Six Countries that Suffered Most During the Holocaust

A brief look at countries with the highest number of Jewish deaths during WWII.

5 min readMay 12, 2022


“Public Domain: March of Death — Bataan WWII (NARA)” by is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

The Holocaust is the most well-documented genocide in history, with a plethora of evidence giving us certainty about its scale and the gruesome details of the tragedy.

A surprising aspect of the Holocaust is the country of origin of the Jews that were murdered.

The uninitiated may believe that most of the Jews slaughtered were from Germany when, in fact, that isn’t the case at all.

Let’s have a look at six countries whose Jewish populations were decimated the most by the Nazis’ brutal pogrom.

1. Poland

The country that suffered the most Jewish losses during the Holocaust was Poland, with a staggering three million Jews dying during the war.

World War II started with Poland’s invasion, and Germany was able to completely steamroll Poland’s defenses with a combination of airpower and armor (tanks and other heavy vehicles).

The Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland was the final nail in the coffin, and the Polish surrender was called on September 27, 1939.

Poland would stay with Germany until the end of the war in 1945.

It is no surprise that Poland’s Jewish population suffered the most, given that it was the largest in Europe and was the first country to be invaded by the Nazis.

Furthermore, the Auschwitz concentration camp is also located in Poland, a somber reminder of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and the heavy price Poland had to pay.

2. Lithuania

Lithuania suffered significantly due to the Nazi regime, losing 130,000 Jewish citizens during the war.

What is interesting is the percentage of the Jewish population lost.

Lithuania lost 90% of its Jewish population by the end of the war, one of the highest in Europe. It was first captured by the Soviets in 1940 and later occupied by Germany in 1941 when they invaded the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, the mass murder of Jews in Lithuania was done with the help of…




I am a History Educator and a Lifelong Learner with a Masters in Global History.