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POLES LOWER NUMBER KILLED AT AUSCHWITZ

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A government commission has lowered the number of people believed to have perished at the Auschwitz death camp during World War II from 4 million to 1.5 million and conceded the overwhelming majority were Jews.

The decision to revise the official number of those killed in the Nazi camp was a formal rejection of original figures generated after the war by the Soviet Union, which still holds the records kept by the camp's commanders.It is also in line with figures used by historians in West Germany, the United States and Israel who have documented the number of victims of the Holocaust.

Poland's former communist government used the 4 million figure as part of a propaganda effort to make Auschwitz a symbol of Nazi oppression of all peoples, not just the Jews.