An American ultra-Orthodox rabbi who claimed last week that less than one million Jews died in the Holocaust corrected himself on Sunday and apologized for his statement.
“I wish to apologize for my incorrect statement regarding the six million Kedoshim (holy ones) that were tragically murdered in the Holocaust,” Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi of New York said in an apology emailed to the Yeshiva World News, the website reported on Sunday.
Mizrachi, who has posted thousands of popular outreach lectures online, said in the apology that he had been "shown the accurate statistics and I realize that those that were not halachically Jewish were a very small, minimal number."
“The Kedoshim of the Holocaust need to be remembered and sanctified in the most honorable way possible," Mizrachi continued. "My goal was to wake up our nation to the silent holocaust that is happening now which is the increasing intermarriage cases in the U.S.A. and the rest of the world.”
Mizrachi added that his words – which were posted on his YouTube channel on Tuesday – were taken out of context since only part of the video was broadcast.
"It has never, ever been my intention to offend any of the Holocaust survivors or their family members," he said.
In his video, Mizrachi cited high assimilation rates in Europe before World War II to claim that 80 percent of those identified as Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust were not Jewish according to halachah, or Jewish law.