ghettos along with their parents. Many parents manage to save their children by giving them away to known or unknown non-Jews. Many children were smuggled from the ghettos too. As a result, most of the kids grew up not knowing their identity—they were really one of the lost tribes of Israel!

5) Preventing procreation (to accelerate the extinction of the persecuted group).

The ghettos were deliberately overcrowded. In average, more than 7 people were living in one room in insanitary conditions. They were suffering from hunger and сold, diseases and absence of medical care. What parents will consciously bring a child into such frightening and deadly world!

6) Conscious intent to deliberately destroy a persecuted group of population.

The existence of this indicator is the easiest to prove. The Nazis never hid their sinister plans. Their intention was to annihilate 11 million Jews! Аnd the end goal—the Final solution that is the extermination of the entire Jewish people! It follows the historic facts, starting with the Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” and ending with the atrocious decisions of the Wannsee conference.

As for their actions in ghettos, the Nazis moved Jews to the ghettos under an innocent pretense of “resettlement.” This deceit meant that their actions were deliberate.

Jewish homes were given away to Nazi collaborators because the Nazis knew that Jews would never return there. This meant that their actions were preplanned.

Thus, the presence of the signs of genocide in the Nazi actions in the ghettos prove that the Nazi ghettoization policy differed radically from that in the 1930th.

At that time, Jews were deprived of civil rights and the right to be employed by the German government agencies; were subjected to insults and persecution. But they still lived in their homes; did not die from starvation and cold; they could move relatively freely and even keep their businesses.

In contrast, the Nazi actions in the ghettos were, in fact, clearly genocidal. This is evidenced by the presence in their actions of all 6 signs (indicators) of genocide set up by the international Convention as was shown previously.

In other words, the Nazi ghettoization was a part of genocide!

  1. Ghettoization Was a Part of the Holocaust Also!

If the Nazi ghettoization was a part of genocide, then it was a part of the Holocaust too?

But you may still have objections. Although the given arguments seem logical, they may, in fact, be wrong. On three important points:

1) All these atrocious, deliberate actions of the Nazis were not enough to consider them a real genocide (Holocaust). It is because the main indicator of genocide is the mass killings, but it was absent in the previous discussion.

2) There were no mass killings in those ghettos! They were committed in death camps! The Nazis planned the ghettos to be temporary holding places to keep Jews prior to their transfer to the death camps!

3) Even from the demographic standpoint, the Nazi ghettoization without mass killings cannot be considered genocide (Holocaust) because Jewish demography (size of Jewish population in the world) did not change.

…I have a confession to make! The first of these objections is valid. I did not include the most important indicator of genocide (mass killings) in the previous discussion! Intentionally! This is the most important and debatable subject to be discussed at the end of the essay.

Now, I will address the issues of mass killings in the ghettos and their effect on Jewish demography. Also, I will answer the question—was the Nazi ghettoization a part of the Holocaust?

So, here is a straight question—did the Nazis committ systematic mass killings of Jews in the ghettos or not?

Yes, there were mass killings in the ghettos! But not systematic. Mass killings were committed during armed rebellions such as the Warsaw uprising; during shutting down ghettos; and when the tide of the war turned against Germany. For example, in 1942, the ghetto of Vitebsk (Belorussia) was shut down, and all Jewish population of the ghetto was murdered in 3 days.

Murders happened, but sporadically—Jews were shot for breaking the ghetto’s rules and during deportations from the ghettos to the killing centers. But these murders were neither systematic, nor mass murders.

Systematically and on a mass scale, Jews were murdered in the ghettos in a different and more efficient way. The Nazis created such unbearable living conditions in the ghettos that Jews were dying out on a mass scale. In fact, majority of ghetto inhabitants (inmates) died from starvation and diseases; from extreme overcrowding and insanitary conditions. For example, 83,000 Jews died of starvation and diseases or were shot in the Warsaw ghetto alone.

There were 1150 ghettos all over the Eastern Europe containing more than 1 million Jews! More than 500,000 Jews perished there! This was astonishing number of victims—more than 50% of the ghetto’s population! For comparison, during the entire Holocaust, the ghettos including, 35% Jewish world population was murdered!

Of course, what happened in the ghettos cannot be compared to mass killings, neither by scale, nor by its rate. But relative to the population of the ghettos, it was the most massive, systematic and efficient mass murder! It was achieved without bullets or poisonous gases—just by using deadly means, leading to a gradual die-off of people!

One of these means was starvation. This is evidenced by the daily food rationing in the Warsaw ghetto as described by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (October 14. 2019).

Among the inmates of the Warsaw ghetto, there were professors and scientiststhe finest medical minds of Central Europe. Risking their lives, a group of these prominent Jewish physicians conducted a secret study on the effect of starvation on the health of their fellow inmates. The physicians died of hunger, which they so heroically studied, but their report was living on.

Here is this horrific story. The leading Nazi physicians and Senior Gestapo personnel developed a low-calorie food rationing specifically designed for Jews to wipe out Jewish population of the ghetto without bloody mass killings. Such rationing was set up at…180 calories a day!

One slice of bread, one potato and a bowl of watery soupthat’s what gives you 180 calories! At such negligibly small intake, Jews were supposed to starve to death in 9 months! (Compare it with the minimum daily ration of 2,500 calories needed for a person to survive)!

But Jews in the ghettos were dying not only of starvation. The Jewish physicians found also that there was a point of no return after which it becomes impossible to save a starving person by means of feeding. As a result, after liberation, many survivors of the ghettos died, simply because they ate.

Another deadly means used by the Nazi was overcrowding! It was deliberately inhuman! Density of Jewish population in ghettos was designed to cause and spread widely infectious diseases.

The following facts illustrate inhuman overpopulation in the Warsaw ghetto.

About 400,000 Jews were crammed into a tiny area of 4.3 sq. km, while the rest of the Warsaw population (900,000) occupied the rest of the city area (175 sq. km).

In other words, 30% of Warsaw population was squeezed into just 2.4% of the city’s area! This means that the ghetto population density was about 18 times higher than the rest of the Warsaw population (93,000 vs. 5,100 person per sq. km)!

As for the territory allocated for Jews in the getto, in comparison with the rest of the Warsaw population, it was 11 vs. 194 sq. m per person! Livestock was supposed to have more spacing on a farm than a Jew in the ghetto!

These arguments prove that systematic mass killings took place in the ghettos!

Another proof, from a demographic standpoint, is the scale of the mass killings. Of 6M Jews perished during the Holocaust, more than 0.5M (8%) were murdered in the ghettos! This is a considerable loss of the world Jewish population!

Thus, systematic mass killings in the ghettos along with the other indicators of genocide, described earlier, mean that the Nazi ghettos were an integral part of the Holocaust!

  1. Conclusions

To understand better the arguments discussed above, let’s resort to an unusual allegory.

Criminals condemned to death are immediately moved into death row. This is a prison block set up for the condemned to temporarily keep them isolated from the outside world up to their execution. There they spend the rest of their days confined to tiny cells and watched by armed guards.

From a demographic standpoint, such people, in fact, seize to exist in society. They are the “living dead” waiting for a sudden transfer to special death-watch cells to be executed.

Thus, the death row is an integral part of the execution!

Allegorically speaking, Jews in the ghettos found themselves in the same, if not worse, situation.

All Jews on German-occupied territories were automatically condemned to death and immediately driven into ghettos (death row). This is a special territory set up for Jews to temporarily keep them isolated from the outside world up to their execution. There Jews spend the rest of their days confined to a very small area, fenced with barbed wire and watched by armed guards.

From a demographic standpoint, Jews locked in the ghetto seized to exist for the rest of the world. They were the “living dead” waiting to be deported to death camps, gassed and burnt in crematoriums.

That is why the deadly Nazi ghettos were an integral part of the Holocaust!

That is why the date, at which the first ghetto was established, can be considered the beginning of the Holocaust!

Thus, all things considered, a new assumption can be made regarding the date of the beginning of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust committed by the Nazi Germany during the WWII began on October 8, 1939!

At this fateful date, a ghetto was established in a small Polish town Piotrkow Trybunalski—the first one of 1,150 much deadlier ghettos set up by the Nazis on the occupied territories of Eastern Europe!

And from that date unnoticed by history, the fire of the Holocaust was raging on until the end of the WWII. Even in the last days of the war, the crematoriums were working at full capacity—Nazis were trying to cover their tracks leading to the crimes of the Holocaust they committed from October 1939 to May 1945.


…You may ask: Does it matter what date is considered to be the beginning of the Holocaust—October 1939 after the first ghetto was set up o, for example, November 1938 after the pogrom Kristallnacht? Or after mass killings of Jews took place?

Yes it does! Otherwise, historic accuracy would suffer, in the first place! Accuracy is mother of history! It prevents real significance of historic events from being exaggerated or underestimated!

This refers also to the history of of such event as Holocausts. Yes, Holocausts, in plural!

It is not a misspelling! There were two more even more devastating Holocausts got lost deep in the maze of Jewish history!

But this is a separate subject described in the author’s book Law of Conservation of Jews. We’ll discuss this topic next time.

About the Author

Dr. Valdemar Malin is an internationally recognized engineer and scientist, as well as a writer and an essayist. Immigrated to the US from the former USSR. Worked at the defense research centers and academia (Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology). Published more than 50 scientific articles and books and received numerous national and international awards. Was elected the Fellow of a professional society for his advanced research and technological innovations. Author of the books (Nature vs. Man; Altruism, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Law of Conservation of Jews) and dozens of essays.

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