Churchill, Roosevelt and the Holocaust
4. A Policy of Physical Non-Interference 101
Chapter 4: A Policy of Physical Non-Interference The Holocaust was the sum of many events. It extended over most of the European continent, a square area more than half the size of the United States, and it occurred over a period of several years. It began with mass starvation in the ghettos of Poland in the winter of 1940-1941 and it ended on May 8, 1945. The very magnitude of the Holocaust had some contradictory implica- tions. On the one hand, any action taken in any particular place at some point in time was not likely to stop all of it everywhere. On the other hand, the greater the area involved and time of commission, the greater the opportunity for some agent or agents to interfere with the process in progress. In one sense, therefore, the extent and duration of the crime provided an ample op- portunity to interested parties for “playing interference.” But Allied policy toward Hitler’s monumental crime was literally, “hands off” the murder op- eration. Actions which would have disrupted the extermination process in se- lected locations and at selected times involved all of the following (with no prejudice, of course, to possible other options): 1. Attacks on facilities where Jews were being assembled, transported, and executed. These included obviously railroad tracks, platforms, and transfer camps, as well as destruction camp facilities with their buildings, storage areas, roadways, and any “useful” equipment. 2. Attacks on Nazi personnel and auxiliaries involved in the extermina- tion project. This could...
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