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Accomplices

Churchill, Roosevelt and the Holocaust

Series:

Groth

This volume asserts that there was tacit cooperation in the Nazi extermination of the Jewish population of Europe by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War. Although the Allies publicly recognized the Nazi massacre of the Jews in the London Declaration of December 17, 1942, the policies they pursued allowed the genocide to continue. They did so, the author claims, in three ways: (1) refusal to publicly and personally speak about and against the Nazi extermination of the Jews; (2) refusal to commit even one soldier, one plane, or one warship to any forcible opposition to the «Final Solution» throughout the Second World War; and (3) obstruction of Jewish escape from Hitler’s Europe. This book explores the motivation for the policies Churchill and Roosevelt pursued.

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2. The War—Constraints and Opportunities 43

Extract

Chapter 2: The War—Constraints and Opportunities The apologists for Churchill and Roosevelt, that is, apologists for their tragic role in the history of the Holocaust, invariably dwell on the drastic con- straints allegedly imposed upon these leaders by the exigencies of War. They sought victory. Victory required resources, and it required popular support. Anti-Semitism could have undermined this support. Victory also required intense focus by the decision-makers on the critical job at hand. “Distrac- tions” could not be tolerated. The murder of the Jews could have been a distraction, presumably. However, this virtually universal interpretation of the role of war in apo- logetic literature is itself a monumental misinterpretation: precisely because of what it leaves out. What is left out of these accounts actually highlights the Western leaders’ culpability as Hitler’s silent accomplices to the crime of the ages. War actually increases the opportunity of response to hostile or “wrong- ful” acts on the part of an opponent. If we may, for a moment, hypothetically, assume that Nazi Germany in the years between 1933 and 1941 was an “opponent” of the United States in the sense that its various policies offended American sensibilities, what range of responses was available to American leaders? The state of peace imposed some constraints. There could have been such things as public protests, official critical statements; there could have been some symbolic acts; measures in trade or tourism. All these possibili- ties, however, are very much outweighed by the opportunities created by a 44...

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