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Time takes toll since WWII

November 4, 2020

Seventy-five years have taken their toll on World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors.

The U.S. Department of Defense reports more than 16 million Americans served in WWII. The war claimed 407,316 American lives with 671,278 Americans wounded.

About 300,000 WWII vets, with an average age of 92, are alive in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Of the 350,000 women who served in the Armed Forces during the war, approximately 14,500 are alive today.

The V.A. estimates an average daily loss in 2020 of 245 WWII veterans. Those projections were made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Approximately 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust. Most deaths occurred during the war (1941-1945). Approximately two-thirds of all Jews living in Europe during WWII were killed by the Nazi regime.

A report of Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust living in the U.S. estimated there were 127,300 survivors in 2010. Its estimate for 2020 declined to 67,100 survivors with all being at least 75 years old and 57% being age 85 or older.


Note: The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Leawood teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide. Its programs serve educators, students, and adult learners throughout the Midwest. Johnson County residents can learn more about Kansas City area Holocaust survivors at mchekc.org/survivors. MCHE has also partnered with Union Station in providing programmatic and educational support for the exhibition Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away. Details available at mchekc.org.