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One-quarter of Nazi Holocaust murders may have happened in just 3 months

A new study of historical German railroad records suggests the Nazi regime murdered more than 1.5 million people—the majority of whom were Polish Jews—during a single 3-month period in 1942, Buzzfeed reports. Although many records were destroyed by Nazis at the end of the war, a biomathematician estimated the regime’s murder rate by examining records of special trains used to deport victims to three major death camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. About 25% of the 6 million Jewish Holocaust victims were murdered during a “hyperintense” period during the summer of 1942, in which the kill rate climbed to some 500,000 people per month, the researcher reports today in Science Advances. The rate is higher than previous estimates, which some historians say is evidence of imprecisions in the data set used for the new analysis.

*Clarification, 8 January, 11:50 a.m.: The wording of this item has been changed to clarify who ran the death camps.

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