By the end of 1942 the Germans had already murdered millions of Jews, but there were still remaining before them many Jews, more millions, all over Europe and North Africa, whom they wanted to capture and to bring to the murder centers in order to kill them.
And they embarked on that mission during the course of 1943 and the subsequent years until the end of World War II, where the murder did not stop until the end of the war.
Auschwitz became ultimately the largest and most industrialized murder center of the entire history. Auschwitz came online fully during the course of 1943. All of the gas chambers at Birkenau, the murder center of Auschwitz-Birkenau, were online by the summer of 1943 and were now prepared to kill all these arriving Jews: Jews from Greece, Jews from Italy, and the peak – the Jews from Hungary. In the course of the spring and summer of 1944, some 437,000 Jews from Hungary were brought to Auschwitz and nearly all of them killed upon arrival, in a period of just eight weeks. Ultimately Auschwitz murdered more than a million people, nearly all of them Jews.
As the Red Army approached Auschwitz, the Germans shut down the murder operations in Auschwitz and they marched out the majority of the remaining prisoners, some 57,000 approximately, in a death march through the snow, without any provisions, shooting thousands on the way as they marched them towards Germany, and only a few thousands were remaining in the camp itself when the Soviets arrived on January 27th of 1945.
So if we come to sum up the Holocaust, we can say that the Nazis achieved some of their goals, but they did not achieve all of their goals. They murdered six million Jews, the Jews have never replenished their numerical numbers. If before the war there were between sixteen and seventeen million Jews, at the end of World War II there were fewer than eleven million. And today, at the peak of Jewish growth since World War II, there are approximately 13 million Jews in the world. They seriously damaged aspects of Jewish culture – Ladino and Yiddish and other things. They wiped out Jewish communities that have never been reconstituted, and have been essentially wiped off the map. In that sense the Nazis achieved some of their goals, but the Nazis also failed because the Jewish people are still here. The Jewish people did not win World War II, the Jewish people survived World War II, but in that survival lies the Nazi failure.
Materials are published in accordance with Yad VaShem Remembrance Centre.