By DAVID and MILTON AMMEL Special to The Jewish Post & News Attacks on Jews have seen a sharp upsurge in recent years...indeed, many sources believe the epidemic of violence against Jews is the worst since Hitler. (In the latest perversion, some are even trying to blame the Jews for the Covid 19 pandemic!) The fact that 6 million Jews (or more) died in Hitler’s holocaust is beyond question; there are two questions that have faced the world ever since World War Two: 1. Did Allied leaders fighting Hitler know about the death camps long before their existence was known to the world? and 2. If the allies did know about it, then why wasn’t something done to at least limit Hitler’s atrocities?
We provide some answers in this article that have been overlooked by many...answers that some powers to be may not like. But truth is truth, and it’s past time to see what was really going on in the early days of World War II.
There has been a widespread belief among most historians that President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and others had no idea of the scale of mass slaughter until the very end of the war when the death camps were finally liberated. But is this true? For the purposes of this article, we will limit our discussion to what Roosevelt surely knew.
By all accounts, President Roosevelt only had one meeting with Jewish leaders about the ongoing Holocaust, and this took place in December 1942. American Jewish leaders managed to arrange a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt about the already tragic situation in Europe. A review of the meeting demonstrates a shocking lack of any great concern about the plight of the Jews, even after he acknowledged he knew what was transpiring. A report of the meeting is contained in the “Jewish Virtual Library” and we will quote extensively from this account that shows the President already knew about the death camps already in operation.
After the State Department confirmed reports that Hitler was planning to murder all the Jews in territories under German control, several American Jewish leaders including Rabbi Stephen Wise managed to arrange an audience with President Roosevelt. At this 29-minute meeting, the only one FDR had with Jewish leaders about the Holocaust, the President was presented with a document outlining the Nazi plan to annihilate European Jews. Adolph Held, the president of the American Jewish Labor Committee, wrote this report of the meeting, which indicates the president was acquainted with details of the atrocities being committed by the Nazis:
"The committee consisted of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, of the Jewish Congress; Mr. Monsky, of Bnai Brith; Rabbi Rosenberg, of the Agudath, and Adolph Held, of the Jewish Labor Committee.
"The meeting with the President was arranged for Tuesday, December 8, 1942, at 12 o'clock. We were originally notified that the President would give us 15 minutes, but the conference lasted 29 minutes. The purpose of the conference was to present a prepared memorandum on the German atrocities in Poland consisting of an appeal to the President for immediate action against the German extermination of Jews, and also a 12 page memorandum citing the facts that have been gathered on this subject."
After a few brief introductory remarks, the meeting got down to business.
Rabbi Wise then read the declaration by the committee.
“Rabbi Wise did not read the details but simply said: “Mr. President, we also beg to submit details and proofs of the horrible facts. We appeal to you, as head of our government, to do all in your power to bring this to the attention of the world and to do all in your power to make an effort to stop it.”
“The President replied: “The government of the United States is very well acquainted with most of the facts you are now bringing to our attention. Unfortunately we have received confirmation from many sources. Representatives of the United States government in Switzerland and other neutral countries have given us proof that confirm the horrors discussed by you. We cannot treat these matters in normal ways. We are dealing with an insane man- Hitler, and the group that surrounds him represent an example of a national psychopathic case. We cannot act toward them by normal means. That is why the problem is very difficult. At the same time it is not in the best interest of the Allied cause to make it appear that the entire German people are murderers or are in agreement with what Hitler is doing. There must be in Germany elements, now thoroughly subdued, but who at the proper time will, I am sure, rise, and protest against the atrocities, against the whole Hitler system. It is too early to make pronouncements such as President Wilson made, may they even be very useful. As to your proposal, I shall certainly be glad to issue another statement, such as you request.”
So, saving Jewish lives is “very difficult” because Hitler is insane?
There followed a discussion of possible options to help the Jews, and then FDR made these remarks.
“The President then plunged into a discussion of other matters. “We had a Jewish problem in North Africa” — he said. “As you know, we issued orders to free all the Jews from concentration camps, and we have also advised our representatives in North Africa to abolish all the special laws against the Jews and to restore the Jews to their rights. On this occasion I would like to mention that it has been called to our attention that prior to the war, Jews and Frenchmen enjoyed greater rights than Moslems in some of the North African states. There are 17 million Moslems in North Africa, and there is no reason why anyone should enjoy greater rights than they. It is not our purpose to fight for greater rights for anyone at the expense of another group. We are for the freedom for all and equal rights for all. We consider the attack on the Jews in Germany, in Poland, as an attack upon our ideas of freedom and justice, and that is why we oppose it so vehemently.” “Now you are interested in the Darlan matter. I can only illustrate this by a proverb, I recently heard from a Yugoslav priest—”When a river you reach and the devil you meet, with the devil do not quarrel until the bridge you cross.”
These Jewish leaders were beseeching Roosevelt to stop the genocidal mass-murders of Jews going on in Europe!! They were not asking him for “greater rights....at the expense of another group!
“Apparently, at the end of this quotation the President must have pushed some secret button, and his adjutant appeared in the room. His eyes and broad shoulders showed determination. We rose from our seats, and, as we stood up, the President said: “Gentlemen, you can prepare the statement. I am sure that you will put the words into it that express my thoughts. I leave it entirely to you. You may quote from my statement to the Mass -Meeting in Madison Square Garden some months ago, but please quote it exactly. We shall do all in our power to be of service to your people in this tragic moment.”
“The President then shook hands with each of us, and we filed out of the room.”
Contained in this narrative already are suspicions that FDR may have harbored prejudices against Jews. At best FDR appeared to be indifferent about the Holocaust, which he admitted he already was aware of. At worst it would be like a witness to a murder who does nothing to stop the crime.
Another troubling glimpse of Roosevelt’s view of Jews is an article published in the May, 2018 issue of the Jerusalem Post. The article was entitled “FDR wanted Jews spread thin and kept out of the U.S., documents reveal.”
These documents from the FDR Library reveal something called the “M Project” which was a study commissioned by Roosevelt to study the migration of millions of peoples displaced by the War, most of them Jews.
“Describing the M Project to UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1943, Roosevelt said the study is focused on “the problem of working out the best way to settle the Jewish question,” adding that the solution “essentially is to spread the Jews thin all over the world,” rather than allow them amass in large numbers in one specific place. The conversation was recorded in the diary of Vice President Henry Wallace, who was present at the meeting.”
This all points to a shocking realization that Roosevelt’s view of Jews was that they were a race of troublemakers, to be scattered all over the planet to minimize their chances of gaining any meaningful power.
Another claim that many historians use in excusing the allies in their refusal to help the Jews in the death camps is the claim that it would divert considerable resources from the air campaign, and so would not be worthwhile.
An article in “The National Interest” dated October 8, 2017 asks the question: “Could the Allies Have Stopped the Killing at Auschwitz Sooner?” What follows is a discussion of the supposed dilemma military planners faced, which included their claim that the death camps were out of range of the bombers. For the purposes of this article, we take notice of these facts.
“In considering the feasibility of bombing Auschwitz, one needs to know if the Western governments knew about the world’s largest killing center. The answer is a definitive yes. As historian Tami Davis Biddle has discovered, the first report about Auschwitz was made as early as January 1941—only six months after it had opened and before the gas chambers were installed. A report from the Polish underground was sent to the Polish government in exile in London, where it was forwarded on to Sir Charles Portal, the chief of the British Royal Air Force. The report said Auschwitz was one of the Nazis’ “worst organized (sic) and most inhuman concentration camps.”
“The American public was first introduced to the horrors of Auschwitz on November 25, 1942, when the New York Times published an article on page 10 that stated, “Trainloads of adults and children [are] taken to great crematoriums at Oswiencim [Auschwitz], near Cracow.” In March 1943, the Directorate of Civilian Resistance in Poland reported that 3,000 people a day were being burned in a new crematorium at Auschwitz.”
Roosevelt knew everything that was going on in this German genocide of the Jews, including every detail of it.
It is a brutal fact that an unending stream of reliable reports from various sources in various parts of Europe were provided to Allied forces.
“It was also discovered after the war that by the time Auschwitz had been liberated the Allies had photographed the camp at least 30 times during the course of the war. The photos, taken by the U.S. Army Air Forces, were stored at the Mediterranean Allied Photo Reconnaissance Wing in Italy, which was commanded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s son, Colonel Elliott Roosevelt. Some photos even showed inmates being marched to the gas chambers.”
What about the claim that Auschwitz (and other death camps) was beyond the range of bombers?
“By May 1944, the USAAF had begun attacking the Third Reich’s synthetic oil plants located in Germany, Poland, and Romania. The goal was to bring Hitler’s war machine to a halt. On August 8, 1944, a raid numbering 55 bombers from the U.S. Eighth Air Force flew from airfields in the Soviet Union and dropped more than 100 tons of bombs on an oil refinery at Trzebinia, which was approximately 20 miles northeast of Auschwitz.” (emphasis ours.)
One more question that many have asked: considering that Jews and other fated people were brought in on railroad cars....wouldn’t bombing the railroad lines have hindered the death camps? The argument to that question is pretty much the same as others: bombing the death camps would’ve done no good because it would’ve killed inmates, they were out of reach, would’ve required too much diversion of air power, etc etc.
Strangely enough, even the Pope has gotten in on the last controversy. An article from the “Independent” from June 22 2015 carries the title “Pope Francis: Why didn’t allies bomb railway routes taking prisoners to Auschwitz?”
‘’The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to the concentration camps, like Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also the Christians, and also the Roma, also the homosexuals,” Pope Francis said.
“Tell me, why didn’t they bomb” those railroad routes?”
In a 2004 interview concerning the bombing missions he flew as a young bomber pilot by Auschwitz, Senator and 1972 Presidential candidate George McGovern said, “FDR was a great man and he was my political hero. But...he made....the decision not to go after Auschwitz...God forgive us....there was a pretty good chance we could have blasted those rail lines off the face of the earth (and) interrupted the flow of people to those death chambers, and we had a pretty good chance of knocking out those gas ovens.” (December 2004 interview with Israel Television and the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.)
Indeed, many experts now say that with a bomb load of 8000 pounds, only six of our bombers would have obliterated the rail line, the death chambers, the gas ovens, and the SS barracks.
The same could have been done to the other five death camps.
As for the real possibility that some inmates would be killed....think about this. Their fate was already sealed. So in the long run, it obviously would’ve saved many inmate lives overall.
We now turn to the question: we have established that FDR and others knew all about the death camps very early in the war....so when did Roosevelt begin to refuse helping the Jews?
It started even before World War II!
The steamship M.S. St. Louis, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean with over 900 German-Jewish passengers desperate to escape Nazi Germany, is steaming off the coast of Miami, Florida for about two weeks in June 1939. The passengers have formed a committee and are begging the U.S President himself for sanctuary in the U.S. Roosevelt refuses.
U.S. Immigration authorities then send the ship back to Europe. This rejection is a death sentence to many on the ship at the Nazis’ hands.
Throughout the following war, Roosevelt rejected all requests made by Jewish leaders to bomb the gas chambers or the rail line at Auschwitz.
When it comes to the unspeakable blood on his hands’ guilty refusal to save 2,000,000 or more men, women and children’s lives, Jewish and others, Franklin Delano Roosevelt has no excuse.
His actions are the utter opposite of a “great man.”
The ending of this tragedy only came when World War II ended in Allied victory. But many millions of innocent human beings never lived to see that victory and their salvation....in large part due to the tragic indifference of a U.S. President.