A quarter of all Holocaust victims were killed in a three-month mass murder operation that was the most intense period of human slaughter in the 20th century, new research suggests.
Professor Lewi Stone, a mathematical biologist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, made the claim after analysing train records linked to the Nazi's Operation Reinhard.
Mr Stone used data from Holocaust historian Yitzhak Arad which catalogued trains running from towns and ghettos in occupied Poland to three notorious death camps - Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka - during Reinhard.
Professor Lewi Stone calculates that during three months in 1942, the Nazis perpetrated the most intense period of human slaughter in the 20th century by sending 1.47 million Jews to the gas chambers (pictured is Belzec death camp, one of three used for the slaughter)
Using estimates of the number of victims on each transport, Mr Stone calculated that at least 15,000 people were being killed every day over a three-month period in August, September and October 1942.
In total, he believes 1.47million people were murdered in the gas chambers during this time period, making up 78 per cent of the total 1.7million who were gassed.
If his sums are accurate, it would mean more people died in less time during these months than during any other 20th century genocide.
The Rwanda genocide, in which up to 1,000,000 people were slaughtered in just 100 days, is commonly credited as having the fastest murder rate at 8,000 per day.
According to Professor Stone, the murder rate only slowed down when the Nazis ran out of Jews to kill.
He said: 'This study identifies an extreme phase of hyper-intense killing when over 1.47 million Jews - more than 25 per cent of the Jews killed in all six years of World War Two - were murdered by the Nazis in three month surge.
'The kill rate in the Operation Reinhard period is approximately 83 per cent higher than the commonly suggested figure for Rwanda - indicating previous comparisons have been based on incorrect accounting.'
Prof Stone said his study, published in the journal Science Advances, highlights the Holocaust's 'singularly violent character - even compared to other more recent genocides.'
Professor Stone used train records showing the number of transports carrying people from Polish towns and ghettos to three death camps to calculate the murder rate (pictured, train lines are laid outside the Treblinka death camp)
'The Holocaust kill rate is some ten times higher than estimates suggested by authorities on comparative genocide,' said Prof Stone.
He said the research also provides new insights into the 'profound efficiency of Nazi death camps and the systematic manner in which Jewish communities were murdered.'