The thing about the Racist Olympics is no one wins. There’s no quantitative measurement for racism. We cannot say that Lovecraft was 600 milliNazis and that the average racism background count during his lifetime was 500 milliNazis.

Source: Bobby D., @Ancient0History

How many Nazis were there

Per Wikipedia, the Nazi party had 8.5 million members at the apex of their power.

How bad were Nazis

Now, Nazis are bad in a variety of ways, but they are uniquely bad because of the Holocaust, in which circa 6 million Jews died.

I also consider the casualties from World War II, and in particular from the European front. Per Wikipedia there were around 8-8.5 million combatant deaths in the European front, plus around 1.65 million civilian casualties. The Encyclopedia Brittanica instead gives a figure of “15 to 20 million” (a figure which might include Jews killed in the Holocaust.)

Besides deaths per se, there is also suffering and destruction which is much more difficult to quantify. Off the cuff, I estimate than non-death suffering was between 0.1 to 10x as weighty as death-related harms, but this could be way off.

I weigh deaths in the Holocaust as fully due to the Nazis, and deaths from the war as partially due to the Nazis and partially due to other actors, as outlined in this Guesstimate (other actors might be other European powers, the Soviet Union, the Spanish flu, fallout from Versailles, etc.) I estimate that Nazis were responsible for between 1/3rd and 90% of the (Western front of the) war, for a point estimate of around 57% responsible.

Your milleage may vary, but note that Guesstimate allows other users to copy and tweak estimates.

Suffering per Nazi

One individual Nazi would thus be responsible for between 1.7 and 33 death-equivalents (note that these numbers are misleadingly precise; see Use resilience, instead of imprecision, to communicate uncertainty for this point being at some more length.)

In terms of ethics offsets, and taking the cost to save a life at around $5,000 (source, specific spreadsheet), this would correspond to between very roughly $8800 to $200k needed in terms of ethics offsets donated to the Against Malaria Foundation to offset being a Nazi.

Calculations can be found here. This doesn’t take into account how a death in a concentration camp compaares against a death of malaria, or that the cost calculated by GiveWell is that of saving a child’s life (of malaria), not a mix of young and old human lives (as killed in the Holocaust.)

Suffering per miliNazi


Although the estimates above are very uncertain, they can serve as a reference point. 500 miliNazis would then seem too much to assign to casual racism on the part of Lovecraft.