Nazi Body Count: 20,946,000 Non-Battle Deaths

by Scott Manning on April 1, 2009

The Nazi Body Count represents non-battle deaths caused by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. This includes genocide, execution of civilians and POWs, forced labor that resulted in deaths, bombing of civilian populations, imposed famine and resulting diseases, and “euthanasia.” These numbers do not include civilians who got caught in the cross-fire of battle.

The numbers are mid-estimates. The source for the numbers, R. J. Rummel’s Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder, uses of a method of accumulating all available estimates typically from government sources or scholarly examinations. The estimates are sorted by lows, mids, and highs. Averages are determined from the estimates to arrive at a low-estimate (the minimum), a mid-estimate (the more probable), and a high-estimate (the least likely).1

The Nazi body counts are grouped by country and sorted from highest to lowest. Also, an occupation death rate is provided for the countries that Nazi Germany actually occupied. This number was determined by dividing the 1939 population estimate by the body count to give the percentage that a citizen of that country was likely to be killed during that time period. An appendix at the end lists the sources for the population estimates.

Subsequent articles will examine each country in detail: Their relationship with Nazi Germany and more information on the numbers.

RankCountry

1

USSR FlagUSSR
Body Count: 12,250,0002
Occupation Death Rate: 18.85%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 6,500,000 died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
  • 3,000,000 killed POWs
  • 1,224,000 killed through executions, massacres, or bombing of civilian populations3
  • 876,000 killed Jews
  • 650,000 died through forced labor

2

Poland FlagPoland
Body Count: 5,400,0004
Occupation Death Rate: 15.39%
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

  • 3,000,000 killed Jews
  • 2,300,000 killed or died through forced labor.

3

Nazi Germany FlagNazi Germany
Body Count: 762,0005
Deaths caused between 1933-1945

  • 288,000 killed through executions and purges, or died through forced labor
  • 173,000 killed through "euthanasia"6
  • 160,000 killed Jews
  • 88,000 Germans died in February, 1945 during forced evacuation from Eastern territories
  • 55,000 killed homosexuals.

4

Yugoslavia FlagYugoslavia
Body Count: 625,0007
Occupation Death Rate: 3.98%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 588,000 killed through massacres and bombing of civilian populations, died through forced labor, or killed Serbians
  • 37,000 killed Jews

5

Hungary FlagHungary
Body Count: 406,0008
Occupation Death Rate: 3.01%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 378,000 killed Jews
  • 28,000 killed Gypsies

6

France
Body Count: 256,0009
Occupation Death Rate: 0.61%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

  • 158,000 killed or died through forced labor
  • 98,000 killed Jews

7

Czechoslovakia
Body Count: 214,00010
Occupation Death Rate: 1.41%
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

  • 150,000 killed Jews
  • 56,000 killed or executed
  • 8,000 killed Gypsies

8

Lithuania FlagLithuania
Body Count: 176,18211
Occupation Death Rate: 7.21%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945


176,182 killed Jews and Gypsies, executed, or died during deportation.

9

Netherlands FlagNetherlands
Body Count: 175,70612
Occupation Death Rate: 1.99%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

  • 108,000 killed Jews
  • 35,000 died through forced labor
  • 17,000 killings and massacres of hostages
  • 15,000 died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
  • 706 killed through bombing of civilian populations

10

Greece FlagGreece
Body Count: 140,00013
Occupation Death Rate: 1.94%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 73,000 killings and massacres of hostages, or died through imposed famine and resulting diseases
  • 67,000 killed Jews

11

Austria FlagAustria
Body Count: 133,00014
Occupation Death Rate: 1.97%
Deaths caused between 1938-1945

  • 65,000 killed Gypsies
  • 58,000 killed Jews
  • 10,000 killed or executed

12

United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom
Body Count: 87,60015
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

87,600 were killed through bombing of civilian populations or were killed POWs.

13

Latvia FlagLatvia
Body Count: 69,54516
Occupation Death Rate: 3.56%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

69,545 killed Jews and Gypsies, executed or died during deportation.

14

Romania FlagRomania
Body Count: 70,00017
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

70,000 Jews were killed.

15

Italy FlagItaly
Body Count: 64,00018
Occuaption Death Rate: 0.15%
Deaths caused between 1943-1945

  • 56,000 killed POWs and reprisal murders
  • 8,000 killed Jews

16

Belgium FlagBelgium
Body Count: 50,50019
Occupation Death Rate: 0.60%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 40,000 killed Jews
  • 10,000 died through forced labor or were executed
  • 500 killed Gypsies

17

Spain FlagSpain
Body Count: 21,600020
Deaths caused between 1937-1945

  • 20,000 died through forced labor or were executed
  • 1,600 bombing of civilian population in Guernica in 1938

18

Croatia FlagIndependent State of Croatia
Body Count: 21,00021
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

  • 20,000 rounded up and shot after the Battle of Kozara in July, 1942
  • 1,000 killed Gypsies

19

Estonia
Body Count: 9,27222
Occupation Death Rate: 0.83%
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

9,272 killed Jews and Gypsies, were executed, or died during deportation.

20

Bulgaria FlagBulgaria
Body Count: 7,00023
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

7,000 Jews were killed.

21

United States of America FlagUnited States of America
Body Count: 2,03824
Deaths caused between 1942-1945

2,038 POWs were killed.

22

Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg
Body Count: 2,20025
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

  • 2,000 killed Jews
  • 200 killed Gypsies

23

Norway FlagNorway
Body Count: 1,50026
Occupation Death Rate: 0.05%
Deaths caused between 1940-1945

1,500 Jews were killed.

24

Denmark FlagDenmark
Body Count: 70027
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

  • 500 killed Jews
  • 200 killed

25

Italian Libya
Body Count: 56228
Deaths caused between 1939-1945

562 Jews were killed.

26

Albania FlagAlbanian Kingdom
Body Count: 20029
Deaths caused between 1943-1945

200 Jews were killed.

27

Finland FlagFinland
Body Count: 630
Deaths caused between 1941-1945

6 Jews were killed.

Appendix: Populations of Countries Occupied by Nazi Germany

The following population estimates were used to determine the occupation death rates for the countries. Unless otherwise noted, the estimates come from International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941 published by the League of Nations in 1941.31

CountryYearPopulation
Austria19376,760,00032
Belgium19398,396,000
Czechoslovakia193715,213,00033
Denmark19393,825,000
Estonia19391,122,000
France193941,950,000
Greece19397,201,000
Hungary193913,500,000
Italy193913,300,000
Latvia19391,951,000
Lithuania19392,442,000
Luxembourg1939301,000
Netherlands19398,834,000
Norway19392,937,000
Poland193835,090,000
USSR194265,000,00034
Yugosolavia193915,703,000

Bibliography

Grenkevich, Leonid D. and Josef Washington Hall. The Soviet partisan movement 1941-1945: A Critical Historiographical Analysis. Portland: Frank Class, 1999.

League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service. International Statistical Year-Book 1937/1938. Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941.

——. International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941. Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941.

Rummel, R. J. Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992.

——. “Estimating Democide: Methods and Procedures.” University of Hawaii. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/METHOD.HTM (accessed November 12, 2008).

Footnotes

  1. Rummel provides a more detailed explanation for his methods and procedures on his website. This same explanation is provided in each of his books related to death estimates. R. J. Rummel, “Estimating Democide: Methods and Procedures,” University of Hawaii, http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/METHOD.HTM. []
  2. R. J. Rummel, Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992), 127-131. []
  3. This number is determined by Rummel's estimate that of the 3,600,000 that died in this category, about 2,376,000 were the responsibility of the Soviet government. Rummel 1992, 131. []
  4. After Rummel breaks down the causes of death, he comes up with a mid-estimate of 5,300,000. This is very close to the official Polish Report of 5,400,000, which Rummel chooses to rely on for the final mid-estimate. Rummel 1992, 124-125. []
  5. Rummel 1992, 116-118. []
  6. Those killed through the euthanasia program included the "malformed, old, diseased, senile, or mentally backward in the judgment of the doctors in charge." These were not people electing to die. Rummel 1992, 47. []
  7. This excludes those killed in the Independent State of Croatia. Rummel 1992, 132-133. []
  8. Rummel 1992, 119-120. []
  9. Rummel 1992, 114-116. []
  10. Rummel 1992, 112-113. []
  11. Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country's ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Lithuania's portion of the new estimate would be about 176,182. Rummel 1992, 108-110. []
  12. Rummel 1992, 122-123. []
  13. Rummel 1992, 118-119 []
  14. Rummel 1992, 108. []
  15. Rummel 1992, 127. []
  16. Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country's ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Latvia's portion of the new estimate would be about 69,545. Rummel 1992, 108-110. []
  17. Rummel 1992, 125-127. []
  18. Rummel 1992, 120-121. []
  19. Rummel rounds up to 51,000. Rummel 1992, 110. []
  20. Rummel 1992, 127. []
  21. Rummel 1992, 111-112. []
  22. Rummel had estimates for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Rummel took this sum and averaged it with a separate overall estimate for the Baltic States. In order to determine an estimate for a country, the country's ratio of the first summed estimate was applied to the overall Baltic average. Estonia's portion of the new estimate would be about 9,272. Rummel 1992, 108-110. []
  23. Rummel 1992, 111. []
  24. Rummel 1992, 107. []
  25. Rummel rounds down to 2,000 in his final estimate. Rummel 1992, 121-122. []
  26. Rummel 1992,123- 124. []
  27. Rummel 1992, 114. []
  28. Rummel 1992, 121. []
  29. Rummel 1992, 108. []
  30. Rummel 1992, 114. []
  31. Economic Intelligence Service, Economic Intelligence Service, International Statistical Year-Book 1940/1941 (Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1941), 14, 16, 17. []
  32. League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service, International Statistical Year-Book 1937/1938 (Geneva: Series of League of Nations Publications, 1938), 20. []
  33. League of Nations Economic Intelligence Service 1938, 20. []
  34. This is the estimated population of USSR territory occupied by Nazi Germany. Leonid D. Grenkevich and Josef Washington Hall, The Soviet Partisan Movement 1941-1945: A Critical Historiographical Analysis (Portland: Frank Class, 1999), 98. []

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeff September 18, 2011 at 4:24 PM

more of a question than comment. thanks for the great site. i really enjoyed the kill stats under communism and Nazism. would love to see some kill stats for Christianity and perhaps socialism. curious to compare Christian-nation kills to those of atheist-like regime kills. but I guess religious wars annihilate millions in “legal” wars as opposed to your stats that have more to do with extermination…still…curious..

thanks…

Reply

2 Adam March 24, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Thanks for the info. Can you provide a Non-Battle Kill-count on the Allied side? Objectively if you can.

Thank you again!

Reply

3 Andaluz December 14, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Very bad numbers. Only for Spain there are more than 100.000 victim in mass grave today , 200.000 deaths for famine in post war, and 500.000 in the state coup and civil war.

Reply

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