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Slavery Is Worse Than The Holocaust

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2013 Category: People
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,930 times Debate No: 41076
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Rules for Rounds:
1. Both sides will set rules without bringing any topics up about the debate.
2. Both sides will offer their arguments without rebuttals.
3. Strictly for rebuttals, but new topics may be brought up.
4. More rebuttals as I, Pro, must be able to rebut my opponent's, Con, rebuttals.
5. Conclusions and reiteration of debate. No new topics may be brought up.


Rules of Debate:
-Be kind
-Be factual
-No personal insults as that devalues all arguments


Hi JacobAnderson,

I agree to your rules and do not have any others to present myself, look forward to a constructive debate and I will let you take the first argument per your setup.

Kind Regards,
Debate Round No. 1


Okay, I shall begin:

We all know the Holocaust to be one of the most unfortunate events to date, but that is just not the case. Slavery, in my opinion, is much worse than the Holocaust for a couple reasons.
I am assuming that everyone will think that the Holocaust was worse than slavery because approximately 11 million people died [1] as a direct result of this event by various methods like burning and gassing. However, people that believe that this was worse than slavery, I believe, need to know a little more about slavery than the schools have taught them. We over-glorify the Holocaust as it is a huge part of curriculum in many history classes, yet we only skim over slavery as we only hear of the cruelty they faced- never numbers, never the fact that Africans also owned slaves or that Africans sold off other Africans for guns and other weapons [2].
If their own people turning against them wasn't enough, the boat ride to the Americas may provide enough to sway your minds. Believe it or not, there were more slaves brought to the Americas than people died as a direct result of the Holocaust, a number more than a million larger- 12.5 million [3]. But of these 12.7 million, only 10.7 million survived the Middle Passage, the journey toward eternal servitude [3]. What was the Middle Passage like, you ask? "Slaves packed like cargo between decks often had to lie in each other's feces, urine, and blood." [4] Yes, human beings were actually packed in a boat like they were food or cloth, and sitting in each other's excrements, they often faced fatal diseases.
If they were "lucky" enough to make it to the Americas, they were auctioned off to plantation owners and forced to work hard labor for little to no pay, often getting beaten and whipped if ever they decided to rebel against their owners. And yes, they did have owners.
These are only a few reasons on why slavery is worse than the Holocaust, including the terrifying living conditions and infringed rights that slaves had to endure, and I would be glad to share more should you carry on!



I thank my opponent for his well thoughtout argument and will provide mine here. I also warn users of what may be deemed graphic content in my post regarding a most tragic topic.

Argument l Atrocities Committed by the Nazis

The actual number of Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust was actually 5,962,129, note that this was from a population of 9,508,340, which means that 63% of Jews who lived in that portion of Europe under Nazi control lost their lives.[1] The mere extermination is not the only reason that the Holocaust has been remembered as one of the worst events, if not the worst event in human history.

Slave Labor

Not unlike the slavery found in America, but even worse was slavery in Nazi Germany.

"By the end of September 1944, some seven and a half million civilian foreigners were toiling for the Third Reich. Nearly all of them had been rounded up by force, deported to Germany in boxcars, usually without food or water or any sanitary facilities, and there put to work in factories, fields and mines. They were not only put to work but degraded, beaten and starved and often left to die for lack of food, clothing and shelter."[2]

These numbers are increased by two million if you take into account the prisoners of war that were forced into slavery, even creating the ammunitions and weapons that would be used by the Germans to kill their fellow countrymen.

Children were also not spared, and in an operation called "Hay Action," top Nazi officials orchestrated the kidnapping of tens of thousands of children from the Eastern Front to be transported back to the Reich to be used as slave labor, in addition to deprive the Russians of their "biological potentialities."[3]

Once these people were transported, they also had to endure hellish conditions on the train. Here is an account from Dr. Gutkelch which describes the conditions of the trains.

"Because of the corpses in the trainload of returning laborers a catastrophe might have occurred... In this train women gave birth to babies who were thrown out of the windows during the journey. Persons having tuberculosis and venereal diseases rode in the same car. Dying people lay in freight cars without straw, and one of the dead was thrown on the railways embankment. The same must have occurred in other returning transports."[4]

The conditions of the camps for many of the workers especially on the Eastern front were especially harsh. This is yet another account of the horrific circumstances these people had to deal with.

"Its inhabitants were kept for nearly half a year in dog kennels, urinals and in old baking houses. The dog kennels were three feet high, nine feet long, six feet wide. Five men slept in each of them. The prisoners had to crawl into these kennels on all fours... There was no water in the camp."[5]


During the regime of the Third Reich they perfomed many "scientific" experiments which have now been known as the worst experimentation ever carried out on human beings. Here is an example from a Dr. Rascher who perfomed high altitude tests on humans.

"The third test was without oxygen at the equivalent of 29,400 feet altitude conducted on a 37-year-old Jew in good general condition. Respiration continued for 30 minutes. After four minutes the test person began to perspire and roll his head.

After five minutes spasms appeared; between the sixth and tenth minute respiration increased in frequency, the TP losing consciousness. From the eleventh to the thirtieth minute respiration slowed down to three inhalations per minute, only to cease entirely at the end of that period... About half an hour after breathing had ceased the autopsy was begun."[6]

This is a less scientific explanation of what would happen from an Austrian inmate Anton Pacholegg.

"I have personally seen through the observation window of the decompression chamber when a prisoner inside would stand in a vacuum until his lungs ruptured... They would go mad and pull out their hair in an effort to relieve the pressure. They would tear their heads and face with their fingers and nails in an attempt to maim themselves in their madness. They would beat the walls with their hands and head and scream in an effort to relieve pressure on their eardrums. These cases usually ended in the death of the subject."[7]

Other experiments included tests on how men might try to survive bitterly cold conditions. Walter Neff, a camp inmate retells an example of a test performed on Russian Officers.

"It was the worst experiment ever made. Two Russian officers were brought from the prison barracks. Rascher had them stripped and they had to go into the vat naked. Hour after hour went by, and whereas usually unconscious from the cold set in after sixty minutes at the latest, the two men in this case still responded fully after two and a half hours. All appeals to Rascher to put them to sleep by injection were fruitless. About the third hour one of the Russians said to the other, 'Comrade, please tell the officer to shoot us.' The other replied that he expected no mercy from this Fascist dog. The two shook hand with a 'Farewell, Comrade'... These words were translated to Rascher by a young Pole, though in a somewhat different form. Rascher went to his office. The young Pole at once tried to chlorofom the two victims, but Rascher came back at once, threatening us with his gun... The test lasted at least five hours before death supervened."[8]


In keeping with my arguments built off of accounts from the period, here are the words of Rudolf Hoess who was one of the Commanders at Auswitz in his honing in on the best way to exterminate mass amounts of people.

"Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated, while at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated.

We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy, but of course the fould and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communites knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz."[9]

Jews and Gentiles alike were being exterminated at the hands of the Nazis, all those taken to these death camps who could not work, which included children, were sent immediately to these gas chambers which then had elevators that expedited the bodies to the furnaces.

Concluding Statements

The tragedy of the Holocaust can never be understated, nor fully understood. While it is I believe it not to be the best idea to compare slavery in America with the Holocaust, there is nothing I believe that can top the Holocaust in it's utter cruelty towards mankind. Such events should stop us in our tracks and give us pause, so that the true victory of debates like this would be to inspire our fellow members of the human race to never let slavery or genocide happen again.

Kind Regards,

P.S. I used the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich mostly because it is perhaps the most scholarly writing on the matter, drawing primarily from primary sources.

[2] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 851

[3] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 852
[4] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 853
[5] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 854
[6] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 886
[7] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 886
[8] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 888
[9] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 871
Debate Round No. 2


To begin my rebuttals, you stated,
"The actual number of Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust was actually 5,962,129... from a population of 9,508,340... 63% of Jews... lost their lives." While this has been proven to be true, I was reffering to the total popluation that lost their lives as a direct result of the Holocaust. But, with about 6 million Jew deaths, the slavery deaths still trump that number by approximately 100%. Our numbers, however, are subjective- if you want to look at raw numbers, the slave deaths appear more atrocious, but if you look at percentages, the Jew deaths may have an "advantage."

You also went on to talk about the slavery that was in the Holocaust. Now, I do admit that it is my fault for narrowing my arguments on the slave labor in the Americas and Africa, but as slavery is a general term for all servitude, your argument has also helped strenthen my argument. You had used slave labor to stengthen and debate that it had made the Holocaust much worse than if the Holocaust hasn't included this slavery. With this, slavery did contribute to the atrociousness that was the Holocaust, meaning that slavery is indeed a huge concept.

Is it worse than the experimentations, however? Well, to decide this, we must look on some experiments that were done on slaves. " Numerous modern authors have attacked Sims's medical ethics, arguing that he manipulated the institution of slavery to perform ethically unacceptable human experiments on powerless, unconsenting women. [1]" This just sets the mood and will introduce the rest of my rebuttals as it shows that his experiments contained "powerless, unconsenting women [1]." If experimenting on unconsenting women wasn't enough, "Sims's failure to use ether anaesthesia during these operations was racist: that he did not use anaesthesia when performing fistula surgery on black women, but later, after he had developed his operation and moved to New York to found the Woman's Hospital there, he routinely used anaesthetics when operating on white women who, it is alleged, unlike blacks, were unable to stand the pain involved. [1]" (This cite also cites other primary sources if you are curious about the topic.)


"Klan in the early 20th century, burning crosses and staging rallies, parades and marches denouncing immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor. The civil rights movement of the 1960s also saw a surge of Ku Klux Klan activity, including bombings of black schools and churches and violence against black and white activists in the South. [2]" We all know about the KKK and how they exterminated slaves, treated them harshly. But not only slaves... other blacks as well.
We also all know that slaves were often hung, even if they had not committed a crime. There were seperate rules that slavse had to follow, different punishments for slaves that have committed the same crimes as whites.


Although the Holocaust was a terrible event, I still believe that slavery was harsher and had higher death tolls and worse treatment than the Jews/others involved in the Holocaust.


Your turn :D


Hi again,

Hope you had a great weekend! And appreciated your rebuttals and am interested to see where this debate ends up.

Now continuing on with the rebuttals.

Rebuttal #1 l Death Toll Comparison

It appears my opponent has not read the most recent research done on this matter which changes this total number drastically. It is now estimated that upwards of about 20 million people lost their lives in the Holocaust, in the now numbered 42,500 camps and ghettos that the Nazi's setup.[1] While it is almost impossible to determine even close to the amount who lost their lives during American Slavery, it does not rival the actual numbers from the Holocaust.

Rebuttal #2 l Experimentation

I find it interesting that my opponent would even think to compare the experimentation of one man, J. Marion Sims, to the entire Nazi Regime's policies for experimentation. J. Marion Sims is known today as the father of gynecology, and made real notable contributions to the medical field despite his downfall in the aforementioned areas.

  • Vaginal surgery: fistula repair.
  • Instrumentation: Sims' speculum; Sims' sigmoid catheter.
  • Exam and surgical positioning: Sim's position.
  • Fertility treatment: Insemination and postcoital tests.
  • Cancer care: Sims argued for the admission of cancer patients to the Woman's Hospital, at a time when people opposed him, as they feared that cancer was contagious.
  • Abdominal surgery: Sims advocated that in the case of an abdominal bullet wound, a laparotomy was needed to stop bleeding, repair the damage and drain the wound. His opinion was sought when President James Garfield was shot; he responded by telegram from Paris. Sims' recommendations later gained acceptance.
  • Gallbladder surgery: In 1878, Sims drained a distended gallbladder and removed its stones. He published the case believing it was the first of its kind; however, a similar case had already been reported in Indianapolis in 1867.[2]
The experiments that he performed, were to repair the fistula on 14 black women who were slaves. It is also notable that he did not use anethesia on them because the practice had just began and was not in standard practice.[3]

These experiments are also not comparable due to the fact that Sims was attempting to repair these women of damage that was for a long time thought to be irreparable, while the Nazi "doctors" would create new problems such as infecting children with tuberculosis as seen pictured below.

File:Children of Bullinhuser Damm.jpg

The overall number of Nazi experimentation as well and more importantly the severity and outcome of the experiments cause those done in the Holocaust to be far worse than what Sims ever did.

Rebuttal #3 l Extermination

"The "Final Solution" of the Jewish question meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June 1941. At that time there were already in the General Government of Poland three other extermination camps: Belzec, Treblinka and Wolzek...

I visited Treblinka to find out how they carried out their extermination. The camp commandant at Treblinka told me that he had liquidated 80,000 in the course of half a year. He was principally concerned with liquidating all the Jews from the Warsaw ghetto.

He used monoxide gas and I did not think his methods were very efficient. So when I set up the extermination building at Auschwitz, I used Zyklon B, which was a crystalized prussic acid which we dropped into the death chamber from a small opening. It took from three to fifteen minutes to kill the people in the death chamber, depending upon climactic conditions.

We knew when the people people were dead because their screaming stopped. We usually waited about a half our before we opened the doors and removed the bodies. After the bodies were removed our special commandos took off the rings and extracted the gold from the teeth of the corpses.

Another imporvement we made over Treblinka was that we built our gas chambers to accommodate 2,000 people at one time, whereas at Treblinka their ten gas chambers only accommodated 200 people each."[4]

This was written by Rudolf Höss the commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp.

The loss of all life is tragic, but to compare the acts of the KKK to the exterminations of the Nazi death camps is ludicrious. These death camps were accomodating for murdering up to 6,000 people a day and even the "inefficient" camps were capable of killing 80,000 in half a year.

There was even on instance where 34,000 men, women and chlidren were gunned down by the Germans at Baba Yar on September 29th and 30th of 1941.[5]

Concluding Statements:

My opponent also attempted to "move the goal posts," by arguing that his remarks are in regards to ALL slavery, and therefore seeking to lay claim to my arguments from my initial post. Yet, every last one of his arguments is about American slavery, even in his rebuttal. I maintain that it would be in line with good conduct to extend one's argument beyond what they bound it to within the first opening arguments, as any observer can see that it was made very clear in his opening statements that his argument was specifically about Slavery in the Atlantic.

Kind Regards,

[4] Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer pg. 871
Debate Round No. 3


Death Toll Comparisons:
I have actually used two websites for my information on these numbers.

However, as in your most recent argument, you stated that it was wrong for me to extend slavery from Americas to everywhere. If you had actually read, I had mentioned slavery in African, yet I had only used 12M as a number that had gone through the Middle Passage, not including slaves around the world. But, if you do not find it correct to expand from my initial argument, I do not find it correct for you to correct my numbers, especially after your death toll had been specific to the Jews, which is remarkably less than that of slaves.

While he may be the father of gynecology, thus "...[making] real notable contributions to the medical field...," I believe you are being naive to the contributions that the Nazi experiments gave to modern sciences. Altitude experiments allowed researchers to find how humans' were effected as the altitude was increased. Poison experiments were used to see how long it would take for a human to die with different poisonous materials. (Experiments and reasoning [1]) I propose that this argument was to show the benefits of the Nazi experiments, and show that my opponent will not negate the morality of these experiments as that is not why I have brought them up. (Also, as the Law of Large Numbers would show, the more data collected, the better correlated and accurate the data will be. So by Sim's not having as many experiments as Nazis, we can conclude that the Nazi's made more accurate contributions.)

While this is true, and it does seem horrible, these Jews actually died. Often times, the slaves were punished, beaten, etc, but remained alive to show the scars and continually suffered through these treatments.

Sorry that this was short, I'm getting a little disengaged. But let's continue on.



Rebuttal #1 l Moving the goal posts

My opponent is attempting to equate my shift from highlighting the death toll of the Jews, to highlighting the overall death toll as the same as him extending his argument from Slavery in the Atlantic, to all slavery in general.

The problem with this is of course that I provided examples in my initial argument that demonstrated Nazi atrocities committed not only against the Jews, but against the Russians and other prisoners of war, etc. He also did not recognize the purpose for my listing the death toll of the Jews, as my purpose was not to just focus on them, but to highlight the ratio of those who died to those who lived in Europe just prior.

His attempt to extend that argument was in no way addressed at all in his initial argument, and is an after-thought which completely changes the dynamics of this debate and is guilty of the charge, "moving the goal posts." The very fact that my opponent has continued to contain all of his arguments to slavery in the atlantic further demonstrates this point.

Rebuttal #2 l Benefits of Nazi Experiments

You said:

"Altitude experiments allowed researchers to find how humans' were effected as the altitude was increased."

This article my opponent has cited, nor anything here has demonstrated that this research ACTUALLY benefitted anyone. Due to it's sadistic nature, experts conclude that it's scientific findings are not reliable and should not be trusted.

Here are a few examples of their dismissals, within the link you provided.[1]

"Doctor Jay Katz of the Yale University School of Law, who emphatically opposed the re-use of the Nazi data, suggests nonetheless that the experiments be republished in full detail so that no one may deny that they occurred. He would then condemn the data to oblivion. Dr. Katz dismissed the Nazi experiments with one phrase: "They're of no scientific value."

"Allen Buchanan, Philosophy Professor at the University of Arizona, is also a member of the Human Subjects Review Committee at the University of Minnesota. He believes that bad ethics and bad science are inextricably linked together. He found that the human experiments that were ethically sound were also scientifically sound. Therefore, he concluded that since the Nazi experiments were unethical, they were, by equation, scientifically invalid."

"The experts agree that the Nazi experiments lacked scientific integrity. The Nazis even perverted scientific terminology. Their experimental "control subjects" suffered the most and died. "Sample size" meant truck loads of Jews. "Significance" was an indication of misery, and "response rate" was a measure of torment. Behind the niceties of their learned discourse were the horrors of Nazi torture. Some have suggested against terming them "experiments," since they were really brutal beatings and mugging."

Currently today, there are far better methods to study the effects of altitude and do not entail the sadistic and unethical aspects of the Nazi's which yielded no benefit, but only tarnished the institution of science.[2][3][4] When one compares the work of real scientists to the writings of the pseudoscientist of the Nazi regime, it is made extremely apparent.

You also said:

"Poison experiments were used to see how long it would take for a human to die with different poisonous materials."

What I find interesting is that the very article you cited states, "The Nazis also conducted experiments which involved unspeakable varieties of torture that carried no pretense of scientific inquiry. They included poison and wound experiments." I would go so far as to say it is self-evident that a scientific poison experiment involving the torture and murder of human beings offers no benefit whatsoever to mankind.

I would like to close this rebuttal by asking my opponent how just one experiment made by the Nazi's has translated into a real world benefit in the fields of science and medicine.

Rebuttal #3 l Extermination

My opponents concluding remarks by my opponent also apply to many victims of the holocaust who also lived on to tell the tale and live with their suffering.

Kind Regards,


Debate Round No. 4


Sorry, I was gone for the past few days and have become disconnected to debating. I realize that this is all a matter of opinion, but I just made a lot of things up as I went and found sources to match,


I would like to thank my opponent for what has been an interesting debate, I will reiterate what I said before in that the true victory for a debate like this is when those involved and those who observe are convinced that neither slavery or genocide or human experimentation should never be allowed to happen again.

Kind Regards,
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Lordgrae 5 years ago
My comment was confusing as well. Sorry.
Posted by Lordgrae 5 years ago
Oh fudge. I accidentally mixed up the two users. I got confused for a moment. I'll try to take my vote down or reverse it. Sorry
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Lordgrae 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Truescotsman provided more, and far better sources, and successfully refuted many of JacobAnderson's claims while making his own.
Vote Placed by yay842 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was invalid as argument based on opinions and sources were random and had little contribution to the point made in each round. Con had more facts and Pro made stuff up.