The Holocaust: Reports Reaching Allied Countries

Holocaust reports
Figure 1.--This Acme new service image was made available to American newspapers in February 1944. It is not identified, but surely was the Warsaw Ghetto, probably in 1941. By the time the image appeared all these people had been murderd, but there is no hint of this in the caption. The caption read, "No 'cabs' in a ghetto. Occupied Europe: Young Jewish boys push home-made 'taxis' throuh the street of a ghetto in German occupied Europe. Guarded on the outside by the Gestap, ahd on the inside by Jewish police, the inhabitants of the Ghetto are segregated from the rest of the country. Received through a neutral source, this is one of the first photos to show a typical day-by-day existence in a NAZI-created ghetto." The photo was released by the Acnme New TYork Bureau February 1, 1944. It is not clear what the source of the photograph was, but we suspect it came from the Germans to show that the Jews were not being midtreated, only separated.

From the very beginning of World War II, with German the invasion of Poland (September 1939), news reports began to appear about NAZI attrocities against the Jews. (Unreported at the time was the NAZI killing of Polish intelectuals as part of the program to obliterate Polish national consciousness.) The reports were commonly printed on the back pages of major newspapers like the New York Times and not at all in smaller papets. No journalists that we know of at any time tied these reports into a high level program aimed at killing all European Jews and others deemed undesirable. It was widely believed tht the NAZISs were killing people, but most Americans believed it was political opponents, not an entire people including women and children. Many discounted these reports. It was not generally believed that any country, even NAZI Germany, was capable of the brutalities being reported. Some Americans remembered British World War I propaganda and thought that the British were again exagerating German operations. Gradually increasingly credible stories reached Allied leaders, including first hand accounts. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941), decipered Enigma messages provided Churchill actual accounts of Einsatzgruppen killing actions against the Jews. Churchill spoke out, although at first in guarded terms leary of giving out the Ultra secret. Jewish agents reached the West with reports of wht was happening with Operation Reinhard. These repoets were published in Jewish papers and magazines, but never were pivked up by the mainstream media. Even less appeared in the broadcast reports or the movie newsreels. Mrs. Roosevelt spoke out, but never the President. For most people, a understanding of just what the NAZIs were doing did not come until Allied armies entered Germany in 1945 and began liberating the concentration camps (April 1945). Of course by this time the Death Camps had long been close and dismanteled.


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Created: 1:19 PM 8/19/2012
Last updated: 1:19 PM 8/19/2012