Rabbi Hoffman Responds to Video of Rabbi Mizrachi’s Holocaust Claims First Reported on Matzav.com

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rabbi yosef mizrachiBy Rabbi Yair Hoffman, 5tjt.com

[Original post here.] It is an unfortunate reality that, at times, well-meaning people help promote misinformation when trying to make a point. Recently, a rabbi involved in kiruv, Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi (pictured), did just that and unleashed a fury by the misinformation he helped promote.

The rabbi cited statistics that are grossly inaccurate about the assimilation rate in Europe prior to the Nazis. He claimed that there was an astounding 80% assimilation rate. Because of that inaccurate statistic he claimed that a good 5 million of the 6 million Jews that were murdered in the holocaust were not Jewish at all. He, therefore, put the number at 1 million halachic Jews and 5 million non-halachic Jews.

Although perhaps well-meaning, the damage that was wrought was significant as this type of inaccurate conjecturing in a public forum without research ends up vilifying the precious neshamos that were murdered in the holocaust. Holocaust deniers take perverse pleasure in minimizing the numbers and claiming that the Jews are always exaggerating.

Although the rabbi is correct that assimilation existed, his numbers are significantly off.

The Nazis were notoriously accurate in their research and record-keeping. According to their own statistics (1939 Reich Census) there were 442,000 Jews left in Germany. Of these Jews, 74.7% were fully Jewish. 16% were mixed of first degree, and a little less than 10% were mixed of second degree. If we assume that the genders intermarried equally, the number of non-halachic Jews were half of the 25 percent. About 12 and ½ percent of German Jews were not halachically Jewish.

Germany was the most assimilated country in Europe. Of the other countries, the assimilation was significantly less, probably less than half that of Germany.

So where did the rabbi get his 80 percent figure? It is wrong, completely. Certainly, there was skyrocketing assimilation. But of those who married before 1914, only 21.5% of Jews were in a mixed marriage. Which translates to 10 percent of the children of Jewish families married before 1914 were halachically not Jewish. By the year 1932, this had surged to 65.1% – the all-time high. Assuming a standard rate of progression on average for the years between 1914 and 1932 the assimilation rate averaged 43 percent. Thus the amount of non-halachic Jews as a percentage of all German Jews was about 21 percent.

88,000 German Jews were not halachically Jewish if we extrapolate from the careful records of the Nazis themselves.

As the Nazis came to power in 1933, intermarriage in Germany plummeted. By 1939, only 20.6% of new marriages involving Jews were mixed, even less than before World War I. Cutting that in half we get about 10 percent again.

According to the 1939 Reich census, there were about 72,000 Mischlinge of the 1st degree, 39,000 of the 2nd degree.

In terms of the other 5.5 million Jews, we would be safe to assume a rate of less than 5% of Jews not being halachic Jews.


The rabbi is definitely correct in assuming that a percentage of the six million were not halachically Jewish. The correct figure lies somewhere between three hundred and four hundred thousand who were technically not halachically Jewish. He is wrong on the percentage. He should retract his figures because it is a form of lashon hara on the kedoshim.

May Hashem allow the rabbi to continue his work in kiruv, and may we all realize that murder and genocide of any people must be stopped.

The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

Sources: D. Bankier, in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Volume 3, Number 1 (1988); Married to Intolerance: Attitudes towards Intermarriage in Germany, 1900-2006 Nico Voigtländer, Hans-Joachim Voth

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  1. “וּמִבַּלְעָדֶיךָ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶך גוֹאֵל וּמוֹשִיעַ, פּוֹדֶה וּמַצִּיל וּמְפַרְנֵס וְעוֹנֶה וּמְרַחֵם בְּכָל עֵת צָרָה וְצוּקָה, אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ עוֹזֵר וְסוֹמֵךְ אֶלָּא אָתָּה…”

  2. I am trying to understand what “form of loshon hara” he said it has me still thinking..

    On the other hand, a post made seemingly to disparage the Rabbi should be closer to loshon hara albeit more than 10 people know..

  3. Who decided to post rabbi Mizrachi’s mistake on matzav? Publicizing someone’s mistake is loshon hara, and in this instance, a chilul Hashem. Will you ask rabbi Mizrachi forgiveness? If he suffers because of your mistake, will you accept responsibility for that? Will you do teshuva and not make similar posts in the future? Whose mistake was bigger, his or yours?

  4. This comment should get less people to listen to him, hopefully. To make such a comment is the height of hubris as it argues with thousands of people who were and are better informed, know history, and are not trying to vie for attention. To claim that over 2 million of the three million Polish Jews killed in the war were assimilated (and not even Jewish) is so patently absurd it defies comprehension. Mizrachi got his five minutes of fame and he can develop it further by giving speeches to holocaust deniers and other anti-semites. This man is at best – stupid or at worst – dangerous. He should have a refuah sheleima.
    By the way, Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandel (who was a mathematical genius) said the number is much more than 6,000,000.

  5. Everyone can make a mistake and a tzadik can fall 7 times. Rabbi Mizrachi is exceptional at outreach and truly devoted. It hurts to see comments that are diminishing and disparaging of him. Your comments might take away his fellow listeners that have been inspired to change their lives from secular to Torah observant! Did anyone speak and verify where and how he came up with the numbers? To call him stupid or dangerous is a far cry from reality! (I never post and had to speak up for R’ Mizrachi sake!) He is very well rounded in Tanach, articulate, and intelligent. Please lets be respectful of rabbanim. (although clearly Moshiach is here… this is one of the signs!) iyH may we be zoche to Moshiach bekarov!

  6. Torah is not a personality cult. If the man made a public statement that is factually wrong and subsequently spoke loshon hora about 80% of the Holocaust victims, a public mechoa must be issued. This mechoa is not classified as a loshon hora, nor as a personal attack of any sort. The sooner the man will publicly admit his mistake, the sooner this incident will be forgotten. It will not go away on its own.

  7. What relevance does it have whether some among the kedoshim, murdered because our enemies believed them to be Jewish, were in fact not so? With regards to the lineage of individuals, there are occasions in which we check into it, and it does not seem to me this is one such situation. Tens of millions were murdered, the exact number is difficult to estimate, Jews and Non-Jews. Should it somehow be true that “only” one million Yidden died, would that detract anything from the tragedy? Is it not an infinite tragedy when even a single Jew is murdered? Even if that one Jew had happened to be assimilated, hardly observant, and whatnot? On the other hand, if one suggests that people indeed were murdered but were not halachically Jewish, is it not a tragedy that whatever number of non-jewish innocent human beings were murdered? Is this the compassion this person exhibits to his fellow Yidden and to all human beings?

  8. This is a reply to #8 (I) who said that he just lost all respect for the author (Rabbi Hoffman.) You never had respect for him. What you respected was his ideas if they matched yours. Once he wrote something that didn’t jive with what you believe in – although it is based on truth and facts that are well known and accepted by anyone with a head on his shoulders (and brains in it) – you lost respect?!! Poor yoy and the other followers of this misguided and delusional wacko.


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