Relations and Rescue During the Holocaust paper one

Relations and Rescue During the Holocaust paper one -...

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Andrea Ham Jewish and Non-Jewish Relations and Rescue During the Holocaust The Rejections to Bombing Auschwitz-Birkenau: A Genuine Concern of Military Sacrifice or Simply the Diffusion of Responsibility? In examining the motives of the American and British governments in their refusal to intervene in the mass deportations and consequent murders by way of bombing the death camps and railways leading to them, one must inspect the matter from numerous perspectives. As Wyman demonstrates in his article, “The Bombing of Auschwitz”, knowledge of the murderous campaign became available when in late April two escapees from Auschwitz documented their experiences in vast detail and accurate description. These two men, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, dictated a thirty-page report on all they had seen and head in Auschwitz which included information of military strategic importance such as the “camp’s geographical layout, internal conditions, and gassing and cremation technique” which then “offered a statistical record of the months of systematic slaughter”. (Wyman pp. 289) By June, this information became public internationally. The information that described the nature of the gas chambers and the process by which Jews were selected and killed made it clear that the destination of most Hungarian deportees was death. On May 24 th , Jewish leaders in Bratislava sent two telegrams to the Agudas Israel World Organization in New York which were received a month later. The president of the organization, Jacob Rosenheim, immediately directed these telegrams to the War Refugee Board in Washington on June 18 th . The telegram requested “prompt disturbance of all transport, military and deportation by the Royal Air Force and recommended
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bombing the deportation railway between Kosice and Presov”. (Gilbert, pp. 66) While Rosenheim acted urgently in deploying the message to the War Refugee Board, John W. Pehle, the head of the WRB, sat on the issue for six days until he set forth any action on the matter. On June 24 th , he relayed the information to the assistant secretary of war, John J. McCloy but made clear his doubts on the matter. He was unsure if it would be appropriate to utilize military planes and personnel in this plan of action, whether it would be too difficult of a feat to put the railroad line out of commission for long enough to produce any positive results and even if the railroad line were to be destroyed and remain in this state for long enough if the action in itself would even help the Jews of Hungary. In his address to McCloy, Pehle stated that his intention was not to provoke physical action from the War Department but rather to encourage an exploration of the circumstances. It is clear that at this point in time the concept of bombing Auschwitz- Birkenau and its railways in order to save Jewish lives was neither urgent nor of tremendous concern.
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2010 for the course JESN 5364 taught by Professor Dr.silberklang during the Spring '10 term at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Relations and Rescue During the Holocaust paper one -...

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