Holocaust sites numbered 42,500

Researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have discovered the scale of the Holocaust is more extensive than previously known, the New York Times reports.

Over the past 13 years all the Nazi ghettos, slave labour sites, concentration camps and killing factories have been catalogued and found to number an astonishing 42,500, the newspaper reports. The sites spanned Nazi-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany from 1933 to 1945.

The New York Times said researchers outlined their findings in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington. There were 30,000 slave labour camps; 1150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps including some used for killing the elderly and sick, or performing forced abortions.

Lead researchers Dr Geoffrey Megargee and Dr Martin Dean estimate 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in these sites. Megargee said he had expected to find about 7000 Nazi camps and ghettos.

- NZ Herald

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