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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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5. Delivering Jews to the Gas Chambers 131

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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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