Monday, February 10, 2003

Reuters: 6 Million "People" Killed in Germany During World War II

James Tarranto correctly describes this statement by Reuter's as "jaw-dropping."

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has angered the Bush administration with his outspoken opposition to a war in Iraq, a position that has widespread backing in Germany where six million people were killed during World War II.

(Emphasis added). Apparently, Reuters believes that because the Germans lost six million people during their attempt to conquer Europe, they now believe that Iraq should be subject to the same kind of inspections that famously failed to prevent the Germans themselves from arming for war.

The point I would like to make is that when Reuters adds up the butcher's bill from World War II, they apparently don't count the Jews or other victims of the Holocaust. According to Microsoft Encarta, not counting the deaths from the Holocaust, Germany lost about 3.5 million soldiers and 3.8 million civilians during World War II. Granted, most German soldiers probably died outside of Germany, and some allied soldiers probably died in Germany, but Reuter's "6 million figure" seems to more or less be the number of German dead during World War II, excluding Germans killed in the Holocaust.

Granted, only about 160,000 German Jews died in the Holocaust, so it's possible that the passive phrase "six million people were killed" in Germany is meant to include the 160,000 the Germans killed themselves, but not the people that the Germans murdered across the border in Poland and the Ukraine. Still, it would seem appropriate at least to mention that six million or so Jews, together with about 3.5 million Sovier prisoners of war "were killed" by the Germans before the allies finally got around to imposing regime change.

How that equates to an argument against unseating the world's monsters we'll have to leave to Reuters and the Germans to figure out . . .