Why is it important to visualize 12 million people?
Adolf Hitler, by ordering the mass extermination of Jews and other minorities, caused an estimated 12 million people to be murdered in the Holocaust, 6 million of them Jews.
Counting the casualties from World War II would raise this number considerably, to more than 50 million, and as many as 12 million Germans.
How many people is 12 million?
Most average football stadiums in the U.S. hold about 70,000 to 80,000 people. I have been at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego when it was full. 70,000 people is a mass of people. When they do “the wave” it points out just how many individuals there are.
Here is a picture of the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the home of the Ravens [click to enlarge].
You see 70,000 people here.
Simple math: 12 million people would fill 171 stadiums of this size.
Now imagine what kind of vision, operation, planning, funding, organization and sheer will it would take to kill that many people. The Nazi regime’s famous “1000 year empire” lasted only 12 years from the early beginnings in January 1933 to the total demise in May 1945. That would be about 1 million people killed per year or 2740 people a day, every day they were in power. Of course, the big killings didn’t even start until the later years.
It is unimaginable. And yet it was going on only 13 years before I was born.