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November 03, 2012

Could The US Have Saved Tens Of Thousands Of Jews From The Holocaust? Maybe Not

Auschwitz liberationScholars who believe that FDR and the U.S. Jewish establishment missed the chance to stop the annihilation of the Jews often express admiration for [the Irgun’s] Hillel Kook… [who] adopted the name Peter Bergson and worked in America on behalf of the European Jews.….Bauer's opinion concerning the impact of the "Bergsonites,"… "Sadly, it was zero."…

Auschwitz liberation
The liberation of Auschwitz

Historian Tom Segev writes in Ha'aretz about a discussion he recently had with 87-year-old Hebrew University Emeritus Professor and Israel Prize winning historian Yehuda Bauer about the popular contention, fueled primarily by Israel's political needs, that President Roosevelt and the US could have saved the lives of many Jews during the Holocaust if they had chosen to do so.

The touchstone of this claim is that the US could have bombed Auschwitz or the rail lines leading to Auschwitz, and that alone would have saved more than 10,000 Jewish lives each day.

But is that really true?

Are the allegations against Roosevelt true?

Bauer used to believe they were, at least partially, true.

But after decades of research and reams of evidence calling those allegations into question, he's changed his mind:

…The United States knew the real story of the Holocaust only much later [then 1942], and to a lesser degree than is commonly thought, Bauer says now. There may have been some sporadic opportunities to save a few thousand Jews, but essentially, only the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany could end the annihilation of the millions.

In an article now appearing in the quarterly of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, [Bauer] writes: "Had I stuck to the same positions for 44 years, after having scoured archives all over the world, learning a few languages and writing 14 books on the Holocaust - I should have been dismissed from the university. Just as every responsible historian does, I change my views in accordance with the evidence that I find."

The shift in Bauer's views began to crystallize four or five years ago…In his article, he disagrees with an American historian named Rafael Medoff…over who knew what, and when, about the Holocaust and whether, if a person had known something, he could have [saved Jews]. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Bauer states that there was no possibility of saving a significant number of Jews [by bringing them to] the Land of Israel, because there was no way of extracting them from occupied Europe and bringing them there.…there was no real opportunity to destroy Nazi annihilation mechanisms by aerial bombings, except [by killing] many Jews. The Jewish Agency objected at the time to bombing Auschwitz…. It may have been possible to bomb the railroad tracks leading to the camps, but the Germans would have rebuilt them.

Similarly, had the Allies bombed the gas chambers, the annihilation would have continued via other means, including the "death marches." …[About] 50 percent of Jewish war victims were not murdered in the death camps.

…Bauer…writes: "One may rightly ask why the United States did not intervene along with its British allies when some two million Indians died of starvation in 1943, and why it did not even make any statements about it."

…"Was Jewish blood any redder than the blood of others?" Bauer asks. His answer is that the Jews were an unusual case, deserving of special attention and recognition, because the crime committed against them was unique and few people had understood that in real time….

[Like Medoff,] scholars who believe that FDR and the U.S. Jewish establishment missed the chance to stop the annihilation of the Jews often express admiration for [the Irgun’s] Hillel Kook… [who] adopted the name Peter Bergson and worked in America on behalf of the European Jews.….Bauer's opinion concerning the impact of the "Bergsonites,"… "Sadly, it was zero."…

I know of a specific document case showing that one particular haredi rabbi acted very badly after reaching safety during the Holocaust. He even took money he raised for pikuach nefesh, saving the lives of Jews in Nazi-ravaged Europe, and instead using almost all of it to build a yeshiva in Brooklyn.

This haredi rabbi corresponded with President Roosevelt during the war, but never raised the issue of the Holocaust. He never asked Roosevelt to rescue Jews or bomb the rail lines to Auschwitz.

This is especially important to note because this rabbi's followers originally presented this haredi rabbi to Roosevelt and the US Government as the leader of all traditional Jews worldwide. (The actual phrase used was, I think, "the Pope of all protestant Jews," and was written at a time of anti-Catholic bias.)

That evidence has been documented and academically published for six years already, but Medoff won't write about it or reference it all.

I've asked Medoff, who I know, several times over the years to write about it, cite it or to at least publicly acknowledge that it exists.

He never has.

Why?

Because, if he does, his attacks on Roosevelt and the US become almost moot, and Medoff isn't in the business he is in as the head of the David S. Wyman Center, to really write history. He's in the business he's in to promote a political agenda in Israel and in the US, one closely aligned with the more right wing parts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition.

When Netanyahu recently spoke at the AIPAC convention, in the context of the Iran crisis, he complained about the 'refusal' of the US to bomb Auschwitz.

However, like Medoff, Netanyahu is selective with his history.

Netanyahu didn't tell AIPAC that the Jewish Agency, the pre-state quasi government of the Jewish community in Palestine, opposed the bombing of Auschwitz.

That Netanyahu is a dishonest man is not news to people who have dealt with him over the years.

That the David S. Wyman Center is cooking the Holocaust books in part to favor Netanyahu and his allies is news to most people.

Unfortunately, knowing what I know about Medoff, I'm inclined to favor Bauer.

Comments

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If it were FDR's own family, he would figure out a way to do it. It was Jews, so he couldn't care less. His silence was deafening. Thank G-d he died and Truman took over. (not that I think Truman did much more but certainly less callous than his predecessor)

The late George McGovern was a B-24 pilot. He ran bombing missions near Auschwitz, to destroy strategic industries. He said that the US should have bombed the tracks leading to Auschwitz, thereby slowing the Nazi death machine. I don't think FDR was personally anti-Semitic. He had Jewish advisors. But many in the State Department, such as Breckingridge Long, certainly were. I don't know if they had much influence over the war effort, but they did put obstacles in the way of Jewish refugees reaching the States.

Jews weren't very popular anywhere in the world during the Third Reich. In the US, even the strict immigrant quotas in place from laws passed in 1924 and 1941 were not fully used, owing to footdragging by the anti-semitic State Department. Canada's Jewish refugee record was even worse during 1933-45.

FDR was a product of his time. His record, when it comes to Jews, does not look good using current politically correct standards. But he was the first president to encourage large numbers of Jews to come to Washington and take government posts. Milton Friedman comes to mind. His upstate New York neighbor, Henry Morgenthau, became the country's first Jewish Secretary of the Treasury. Another of his Jewish advisers, Felix Frankfurter, was nominated by FDR to the US Supreme Court in 1939.

I have read that at least one Haredi rabbi from occupied Europe was more interested in saving his books than in making room for additional Jews during his rescue. SR, are we talking about the same rabbi and is he Menachem Mendel Schneerson?

…I have read that at least one Haredi rabbi from occupied Europe was more interested in saving his books than in making room for additional Jews during his rescue. SR, are we talking about the same rabbi and is he Menachem Mendel Schneerson?

Posted by: Rocky | November 03, 2012 at 09:43 PM

No, you have the name wrong.

.... (not that I think Truman did much more but certainly less callous than his predecessor)
Posted by: absurd | November 03, 2012 at 09:05 PM

Er, that would be the man who ordered the dropping of nuclear bombs on civilian populations, killing and maiming untold numbers of innocent men, women and children.

Im stunned! If you could delay the death of anyone at any time wouldn't it be worth it???? Who cares if would have only slowed the death pace? Im sorry this logic is warped beyond imagination.

Why not name the hareidi rabbi? Why so secretive?

One ought to note that Bauer comes from a hashomer hatzair kibbutz and his disagreement with an Irgun historian may not be purely academic!

According to Eric Larson's latest book "Garden of Beasts" US Ambassador Dodd who was very close to Goering, and himself an anti-semite, informed President Roosevelt that Hitler intended to wipe out the Jewish People. This info is documented in Dodd's diaries. In addition, according to the book, Dodd's daughter, Martha witnessed Jews being beaten and jailed (never to be heard of again) by the gestapo. Martha was a close friend of Diel who was the head of the gestapo in 1937.....
The US,according to Eric Larsen, who did tremendous research and had seen with his own eyes the State Department cables that were sent back and forth to Dodd...knew very well of Hitler's intentions. BTW Dodd was fired because after witnessing some atrocities against Jews way back in 1935, was thought to be Anti-Nazi, and the state department wanted a pro-nazi to be ambassador to Germany...
read the book and see his sources...
Its very clear that the US knew very well what was going on from eye witnesses...

Im stunned! If you could delay the death of anyone at any time wouldn't it be worth it???? Who cares if would have only slowed the death pace? Im sorry this logic is warped beyond imagination.

Posted by: ... | November 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM

If you weren't generally an apologist for everything haredi, you wouldn't have this comprehension problem.

If bombing the rail lines to Auschwitz had been possible, how many Allied planes would have been lost doing it? How much would it have slowed the war effort? How many, if any, Jewish lives would have been saved?

Because WW2 bombs were not accurate, chances are the rail lines would not have been hit and it could have taken several successive nights of bombing to do damage that the Germans could have fixed in a few days.

How many lives would have been saved?

Arguably, none.

But it would have slowed the war effort and might have prolonged the end of the war by a few days or even weeks.

And that would have cost a lot more Jewish lives.

So this is the new liberal trend - rewrite history so as to absolve Roosevelt of his part in letting the Jews of Europe die. Make sense. After all, it now allows liberal Jews to love Roosevelt without that nagging "But..." in the backs of their minds.
By 1944 the Allies owned the air over Europe. They could have destroyed Auschwitz and the rail lines easily and at minimal risk. They had time for Dresden which was of no strategic value and done just to make a point.
And the logic that it would have cost more Jewish lives and prolonged the war is foolish. Any increased US effort to destroy the camps would have had no effect on the Russian advance which would have proceeded on schedule. The Russians liberated Auschwitz, not the Americans so that argument is moot.
And then there is the niggling little fact that Roosevelt closed the US borders to Jews and turned away boatloads of refugees. Would that also have affected the US war effort, Shmarya?
Roosevelt was a great US leader but he, like Churchill and the rest of the Allied leadership, didn't see the slaughter of Jews in Europe as an important thing to deal with.

Garnel, I don't think it's rewriting history to "absolve" a president who's been dead nearly 70 years, and I don't think this gives FDR absoluion anyway.
With the passage of time and greater objectivity, the situation looks less nefarious and openly anti-Semitic and more just the result of people trying to make the better decisions with imperfect information, scarce resources to allocate to the overall war effort, and ambiguous input from key stakeholders. In other words, the way most important decisions get made in large organizations.
I'm with YL (and disagree with Shmarya) that the US should have at least bombed the rail lines, but is is with 70 years of hindsight as to what might have been more effective. The fact that the risks and effectiveness of bombing was even being considered as an option suggests that anti-Semitism was not the decisive factor in FDR's decision.

Eli, the unfortunate truth is that, at the time, American liberal Jews worshipped Roosevelt. Then after the war they were faced with a problem - he wasn't so pro-Jewish. In fact, he was a bit anti-Jewish. (One wonders how the 1947 UN vote would have gone if he'd been president)
So they had a problem - their liberal messiah didn't like them very much despite standing for all the values they did.
Since that time they've been trying to figure out a way to get him "off the hook".
Look, he wasn't the only one. Canada closed its borders even tighter than the US. And the British? They did everything they could to ensure no Jews would escape the Nazis. Roosevelt was just another world leader who couldn't have cared less about Hitler's plans for us and was prepared to stand passively by as he carried them out.

The US did not accept the Jews who were on the St. Louis, and who were sent back to Europe. Many of them perished. This happened a long time before there was a Bibi. It is Segev who is playing politics. There's a new book called "Cecilia Razovsky and the American Jewish Women's Rescue Operation in the Second World War II" by Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker of Bar-Ilan. It deals with the taking in of refugees which Roosevelt did not do until vary late in the war.
True, the St. Louis were relatively small in number. But there were other possibilities.
Republicans tried to pass legislation that would have admitted 20,000 children. The Democrats defeated it. Anne Frank may have survived if this had passed.
The issue is not so much bombing the tracks. It was getting Jews out when there was a chance.

Obviously, more publicity about systematic genocide and more attacks on Auschwitz rail lines and gas chambers could not have stopped the killing of Jews but it could have slowed it down by requiring the Germans to use more resources. This would have diverted resources from the Nazi war effort. In addition, more information might have led more Jews to either refuse deportation orders to try more to flee. I do not accept Bauer's conclusion. Moreover, as noted by George McGovern, Americans pretty much owned the skies over Auschwitz in the last stages of the war when over a half a million Hungarian Jews were sent to their death in Auschwitz. Yes, such bombings would have killed some Jews, but would have saved more Jewish lives. At least Jewish lives would not have been so cheap.

Peter Bergson (aka Hillel Kook) was a revisionist Zionist who got the orthodox rabbis to front for him in the march. Nevertheless, I would not dismiss Kook's efforts as pure political posturing. At some point he shifted his focus from promoting Palestine immigration to getting the US to save Jewish lives.

Shmarya, why are you so enthusiastic about the grass roots efforts for Soviet Jewry but critical of grass roots efforts for Jewry in Nazi occupied Europe. Jews, by all accounts, were playing with a weak hand during WWII in the US. Whether or not the efforts could have succeeded or had much effect is a separate question from whether the effort was something to admire.

Yes, Rafael Medoff is a low life propagandist. It is sad to see the impressive work and name of David Wyman being owned and exploited by Medoff.

The other YL (Yerachmiel) said it best. Yashar koach.

The idea that the US or any country for that matter would have accepted hundreds of thousands or even millions of refugees (bearing in mind that Jews were not the only victims of Nazi or Japanese oppression) is unrealistic.

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

was as much rhetoric when it was written as it is today.

Secondly if the camps had been bombed in the summer of 1944, then the Nazis would have killed as many Jews by a policy of mass shooting, starvation and disease by the winter of 1944 as carried out to Soviet prisoners of war. Great resources were not required to kill Jews. Denial of food and water would have done for them.

It was Allied policy to put occupied Europe under siege and starve Germany if necessary into accepting unconditional surrender. The Allied leadership feared that the Nazis would use Jews as hostages to lift that siege and to force a retreat from the resolve to demand unconditional surrender. The Allied leadership expected that the Nazis would prove they were serious in their threats and to force the Allies hand would embark on mass murder. (Another reason for doing so would be that the food Jews would otherwise consume could also be to Germany diverted).

The Allies position was that they would never give in to such blackmail whatever the cost paid by hostages. They made it clear that Nazi barbarity was expected but would not divert them in anyway from their resolve to peruse the policy of total war and unconditional surrender and that the only thing that Nazi barbarity would achieve for the Nazis was death by hanging after the war was won.

The Jewish position is to negotiate with kidnappers and to pay ransoms. That was not the position of the Allies and still is not the position of the American and British governments when their citizens are taken hostage and threatened with death. You would not find these governments entering into one sided exchanges as the Israel government did for Gilad Shalit.

What made this genocide inevitable was the backwardness of Eastern Europe which left it vulnerable to German aggression when France unexpectedly fell so easily in 1940.

It is easier for Hareidim to look to what they see as US moral failures, then consider a far greater Jewish policy failure in failing over the course of two centuries to acknowledge that the economic and military weakness which they celebrate and flows from ghettoism, the reliance on magic and mysticism and the rejection of modernity has an inevitable Darwinian price in defensive military ineffectiveness.

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | November 04, 2012 at 03:15 AM

There's only been one president worshipped as a Messiah. It wasn't Roosevelt.

http://www.bushfish.org/index.html

Scholars who believe that FDR and the U.S. Jewish establishment missed the chance to stop the annihilation of the Jews...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the U. S. was fighting a war for what many believed to be its very survival. Many men, like some of my parents' brothers and cousins who lied about their stated age so that they could enlist as minors.

The touchstone of this claim is that the US could have bombed Auschwitz or the rail lines leading to Auschwitz, and that alone would have saved more than 10,000 Jewish lives each day.

And here's my answer to that. F--- them. F--- them hard. It was a war, not a hostage rescue operation. As in any war, the operational time, place, and tempo are all critical in the successful prosecution of a war. You can't have civilians selecting targets (cf. LBJ and McNamara and the Vietnam conflict).

Bergson and the Emergency Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry main agenda was to raise awareness to the plight of European Jewry. The Jewish establishment in the US kept quite and did not want to raise the issue. They believe that while the US is at war Jews should not look like they are concerned for non-American Jews so their loyalty would not be questioned. They were the Jewish "house nigger".

Bergson would have nothing of it and instead filled up the Madison Square Gardens many times putting the play "We will Never Die". Bergson also organize the Rabbis March on the white house with Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, rabbi Soloveitchik, rabbi Silver (whose photo is featured on this web site!) and many others. Unfortunately no Reform or Conservative rabbi was present. They too play the Jewish equivalency of the "House Nigger" or maybe we should call them House Jews.

Bergson also fought to increase the qouta of Jewish immigrant to the US which was not changed since 1890, it was 27,370 from Germany and 6,542 from Poland

It was the pressure he put on the White House that made FDR finally come out against the deportation of Jews in Hungary, that alone made admiral Horthy stop the deportation.

Bauer is the apologetic historian, he apologized Wise, Kastner , Becher, the Judenrat, the capos and he even tried to minimize the role of Himmler and Eichmann.

No wonder he so popular in Europe, the European governments love so much because he absolves them from nuch of the guilt associated with holocaust.


Posted by: Bassy the Haredi Slayer | November 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM

As I've pointed out to you before, your comments are largely made up of lies and half truths, and you smear people you don't like with them.

The truth, however, is much different than what you claim.

Even more ironic is that you support far more draconian refugee policies in Israel against African refugees.

You have a years long documented history of lying, and it stops now.

If you're not smart enough and honest enough to post comments that actually are true and in context, you're not smart enough or honest enough to post here.

The choice is yours, but I'm not giving you any extra chances.

As for Bergson, the awareness he raised did help start the War Refugee Board in 1944. That got a large number of Jews refugee status.

But Bergson's enemy Stephen S. Wise of the American Jewish Congress, representing the official Jewish community, also lobbied, beginning in 1943, to get the War Refugee Board started.

And like usual for you and your lies, you exclude mention of Wise's positive role to make it appear as if Begson was the sole reason for the success. But he wasn't.

Now stop lying.

The War Refugee Board did not result in a significant number of Jews being admitted to the US during the war as refugees. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 1941, 28,927 refugees were admitted to the US. This number dropped sharply in fiscal 1942 to 11,702 and dropped again in fiscal 1943 to 5,944. It dropped again in fiscal 1944 to 5,606 and again to only 4,793 in fiscal 1945. Not all of the refugees admitted during the war years were Jewish although most of them were. The sharp drop in refugees in fiscal 1942 reflects the adoption of stringent immigration restrictions in July 1941 by the State Department. An estimated 190,000 immigration slots for occupied Europe available under the 1924 US immigration law went unused between December 1941 and the end of the war in Europe. Source: "The Abandonment of the Jews" by David Wyman p. 136.

Shmary, I do appreciate that you brought to our attention the latest views by Yehuda Bauer, as you know that some of us who come from Hasidim were brainwashed as young children to the view that Zionism actually worked against the idea that somehow Jews could do business with the Nazis and somehow save millions of European Jews from the Nazis crematoriums.

Additionally we were indoctrinated to see facts as a few uneducated morons wanted to see it, again and again as young impressionable kids we heard that President Roosevelt told for some that they better not protest or demand that the US intervene directly and either bomb the rails tracks to Auschwitz or Auschwitz itself. Myself who considers himself smart enough to study both sides of each issue before rendering my personal views, couldn’t find mach material to be able to render a judgment.

One thing I know for sure that since the Holocaust there were other mass murders of millions of innocent people on TV right in front of our eyes and nobody raised a finger. There is numerous answers why, but, one answer is always part of the discussion that is, “We cannot be the worlds policeman”.

Image you are fighting a war for your life and you are requesting that the allies should divert resources to go on a mission which will not help the war effort. Sorry the allies also lost 10's of millions of people during the war. The conditions during the siege of Stalingrad was also horrific.

I just finished re-reading "The Abandonment of the Jews" by David Wyman (1984). No doubt there were anti-semites within FDR's government (especially the State Department), and no doubt Congress could have opened the doors to more Jewish immigrants prior to the outbreak of the war in September 1939. But the fact is, those measures would not have saved but a small fraction of the six million. Read "The Myth of Rescue" by William Ruberstien (1997) and "Saving the Jews: FDR and the Holocaust" by Frank Cohen (2006) (See also, “FDR and the Holocaust” by Robert Beir (2006).)

America did not "abandon" the Jews because we did not abandon Europe. Certainly we could have. Instead we sent an army of 2 million across the Atlantic to crush the Nazi power. (I refuse to accept the warmed-over, pseudo-Marist view that this was done solely to save the British empire or establish an American neo-empire.)

I believe a key tool of the Zionist propaganda here in the U.S. is to assert that failure to support Israel is tantamount to a new "abandonment."

This is a disgusting misuse of the Shoah. Those six million did not perish so that Netanyahu can consolidate the subjugation of the Palestinians with American aid, and bomb the Iranian nation to smithereens with our moral sanction.

Garnel, I hear you, but in 1994 Bill Clinton side idly by as Rwandan Hutus massacred Tutsis, some 20 percent of the country's entire population. There was no "anti-Tutsism" associated with American indifference, just strategic considerations that there was no America interest that merited putting US lives at stake. This was wrong, in my view, and with hindsight probably Bill Clinton's too.
What the historical record is showing is that American was not indifferent to the massacre of Jews at all, considered taking steps, but made a calculated decision not to bomb. With the benefit of hindsight, I think this decision was wrong, but can accept the rationale that bringing Germany to an end was the country's main priority and not a result of anti-Semitism.

Binyamin in Orangeburg--The only thing that is subjugated is youre warped mind, concerning is rael you are a true dummy.

The existence of the British Empire and the resultant subjugation of native peoples was absolutely fundamental to the defeat of Germany. Churchill was a great imperialist.

Without that empire there would have been no Royal Navy in place in the 1930's ready to beseige Germany and to protect Britain from seige when war broke out and without the empire there would have been no overseas possessions enabling Great Britain to take the fight to Germany alone for a year after the fall of France.

British Imperialism and its Royal Navy was such a concern to the USA in the 1920's and 1930's that an invasion of Canada was considered.

Because of the military strength and resolve that empire forged, Britain had no qualms in invading neutral Iran in a surprise attack which killed 800 just so as to protect its oil supplies. The Iranians complained to FDR about Allied hypocrisy but he ignored them. The Iranians, like the Indians and the other subjugated people of the Empire were impoverished to supply Britain's war machine. They were not given the choice of independence and neutrality which they would have undoubtedly opted for if offered. The Arabs were not asked for their consent for North Africa to become a battleground.

I do not seem to recall any wartime protestations by any Jews in Orangeburg against the occupation of India, the Middle East and much of Africa by the British Empire against the wish of their subjugated people.

Wars are always fought for self interest and understandably so. FDR confronted Germany because he understood that it was in the USA's interest to stand up to Hitler. After the war the USA did not waste any time in using its economic power to dismantle British imperial power.

Don't forget also that Bauer served on the central committee of Mapam when it was a pro-Soviet Marxist party. And you know how that crowd felt about Revisionists like Kook-Bergson.

Roosevelt the politician was running for office in an America that was much different than today. Southern New Jersey was infested with Ku Klux Klan. Father Coughlin and Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent was spewing anti-Semitic filth on a daily basis. The German-American Bund was having pro-Hitler rallies in the Metropolitan area until 12/8/41. Even after war was declared the anti-Semites howled that Roosevelt was fighting a "Jewish war". FDR was painfully aware of that fact.

My father is a WW2 vet with two bronze stars and numerous purple hearts. Shmarya knows him personally. He has told me, before the onset of advanced dementia, more than several times that he knew of pilots who could see the chimneys en route to bomb refineries, arms plants, etc. They were under STRICT ORDERS not to bomb Auschwitz ecven after repeated requests to do so. YES, lots of Jews would have been killed, but some may have lived. No attempt was made to bomb the camps.

It's pretty obvious that shamarya is a true disciple of George Orwell.

Liberal is good

Conservative is bad.

For Bauer to write stupidity like this (50% of Jews were not murdered in death camps) shows what a moron he really is. Most of the others were murdered by the einsatzgruppen. To imagine that bombing auschwitz would somehoew lead to the sane number of Jews killed in death marches is not only intellectually dishonest, it's stupid. And for SR to give an iota of credence to this, shows him to be of the same ilk.

Rocky said: "I have read that at least one Haredi rabbi from occupied Europe was more interested in saving his books than in making room for additional Jews during his rescue. SR, are we talking about the same rabbi and is he Menachem Mendel Schneerson?"

The library rescuer wasn't Mendel, but his father-in-law, Yosef. Go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chabad-Lubavitch_related_controversies

Whatever else is said, I have to reject the idea that Jews could have been killed just as easily through starvation and forced marches. Yes they could have been killed that way and that how approximately half of all Jews were killed in the holocaust. But it was not a favored method of the Nazis. Give them credit for knowing what they were doing.

The Nazis recognized the many problems of the old methods of killing. It used up more resources, was more publicly visible and was more likely to induce hostile reactions by their own citizens, by the Jews they were targeting and by the outside world. That is why the Nazis replaced open pit killing with gas chambers.

So, figure that if the Nazis had their reasons for favoring the gas chambers it was in the best interests of Jews to destroy the chambers. This was done successfully in Treblinka by inmates.

I understand the concern about diverting critical resources from the war effort to rescue Jews. But the bombing of the Auschwitz train lines would have been a trivial diversion of resources which would have been handily balanced by increased resource expenditures by the Nazis to either rebuild the facilities or by needing to use more personnel to kill Jews or to fight Jews who were resisting. Imagine Europe if the Warsaw Ghetto story became the Budapest Ghetto and Bratislava ghetto stories. Imagine further if this had spread to other concentration camps. Perhaps not one more Jewish life would have been saved. But it would not have cost the allies much to foster internal rebellion that contributed to the Nazi downfall.

According to the McGovern obituary that I read, eh said he flew right over Auschwitz and wondered why it wasn't being bombed.

He was an experienced wartime airman so I assume that he knew it could have been done.

Plus, he had a lot of experience as a politician later on when he made the statement. So, he wasn't naive about how things work in government either.

That had a great impact on me.

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