January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp by Red Army troops in 1945. A day of remembrance has existed in Germany since 1996. In 2005, the United Nations declared the date the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust.
An estimated 17 million people were murdered by the German Nazi regime and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945, according to data published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The estimates are based on the regime’s own reports as well as demographic studies of population loss during World War II. The latest estimate of the number of homosexual victims is based on research by German historian Alexander Zinn, who carried out extensive research on this group of victims.
Some of the victims were murdered in Germany: in concentration camps, prisons, during pogroms or even in hospitals. A particularly large number of victims were murdered in Poland and the former Soviet Union. This is where the Nazis had set up extermination camps, which is also where the majority of the Jewish victims were killed by the regime. Nazi troops also shot and killed many civilians in occupied territory, most of them Jews. The Wehrmacht let the majority of Russian prisoners of war starve to death in prison camps.
Deaths among German political opponents and resistance fighters in areas occupied by allied forces are not included in the graphic. According to the USHMM, their number has not yet been determined.