(Baseler Nachrichten, evening edition, Thursday, 13 June 1946, Page 2, Nr. 243. Please note: This is a somewhat awkward translation, apparently by a translator for whom English was not his native tongue.)
Totally independent of the claims of Dr. Perlzweig, Chief of the Political Departments of the World Jewish Congress, concerning the number of Jews who fell victim to the anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime in Europe, (numbers) which were published in Nr. 241 of the "Baseler Nachrichten" (Basel, Switzerland), we have received from a correspondent in America under the title "How high is the number of the Jewish victims?" the following statement:
Nearly all states (with the revealing exception of the Soviet Union!) have in the meantime reported the official numbers of their war losses - whereby the astonishing fact came to light that these losses were considerably lower than those of the first World War.
It is the more astonishing that regarding the losses of the Jewish people no official numbers were published, but only private and semi-official estimates. These estimates lie between 5 and 6 millions deaths - I suppose according to a central propaganda-number - which the Jewish people shall have suffered as a result of the persecutions from the Hitler system and of the war. If this number is correct, then the losses of the Jews were bigger than the losses of England, America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg together, which makes it doubly incomprehensible that they still are satisfied with a simple estimate of this enormous number of losses.
But a summary overview makes it known that this number of Jewish victims cannot be correct. - In view of the strange absence of official documents, the question today can only be considered on the basis of present general information.
Accordingly, the number of Jews in Europe - outside the Soviet Union - was in the year 1933 approximately 5.6 million, a number given by the American Jewish Conference itself (according to a report in the "New York Times" from January 11th, 1945!). - From this number must be subtracted approx. 1 million living in the east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop-line and therefore totally outside of the repression of the Hitler system before the June 21st, 1941; and after this date the largest part had taken to flight with the withdrawing Red Army into the interior of Russia and Siberia. Even when we suppose that only the half of the Jews living in the east of the Ribbentrop-Molotov-line could save themselves from the invasion of the Nazis, we get a solid number - which is also accepted by the highest Jewish authority - of 5 million Jews, who could get into the sphere of influence of Hitler at all.
But from these must be subtracted those Jews living in the neutral countries of Europe. According to the "World Almanac 1942," page 594, the number of Jews in these neutral countries not overrun by Hitler: Gibraltar 868, England 300,000, Portugal 1200, Spain 4000, Sweden 6653, Switzerland 17,973, Ireland 3686, Turkey 78,730 - together: 413,128.
With this, the number of Jews in Europe "within the grasp" of Hitler and Himmler is reduced to approximately 4.5 millions. From this number is to be subtracted the enormous stream of refugees, which flowed in the years 1933-1945 over all countries and continents. With the great international support, which this stream of threatened Jews received rightly, a large amount of these Jews were able to get safe refuge.
Unfortunately, here also no official statistics are available, which would show the exact immigration of Jews to North and South America, to Australia, Asia, and the neutral countries of Europe. Because of the supposition being correct, that after 1933 at least 80% of the immigrants classified as "Germans, Austrians and Poles" were members of the Jewish people-and after the beginning of the war nearly all of these immigrants were Jews-an overview compiled from different sources (including the Jewish newspaper "Aufbau") shows the following picture of Jewish immigration from 1933 to 1945:
To England approx. 120,000, Sweden approx. 25,000, Switzerland approx. 60,000, Spain and Portugal approx. 5000, Canada approx. 60,000, USA approx. 450,000, Central America approx. 75,000, South America approx. 225,000, Australia approx. 15,000, China (Shanghai) approx. 35,000, India approx. 25,000, Africa approx. 45,000, Palestine approx. 300,000. Together approx. 1,440,000 or about 1.5 million.
The stream into the large regions of the Soviet Union and Siberia were excluded in this calculation, because we have no statistics in hand. But it shall be mentioned that, according to a report of the "New York Times", more than 500,000 Jews from Poland might have taken to flight to Siberia alone, a figure which resulted from a recent lecture of a Jewish lady who returned from there.
The number of Jews in the sphere of influence of Hitler reduces to at most 3 million. The lack of exact numbers also concerns the number of surviving Jews in Europe and even the detailed report of the English-Jewish committee strangely restricts itself to "estimates". According to this estimate the number of Jews still living in Europe (outside of the Soviet Union) is 1,559,660.
It follows from this survey, which can unfortunately not be based on new official numbers, but whose numbers all originate from official side, that there must be classified less than 1.5 million Jews as "dead or missing".
We hope that from this estimate a serious number of these can again be found when correct statistics will be available. Regarding the immense importance which the "extermination" of the Jews has received in world opinion, it is of imperative necessity that the United Nations create an official committee of inquiry to determine how high the real number of casualties of the Jewish people was.
One thing is today certain: the claim that this number is 5-6 million (a claim which inexplicably the Palestine-committee adopts) is not true. The number of Jewish victims can be between 1 and 1.5 million, because more were not "within the grasp" of Hitler and Himmler. It is to be expected and hoped, that the final number of victims of the Jewish people are below this number. But clarity is necessary - and therefore an examination from a committee of the UNO should for the present and the future determine this important truth.