UN: Allies knew of Jewish Holocaust years earlier than previously known

April 19, 2017 Agencies
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Newly released United Nations documents reveal that the Allied powers knew about the Jewish Holocaust carried out by Hitler’s Nazi regime at least two-and-a-half years earlier than previously thought.

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance centre. Credit: Hadas Parish/Flash90.

As early as December 1942, the United States, the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union were aware that at least two millions Jews were massacred by the Nazi regime, according to the British media outlet The Independent. And an additional five million Jews were at risk of being murdered.

Despite knowing about the ongoing Jewish Holocaust, the Allied powers did little to intervene.

“The major powers commented [on the mass murder of Jews] two-and-a-half years before it is generally assumed. It was assumed they learned this when they discovered the concentration camps, but they made this public comment in December 1942,” said Dan Plesch, author of the book, Human Rights After Hitler.

The documents also show that the Allied powers had prepared to indict Hitler and high-ranking Nazi officials for war crimes.

In response to the new Holocaust revelation, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center published a statement on its website saying, “information regarding mass murders of Jews began to reach the free world soon after these actions began in the Soviet Union in late June 1941, and the volume of such reports increased with time.”

“Notwithstanding this, it remains unclear to what extent Allied and neutral leaders understood the full import of their information. The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was not complete.”



16 Responses to “UN: Allies knew of Jewish Holocaust years earlier than previously known”
  1. Roger Ellison says:

    The Allies were doing their utmost to overthrow Hitler. Churchill put his country on the line. He was a great friend of the Jews and helped implement the Balfour Declaration that culminated in the founding of Israel. I was born in 1940 and my parents named me Winston (middle name) as they saw Churchill trying to save the civilised world! The war had to be fought in a tactical way to defeat the enemy and special sorties to rescue people from concentration camps would have been suicide.

    • Roy Sims says:

      I well remember my Dad “shushing” the family to silence as he sat close to the ‘wireless’ listening to Mr. Churchill’s wartime speeches to the nation. He IS the hero of wartime Britain … BUT he was not perfect. He bears significant responsibility for denying Jews access to ‘Palestine’ after the war had ended. The comments of Lynne (below) are enlightening.
      The once GREAT Britain soon began to lose it’s ‘greatness’ after 1948. Many of us believe that to be directly related to Britain’s harsh, unsympathetic attitude to Jews immediately following the war, and continuing up to present times.
      The good news is that there now appears to be a wind of change blowing in Britain under the leadership of Theresa May. Let us all hope so.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      You were born in 1940, Churchill’s statement came about the same year….. How were your parents to know?
      I notice you mention the tactical means in relation to concentation camps, you must have read the questions facing Churchill.
      Pope Francis also asked the same question not only of Britian….http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-why-didnt-allies-bomb-railway-routes-taking-prisoners-to-auschwitz-10336001.html
      A bit of a copout in my estimation considering the over-all role the Church played…..and in Rome too under their very nose.
      You know the result there…..

  2. Bill Rubinstein says:

    This is very misleading. Everyone in the West knew about the Holocaust from 1942 on. The problem was that nothing could be done to stop it- the Jews of Nazi occupied Europe were prisoners of Hitler and couldn’t leave. They were not refugees, as they had been in the 1930s when they had to leave Nazi Germany. I have examined every plan for rescue made anywhere in the West during the War, almost all by Jewish groups, in my book The Myth of Rescue. They were all, without exception, totally useless, since the Jews could not be reached and could not leave. No one, anywhere, proposed bombing Auschwitz until April or May 1944- not before then. The release of these documents will merely perpetuate the myth that the Western Allies “did nothing” to stop the Holocaust. William Rubinstein

    • Lynne Newington says:

      It would be interesting to know if you were a member of Pave the Way Foundation…….http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/nyregion/08pius.html.
      The Catholic Church would certainly feel exhonorated.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      A little research by Attorny John J. Loftus on Britain at least an Irish Catholic at the time of writing and president the Holcaust Museum with no myths attached.

      During World War II, the Allies broke the Nazi codes, which
      were called the “ultra secret.” After breaking the codes, the Allies
      were able to read some of the secret intelligence. One of the first
      codes they broke was for the Nazi Einsatzgruppen, the mobile
      killing units that were the first attempts of the SS at organized
      massacres of Jews. Every week the British secret service would
      decode these Nazi documents and show them to Winston Churchill.
      Churchill was amazed, but would not say anything. In fact, as early
      as September 1941 the British government was getting accurate
      weekly totals of the number of Jews being killed. Churchill was
      reading the orders to kill the Jews sometimes before they were
      received in the field. The problem was too much paperwork for the
      code breakers, so they sent a memo to Churchill that said, “It is now
      clear beyond any doubt that the German police are killing every Jew
      they can lay their hands on. Therefore, we won’t even bother
      reporting on this issue in the future.” That memo was sent in
      October 1940, just after the war had started, and the massive killing
      machinery was underway. British policy was to say nothing about
      Jews being killed, because they did not want to have Jews immigrating
      to Palestine. It might have upset the Arabs or interfered
      with the oil supply.

      • Bill Rubinstein says:

        You are quite wrong about this. That the British had decoded Nazi codes remained a secret throughout the War and long afterwards. The British didn’t want the Germans to know that they had cracked the German code, in order that they could put their knowledge to military use. “Ultra” remained a secret until the 1970s. The Jews emigrating to Palestine had precisely nothing to do with this. Secondly, the fact that the British knew about the killings of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen in Russia- what were they supposed to do about it? They could do absolutely nothing about it. Perhaps you should tell us what you think the British should have done in 1942 to stop the SS from killing Jews in Russia. The closest the British were to Russia in 1942 was Dover on the Kent coast.

        • Lynne Newington says:

          You would better informed if you read the whole history yourself, Mark Aarons and John Loftus would be the way to go, hard going but definitive, maybe even accessible if you choose to verify what’s been written.
          Their documentary Ratlines as a companion made it easier and opens your eyes even further in relation to Britain the subject in point.
          I’m trying to nut out how to get Tim Fischer a previous ambassador to the Holy See access to the latter after reading his flippant contribution in his book Holy See, unholy me and his take in chapter 12. Anti-Semitism in the Vatican?
          It’s people like him with his profile who needs to be educated.

  3. Hymie Glass says:

    Just more evidence – as if its needed – that the Jewish people need a militarily, economically strong and self-reliant Israel. It is incumbent on all Jews to whole-heartedly support Israel.

  4. Roy Sims says:

    The Holocaust is a stain on human history which will never be erased.
    The revelation of this early knowledge by U.N. members means that the stain is much deeper than was earlier thought.

  5. Lee Goffin says:

    Horrendous. I see the Red Cross as complicit in this too.

  6. Gillian Miller says:

    As I understand it, the Allies know about the behaviour of Germans towards Jews before WWII started, they were aware of Kristallnacht yet refused Jews the right to immigrate. One only has to think of the US who rejected 20,000 children and 900 souls from the St Louis and also a couple of other ships.

    There were some refugees lucky enough to escape and who would have told their stories. No country can admit that they were unaware of what was happening, they just didn’t care.

  7. Paul Benson says:

    This is very generous of Yad Vashem. The implication is that the allies believed that the murder of those 2,000,000 Jews in 1941 was acceptable. I’m minded to ask; what is it that they misunderstood about the murder of 2,000,000 Jews? Yad Vashem and all right thinking people should be outraged as I am.
    Paul Benson

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