Full shocking scale of the Holocaust revealed as researchers find Nazis created 42,500 camps and ghettos to persecute the Jews across EuropeResearchers initially expected to find about 7,000 camps and ghettosBut they were left horrified to discover 42,500 across much of Europe
They also estimate up to 20
million people died or were imprisoned at sites
17:36 GMT, 2 March 2013
18:12 GMT, 2 March 2013
It is one of the worst moments in history, which still horrifies to this day.
During Hitler's brutal reign of Nazi Germany, more than six million Jews were killed.
But now new research has discovered that the Holocaust may well be even worse than previously thought.
Grim: It is believed more than 42,000 Holocaust camps existed across Europe. This image shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz
Horrific: The figures are much higher than previously thought – researchers first thought that about 7,000 Nazi camps existed
Researchers at the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum have been documenting all of the Nazi
concentration camps, ghettos, slave labour sites and killing factories
which had been set up across Europe.
When they first started the project, the team expected to find about 7,000 camps and ghettos.
Shockingly, they discovered 42,500 camps across large swathes of German-controlled Europe. The researchers predict that up to 20
million people died or were imprisoned in the sites.
Speaking to the New York Times, Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said: 'The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought.
'We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was but the numbers are unbelievable.'
The figure includes 30,000 slave labour camps and 980 concentration camps. As well as 'killing centres' they included forced labour
camps where prisoners made supplies for the war.
They also included
sites called 'care' centers in which pregnant women were made to have
abortions or their babies murdered shortly after birth.
Awful: Jewish men are pictured being transported from the Warsaw Ghetto by Wehrmacht soldiers to work on sites elsewhere
A BREAKDOWN OF THE CAMPS
When the project began, researchers thought they would find about 7,000 Nazi camps.
Horrifyingly, however, they have found more than 40,000.
This is how they break-down.
30,000 slave labour camps
1,150 Jewish ghettos
980 concentration camps
1,000 prisoner-of-war camps
500 brothels filled with sex slaves
And 1,000s of camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, 'Germanizing' prisoners or transporting victims to killing centres
The researchers have created a series of
maps which present a grim view of life in wartime Europe.They show just
how widespread the camps were, although most were centred in Germany
Previous data has
shown just the existence of individual camps on a fragmented basis.
But using data from 400 contributors , they
have now documented the large scale operation for the first time.
They have discovered exactly where they are located and how they were run.
It is now believed that the research could help survivors with their claims over unpaid insurance policies. Researchers say the project has helped change the understanding about Holocaust experts over how the camps were run.
The Warsaw Ghetto has been identified as the biggest site – holding about 500,000 people at one point.
When the project first started, the researchers expected to find about 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos. But as the project has gone on, the numbers constantly increased to the current figure of 42,500.