It is one of the worst moments in history,  which still horrifies to this day.

During Hitler’s brutal reign of Nazi Germany,  more than six million Jews were killed.

But now new research has discovered that the  Holocaust may well be even worse than previously thought.

Researchers at the United States  Holocaust  Memorial Museum have been documenting all of the Nazi  concentration camps,  ghettos, slave labour sites and killing factories  which had been set up across  Europe.

When they first started the project, the team  expected to find about 7,000 camps and ghettos.

Shockingly, they discovered 42,500 camps  across large swathes of German-controlled  Europe.  The researchers predict  that up to 20  million people died or were imprisoned in the sites.

Speaking to the New York Times, Hartmut  Berghoff, director of the institute,  said: ‘The numbers are so much higher than  what we originally thought.

‘We knew before how horrible life in the  camps and ghettos was but the numbers are unbelievable.’

The figure includes 30,000  slave labour camps and 980 concentration  camps. As well as ‘killing centres’ they  included forced labour camps where prisoners made supplies for the war.

They also included  sites called ‘care’  centres in which pregnant women were made to have  abortions or their babies  murdered shortly after birth.

The researchers have created a series of maps  which present a grim view of life in wartime Europe.They show just how  widespread the camps were, although most were centred in Germany  and  Poland.

Previous data has  shown just the existence  of individual camps on a fragmented basis.

But using data from 400 contributors , they  have now documented the large scale operation for the first time.

They have discovered exactly where they are  located and how they were run.

It is now believed that the research could  help survivors with their claims over unpaid insurance policies. Researchers say  the project has helped change the understanding about Holocaust experts over how  the camps were run.

The Warsaw Ghetto has been identified as the  biggest site – holding about 500,000 people at one point.

When the project first started, the  researchers expected to find about 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos. But as the  project has gone on, the numbers constantly increased to the current figure of  42,500


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