Churchill, Roosevelt and the Holocaust
5. Delivering Jews to the Gas Chambers 131
Chapter 5: Delivering Jews to the Gas Chambers Allied policy toward Jews in the Second World War consisted of three prin- cipal components. In terms of rhetoric and military intervention it was simp- ly acquiescent: no intervention against the Holocaust by word of leaders; no intervention against it by military means. The policies concerned with escape, however, i.e. enabling Jews to flee Hitler’s inferno represented, on balance, active assistance to the killers. Shut- ting down all major avenues of escape to Jews facilitated Hitler’s extermina- tion program. Here, Allied cooperation was given to the Nazis by active measures, not simply by either silence or inertia. Once again, the qualifica- tion on this formula was that the Allied leaders did not wish it to be publicly known that they were supportive of Hitler’s murder of the Jews. In post-war terminology, Churchill and Roosevelt were always interested in “deniabili- ty.” They did not endorse Hitler’s extermination of the Jews. They were in- terested in doing just enough to justify the view that they were actually op- posed to it. They did let Eden make a one-time declaration in the House of Commons in 1942. They themselves spoke about Nazi crimes in generalities, as they did in the Moscow Declaration in 1943. They put on a “show” at the Bermuda Conference on Refugees in 1943. They did make sure that no Al- lied military assets were ever used on behalf of Jews. But when it came to the issue of Jewish escape, Allied...
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