In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the civilized world was shocked
to see photographs of unimaginable horror; skeletons of victims
stacked in piles of hundreds and thousands, living skeletons
describing unspeakable brutality and atrocity, and searching for
the truth as to what would permit this to occur without
intervention. Could an event of this magnitude have occurred
without the knowledge of the Allies? If the Allied governments
knew this was taking place, why was nothing done? Why was there
such deathly silence?
The American press had printed scores of articles detailing
mistreatment of the Jews
in Germany. By 1942, many of these
newspapers were reporting details of the Holocaust, stories about
the mass murder of Jews in the millions. For the most part, these
articles were only a few inches long, and were buried deep in the
newspaper. These reports were either denied or unconfirmed by the United States government. When the United States government did
receive irrefutable evidence that the reports were true, U.S.
government officials suppressed the information. U.S. reconnaissance photos of the Birkenau camp in 1943 showed the
lines of victims moving into the gas chambers, confirming other
reports. The War Department insisted that the information be kept
Photographs of mass graves and mass murder, smuggled out under the
most dangerous of circumstances, were also classified as secret.
British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill called for the death camp
at Auschwitz to be bombed. He was ignored. Hundreds of thousands
of innocent Jews could have been saved had the Allies agreed to
bomb the death camps or the rail lines which were feeding them.
Desperate for war material, the Nazis offered the British a million
Jews in exchange for 10,000 trucks. When asked why he had refused
to negotiate the deal, a British diplomat responded, "What would I
do with one million Jews? Where would I put them?"
Escaped prisoners from the death camps filed reports on what was
occurring. Again, many of these reports were suppressed.
Eventually, President Roosevelt, under pressure from the public,
agreed to issue a statement condemning the German government for
its genocidal policy against the Jews. Other support followed. The
Pope requested that his diplomats help hide Hungarian Jews. In
September 1944, the British bombed factories and the railroad
lines of Auschwitz.
Could actions of the Allies have prevented the Holocaust or limited
the destruction of six million Jews and five million other
innocent civilians? There is no question that the silence and
inaction of the world community in the face of irrefutable
evidence resulted in the senseless loss of millions of lives.