Criticism to Walter Sanning's Demographic Research

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Mythos
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Criticism to Walter Sanning's Demographic Research

Postby Mythos » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:49 am)

This criticism to Sanning's research seems to have been made by a layman Jonathan Harrison(23/09/2007):
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2007/08/crazy-world-of-walter-sanning-part-1.html

So lets analyse it peace by piece, shall we?
Last edited by Mythos on Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mythos » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:53 am)

I havent yet read all of these articles thoroughly, and I already have few counter arguments to some points, but I'll wait until you've read them and posted.

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Postby PotPie » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:04 pm)

I haven't studied anyone's population estimates in any depth but I came to an interesting realization in the Majdanek thread:

One of the big things exterminationists like to wag around is the comparisons of the pre- and post-war population statistics to show how many Jews are missing. Wouldn't they, then, have been able to take such figures to know in advance that the alleged millions of deaths at camps such as Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau were too high? Likewise, wouldn't they have been able to tell if the claimed tolls were too low?

Unless, of course, there is something wrong with the compiled population statistics... Hundreds of thousands vanishing into thin air is bad enough, but we're talking about at least 2 million between the 2 camps.

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Postby Mythos » 1 decade 2 years ago (Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:46 am)

PotPie wrote:I haven't studied anyone's population estimates in any depth but I came to an interesting realization in the Majdanek thread:

One of the big things exterminationists like to wag around is the comparisons of the pre- and post-war population statistics to show how many Jews are missing. Wouldn't they, then, have been able to take such figures to know in advance that the alleged millions of deaths at camps such as Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau were too high? Likewise, wouldn't they have been able to tell if the claimed tolls were too low?

Unless, of course, there is something wrong with the compiled population statistics... Hundreds of thousands vanishing into thin air is bad enough, but we're talking about at least 2 million between the 2 camps.
Ok.

These census figures are quite interesting indeed:
12-18 million Jews alive before the war.
11-18 million Jews alive after the war.
http://www.adherents.com/Na/Na_408.html

I have Sanning's book, and I've read Germar Rudolf's analysis:
http://vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndstats.html

I'm just waiting that others read that criticism on the blog I cited, and respond.

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Postby Barrington James » 1 decade 2 years ago (Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:00 am)

Harrison of course accuses Sanning of lying. He gives Sanning him no credit at all for inaccuracies due to a topic that is so hard to pin down. Harrison's problem, of course, is that since he is well aware that so much of the "facts" of myth are lies, he cannot understand why the deniers would not also lie.

The fate of people such as Harrison, the myth makers, is not that they will be disbelieved by anyone with common sense, but that they themselves cannot believe anyone else
You can fool too many of the people most of the time.

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Postby ClaudiaRothenbach » 1 decade 2 years ago (Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:41 pm)

One way to tell the difference between an honest investigator and “Jonathan Harrison” are the words they use:

crazy
lying
shoddy
perverse
blatant lie
flagrant dishonesty
damning
obfuscation
"Everything has already been said, but not yet by everyone." - Karl Valentin

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Postby jnovitz » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:31 pm)

Jonathon Harrison is recent complete PhD who has failed to gain an academic position and consequently has a lot of spare time on his hands. His specialty was sociology however he did no quantitative research nor did he examine primary documents or sources but simply shelved a superflous and doomed to be unread thesis based on discussions of published works regarding anti-semitism on the library shelves on Leicester University.

His lack of familarity with interpreting historical documents shows and in many cases his interpretations of such documents are even more tendatious than Sanning's are somewhat inclined to be.

Where Jonathon has a point is his claim that Sanning's calculations ignore the Korrher report, if this claim is true this a serious short coming on Sanning's work. The Korrher report, if genuine and I believe it is, points to resettlement program in the occupied east of around 1.2 million Jews who by far the greatest proportion would have been polish Jews.

Given that Mr Harrison's blog is so shrill and unbalanced it is not rewarding work to try and deconstruct it, but here goes for part 1.



In this first part, we discuss the claim made by Sanning (p.33) that the number of Jews in Poland at the end of September 1939 was 2,633,000, a reduction of nearly 500,000 from the 1931 census figure of 3,113,933. A study of his sources and arguments reveals a number of deliberate omissions, distortions, and perverse interpretations of data.

Firstly, to justify his choice of sources, Sanning (p.44) makes a false claim about Nazi population data by asserting that “their figures were not based on a census, not even on estimates". This is a blatant lie because, as Sanning must have known, every Jewish ghetto in Poland was forced to conduct a census. This had been mandated by Heydrich on September 21st, 1939:


A reduction of 500 000 is not extreme. Jewish migration from Eastern Europe was heavy at this point. There are excellent population figures for Latvia Jews that show a similiar decrease, a trend also pronounced if looking at Jewish attendence at primary schools (in Latvia) which show a decline of around 10%.

Any figures produced at the end of September would not be based on a census as the fighting in poland had not yet finished and the population would be in complete flux. Heydrich may well have ordered a census on 21 September....it is utterly inconceivable that it would have been completed by 30 September in the middle of a campaign. A basic history of WW2 would serve Mr Harrison well here.



Sanning contradicts his own lie when he discusses Nazi demographic figures for Soviet cities (p.74). Suddenly, we discover that:

…the German authorities began to initiate detailed counts of the remaining population. Obviously, the German occupiers had to obtain some information on the available stock of the working population.


Obviously Sanning did not lie in the first place (september figures were not based on an accurate census) nor is he contradicting himself. Sanning did not claim that a census was not taken, simply that a census was not taken in the middle of the Wehrmacht campaign as Mr Harrison strangely claims.

Secondly, Sanning claims that Jewish natural population growth (births over
deaths) between 1931 and 1939 was only 0.2% per annum. This figure is refuted by a Polish government survey, published originally in 1936, with which any demographer of Poland should be familiar: "The Accuracy of the Registration of Births and Deaths" (Statistics, Series C. Pt. 41). A team of demographers examined rabbinical records dating back to 1927 and found that the number of births among the Jewish population in Poland was at least 50% larger than that given in the official birth tables.


Probably the difference is based on infant mortality given the unhygenic living conditions that Jewish areas were famed for across Eastern Europe, that would leave the Official Tables given a substantially accurate of survival through early infanthood. No plausible reason is given as to why Jews would only registering only 50% of their children.

Thirdly, Sanning prints a graph (p.28) showing that, as of 1931, the percentage of Jews to non-Jews was falling in proportion with age, i.e. there were proportionally far more old Jews than young ones in the overall population. He claims that this proves that the Jewish birth rate was far lower than for non-Jews. However, Sanning fails to mention the obvious explanation of these data, namely that, as he himself notes (p.30), 294,139 Jews emigrated between the 1921 and 1931 censuses, and most of these were young families with children.


Mr Harrison is oblivous to the flaw in his logic. If young Jews are emigrating preferentially to old Jews that would inevitable lead to a lower Jewish birth rate. Mr Harrison seems to concede that proportionally there WERE more older Jews comparatively. This also leads to the conclusion that estimates of lower birth rates are far more likely to be accurate.

Not only the facts of WW2 a mystery to Mr Harrison so it appears is where babies come from.

Of the 4.3 million Jews in the geographic area encompassed by Poland, the Baltic Countries, Rumania and Czechoslovakia before the war, approximately two thirds lived in Poland. Therefore, the largest contingent of Jewish immigrants in North America between 1933 and 1943 must have come from that country.
The sheer absurdity of this position can be shown by examining any American Jewish Yearbook from this period. For example, the Yearbook for 1937-38 (p.765, Table XVII) lists all Jewish immigrants into the USA by country of last residence. The total from all countries for the year up to June 30th, 1936 is 6,252. The number of these emanating from Poland is just 528.


There was no requirement for Jews to register with the synagogue on arrival in America. The annual quota for Poland emigration to the US between the war was over 30 000. And it is most probable that Jews took up a greater than 10% proportional share of that quota. So 530 out of 30 000 is not a credible figure. Nor was all emigration from Poland confined to that quota.

Sanning's lack of basic knowledge is further exposed when he discusses the possibility of Jewish emigration from Poland to France. He assumes (p.31) that Jews arriving in France must have emigrated either from Germany or from “countries to the east and south east of Germany”. He then narrows this area down to one country: Poland! Anyone with even the scantest knowledge of French Jewish history would have known that France had an empire in North Africa, which contained many Jews, and these were allowed to enter France freely.


Emigration of Polish Jews to France is quite a well known fact....well known to most historians that is.

That will do for Part I.

There is such a lot of hot air and such a basic lack of knowledge in this blog post that I dont think the refutation makes rewarding reading.

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Postby PotPie » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:37 am)

jnovitz - Great and interesting post. What are the general figures on Jewish immigration to France from Poland and elsewhere in the east?

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Postby Hektor » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:02 am)

jnovitz wrote:Jonathon Harrison is recent complete PhD who has failed to gain an academic position and consequently has a lot of spare time on his hands. His specialty was sociology however he did no quantitative research nor did he examine primary documents or sources but simply shelved a superflous and doomed to be unread thesis based on discussions of published works regarding anti-semitism on the library shelves on Leicester University.
...
Still, then he should have learnt how to formulate a decent line of argument. The Holocaustians are exposing themselves with this kind of polemics.

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Postby Jonathan Harrison » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:47 am)

I am happy to debate these issues here. I will begin by responding to jnovitz's points:
A reduction of 500 000 is not extreme. Jewish migration from Eastern Europe was heavy at this point. There are excellent population figures for Latvia Jews that show a similiar decrease, a trend also pronounced if looking at Jewish attendence at primary schools (in Latvia) which show a decline of around 10%.

What is the source of those figures? The Latvian census for 1930 and 1935 show that the number of Jews fell by only 909, a far lower percentage than is being claimed by Sanning for Polish Jews. See this link:

http://www.roots-saknes.lv/Ethnicities/ ... istics.htm

Any figures produced at the end of September would not be based on a census as the fighting in poland had not yet finished and the population would be in complete flux. Heydrich may well have ordered a census on 21 September....it is utterly inconceivable that it would have been completed by 30 September in the middle of a campaign. A basic history of WW2 would serve Mr Harrison well here.

My blog does not claim that the census was to be carried out in September. It quotes Heydrich's instruction that ghettoes wre to conduct a census. Clearly, this could not be done until the ghettoes had been formed.
Sanning did not claim that a census was not taken, simply that a census was not taken in the middle of the Wehrmacht campaign as Mr Harrison strangely claims.

On page 44 Sanning wrote "In the ghettoes the Jews were accorded some kind of self-administration and the Germans never bothered to count them". So Sanning does say 'never', not just 'did not count them in Sep 39'.
Probably the difference is based on infant mortality given the unhygenic living conditions that Jewish areas were famed for across Eastern Europe, that would leave the Official Tables given a substantially accurate of survival through early infanthood. No plausible reason is given as to why Jews would only registering only 50% of their children.

The 1936 study covered those points, hence the title "Accuracy of births and deaths".
Mr Harrison is oblivous to the flaw in his logic. If young Jews are emigrating preferentially to old Jews that would inevitable lead to a lower Jewish birth rate. Mr Harrison seems to concede that proportionally there WERE more older Jews comparatively. This also leads to the conclusion that estimates of lower birth rates are far more likely to be accurate.

But Sanning printed his table as 'evidence' that the birth rate had already fallen, not as evidence that it was about to fall. No-one disputes that the birth rate fell; demographers in the 1936 study accepted a declining birth rate but not the catastrophic collapse in birth rate claimed by Sanning.
There was no requirement for Jews to register with the synagogue on arrival in America. The annual quota for Poland emigration to the US between the war was over 30 000. And it is most probable that Jews took up a greater than 10% proportional share of that quota. So 530 out of 30 000 is not a credible figure.

Again, what's the source of these stats? The official quota was 6524 and is show in contemporary sources such as this one:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 59,00.html

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Postby jnovitz » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:52 pm)

First my error

Again, what's the source of these stats? The official quota was 6524 and is show in contemporary sources such as this one:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 59,00.html


Dr Harrison is correct and I am in error (but not Dr Sanning). I took a figure for the quota in the 20s and assumed it was unchanged. this was a wrong assumption.

However it would be incorrect to assume that the quota was the ceiling on the numbers allowed to migrate from Poland.

A number of catagories fell outside quota restrictions, for example skilled professionals and their families did not need to apply through the quota system. Nor did residents in America who wished to bring over family.

For example it was quite common for the husband/father to come in under quota, obtain residency and then bring over his wife and children not under quota. All quite legally.

Illegal immigration is a matter rightly raised by Dr Sanning that is difficult to quantify. Suffice to say the USA is not a police state and has none or few registration requirements.

Now the parts where Dr Harrison is in error - although I doubt he will be prepared to acknowledge the fact.

What is the source of those figures? The Latvian census for 1930 and 1935 show that the number of Jews fell by only 909, a far lower percentage than is being claimed by Sanning for Polish Jews. See this link:

http://www.roots-saknes.lv/Ethnicities/ ... istics.htm


If I might refer him to The Holocaust in Latvia by Andrew Ezergailis he will find estimates for Latvia that show a population decrease from 1935 (the last census) and 1940.

I think this estimate is conservative if looking at the decline in elementary school attendence over the same period for Jews from the same source page 397

Year 1925-26 11,804
Year 1935-36 12347
Year 1936-37 11912
Year 1937-38 11572
Year 1938-39 11127

This shows a steady decline of 2.5% a year in elementary school age children for a total decline of exactly 10% over the four years.

This decline is either due to a dramatically declining birth rate (especially dramatic when you consider the cohort effect of falling numbers being contained in the first year of school rather than evenly spread over every year).

Or significant immigration that removed both families and/or young people about to start families.

It would not surprise me if the same social pressures were having a similiar effect in Poland.

My blog does not claim that the census was to be carried out in September.


"In this first part, we discuss the claim made by Sanning (p.33) that the number of Jews in Poland at the end of September 1939 was 2,633,000, a reduction of nearly 500,000 from the 1931 census figure of 3,113,933. A study of his sources and arguments reveals a number of deliberate omissions, distortions, and perverse interpretations of data.

Read more!

Firstly, to justify his choice of sources, Sanning (p.44) makes a false claim about Nazi population data by asserting that “their figures were not based on a census, not even on estimates".


Since, as you admit, the Nazis did not count Jews in Poland as of September 1939 then Dr Sanning is correct not to use Nazi population sources in order to determine their numbers as of September 1939.

If he had done so he would have concluded there were far less Jews than 2.6 millioin.

For example, Hans Frank in his official diary gives the figure for the Jewish population of Warsaw as of November 1939 as around 36 000 - around 10% of the population generally assumed a few months before.

(Dr Harrison will find this figure in the portion of the diary printed in the IMT volumes).

Clearly the Nazi invasion saw a massive exodus of Jews out of Warsaw and so is not a good figure for Dr Sanning to use in his estimates of September 1939 population.


The 1936 study covered those points, hence the title "Accuracy of births and deaths".


As we have seen in Latvia where we have good data for elementary school attendance showing a significant decline explanations that do not involve large numbers of secret jewish children would seem in order


But Sanning printed his table as 'evidence' that the birth rate had already fallen, not as evidence that it was about to fall. No-one disputes that the birth rate fell; demographers in the 1936 study accepted a declining birth rate but not the catastrophic collapse in birth rate claimed by Sanning.


Dr Harrison seems confused. Is he saying that all the young Jews saw the census man approaching and then rushed over the nearest border and so the birth rate would only decline in the future?

A census is only a snapshot in time, if a census shows a large skew towards elderly Jews then we can assume that situation did not spontaneously develop when the census man knocked on the door and so that the birth rate would already have declined.

Besides couples intending to immigrate will also tend to try and control their fertility in any case, even prior to departure.

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Postby jnovitz » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:57 pm)

Still, then he should have learnt how to formulate a decent line of argument. The Holocaustians are exposing themselves with this kind of polemics.


Harrison actually thinks that Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a logical proposition, rather than a rule of thumb for assessing the credibility of a witness.

for Dr Mathis's benefit regarding my original post, the correct spelling is tendentious. This has the meaning of highly inclined for bias. I apologise for the misspelling and thank him for pointing it out.

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Postby Jonathan Harrison » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:06 pm)

A number of catagories fell outside quota restrictions, for example skilled professionals and their families did not need to apply through the quota system. Nor did residents in America who wished to bring over family.

For example it was quite common for the husband/father to come in under quota, obtain residency and then bring over his wife and children not under quota. All quite legally.


Do you have any source for these claims? The American Jewish Yearbooks, which obtained their data from the US immigration service, do not list any such migrants, who would of course have been recorded by the authorities.
Suffice to say the USA is not a police state and has none or few registration requirements.

The 1940 article in my previous post shows the extent of restrictions:
Begging admission to the U. S. at year's end were 657,353 suffering men and women (including 309,782 from Germany; 115,222 from Poland; 51,272 from Czechoslovakia; 32,836 from Hungary).

Only 6542 Poles got in so clearly there were huge barriers being erected.
If I might refer him to The Holocaust in Latvia by Andrew Ezergailis he will find estimates for Latvia that show a population decrease from 1935 (the last census) and 1940.

Do you have a page reference?
This shows a steady decline of 2.5% a year in elementary school age children for a total decline of exactly 10% over the four years.


No, it shows a decline in elementary school attendance, which, for all we know, may be due to a variety of reasons to do with government policy and Jewish parental preferences.
This decline is either due to a dramatically declining birth rate (especially dramatic when you consider the cohort effect of falling numbers being contained in the first year of school rather than evenly spread over every year).

Does this mean that the increase between 1926 and 1936 was due to a rising birth rate?
Or significant immigration that removed both families and/or young people about to start families.

That is purely hypothetical without any emigration data.
Since, as you admit, the Nazis did not count Jews in Poland as of September 1939 then Dr Sanning is correct not to use Nazi population sources in order to determine their numbers as of September 1939. If he had done so he would have concluded there were far less Jews than 2.6 millioin.

But he would also have been obliged to recognise there were more than 757,000 in Nazi occupied territory (which is the figure he was claiming).
Harrison actually thinks that Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a logical proposition, rather than a rule of thumb for assessing the credibility of a witness.

No, I say precisely the opposite: revisionists who invoke the principle are sometimes guilty of neglecting its legal parameters and restrictions of usage. Moreover, isn't this off-topic?

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Postby Hannover » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:25 am)

This entire argument is generally pointless since there is absolutely no proof of 'gas chambers' or 'slaughter of 6M Jews & 6M others'. It's the old 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' exercise ... futile since there are no angels.

- Hannover
If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.

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Postby Jonathan Harrison » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:06 pm)

Sanning is only relevant insofar as some revisionists, most notably Rudolf, cite his work as 'proof' that there weren't enough Jews in Poland to meet the numbers that, according to the Korherr Report and other transport records, were transported to the camps. I agree that it's a separate discussion from the question of what happened to the Jews when they got to the camps. Sanning does not mention the camps at all, and I do not mention the camps in my Sanning series of blogs apart from transport records to the camps. The camps are therefore separate from this thread.


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