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By Jon Reisfeld
April 18, 2011

After Israeli agents captured Adolf
, in 1960, and charged
him with crimes against humanity
for his role in implementing Hitler's
Final Solution, the unrepentant for-
mer Nazi head of Jewish depor-
tations shared several revealing
anecdotes with his captors con-
cerning events from those dark

One story eventually found its way
into CIA files, only to resurface,
after declassification, in a 2009
National Archives report about Nazi
War Criminals, U.S. intelligence
agencies and the Cold War.

The story has special significance for all of us who pause today, on Yom Hashoah, to remember
victims of The Holocaust. It also further refutes the claims of the stubborn, hateful few, who despite
overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continue to insist that The Holocaust never happened.

Eichmann said that while he was in Budapest, in the fall of 1944, he received orders from
Heinrich Himmler, head of the Gestapo, to prepare a report about the exact number of Jews
the Nazis had killed since taking power, in 1933. Because he did not run the death camps or
command the death squads in the field, a point Eichmann, no doubt, wished to impress upon his interrogators, he said he had to rely on estimates previously provided by concentration camp commandants and death-squad unit heads in order to prepare the report.

Eichmann's report estimated the number of murdered Jews at six million. Of these, he said,
two-thirds (or 4 million) had died in the camps while the remaining 2 million had perished
during special killing actions conducted near their homes in Poland and Russia.

Eichmann submitted his report and waited. Eventually, Himmler's assistant, Hoettl, informed him
that his boss was dissatisfied, believing that the numbers should have been higher. Himmler
ordered Eichmann to forward a copy of the report to the head of his statistical office (apparently,
so that he could then review and revise it.)

Himmler, who had been closely involved in implementing the Final Solution, believed Eichmann
had grossly
underestimated the efficiency of the Nazi killing machine. Six million murdered
Jews? That number, he insisted, was not even close.

The six-million dead included one million Jewish children, two million Jewish women and three
million Jewish men, two-thirds of the estimated nine million Jews living in Europe prior to the
war. They represented civilian deaths -- unarmed people whom the Nazis had singled out for
slavery, endless brutality and slaughter, strictly because of their familial and religious heritage.

The number of dead may not have satisfied Himmler's blood lust, but 6 million is such a large
number that it is diffiult to fathom. How do we put it into perspective? If it took just three
seconds to repeat each Holocaust victim's name aloud, a single person, reading the names of
the dead non-stop, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, would need 208-and-a-third days --
or nearly seven sleepless months -- in which to complete the task. Of course, no single person's
voice or body could long withstand the strain, so hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals
would be needed, working in tandem, to complete the vigil.

Time has not lessened our sense of loss. Instead, it deepens with each new generation, as we
note the conspicuous absence of millions of victims' descendants. The six million Jewish lives lost
in The Holocaust continue to represent unspeakable tragedy and pain, horrifying in its scope and impossible, even for those of us alive 70 years later, to fully accept and comprehend.

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Today, We Remember the Nameless, Faceless Dead
Release date:
May 30, 2012
"The Last Way Station is a cleverly written allegory about Hitler's final journey to hell. It is an eerie but instructive tale with a killer ending! Highly recommended."

"An enjoyable, easy read that offers suspense from beginning to end. The book provides real life scenarios with an unusual twist, the point of view of the husband in a messy divorce."
Mark Woodburn, UK, author of Winston and Me.
Copyright (c) 2011 by Jon Reisfeld | Photo Credit: | Website by Hot Gates Press. Site Terms of Use.
Jules Goodman, Amazon reader review.
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"The only shortcoming of this novella is exactly that: it is too short. The Last Way Station is an amazing and entertaining (although disturbing) read, but just as it starts to build momentum, it is over. It leaves hope that maybe Reisfeld will expound on his ideas and characters and give us a full-length novel in which to immerse ourselves."

J. Hypes, Amazon reader-review. (Five Stars)
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