When did US Public find out about Holocaust?

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Dog_Father, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    Seems to me, Life Magazine had a story and photos of a straved child, that was to say the least, very distrubing. I believe that was in 1942.

    Does anyone know more about when, we found out about all the death
    camps and everything?
     
  2. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Tough question, I believe the public found out what was happening in the death camps around the end of the war. From what I have read, this was also when they started revealing to and later question German prisoners of war the Allies had about the atrocities that occurred in those camps. The civilian German population was also escorted around death camps but how much they personally knew before that is controversial.

    I don't know how true this is but from what I've heard, it was around the 1960s-70s when survivors of the Holocaust were ready to talk about what happened to them, go public in a sense.

    Keep in mind, basic information about the Concentration Camps was available, the fact that they existed and were being used to house those that opposed the party in any way is something people knew, beyond that is grey territory.

    Many American Jews used what little information they had at the start of the war to try to protect family they had in affected regions. Jews in America who joined the army would also destroy their dog tags, keep their Jewish identities secret, etc because of what they heard about the treatment of Jews. At he same time, many Allied nations also turned away Jews who were trying to escape the persecution.

    The problem with finding answers to questions like this is people don't use hindsight hence attribute someone "knowing about the Holocaust" to know from the get go about what was happening by the end of the war. Finding books, editorials, newspaper articles, etc becomes harder since you may come across a author who does this.

    Do you have a link to the image?
     
  3. Dog_Father

    Dog_Father Member

    Do you have a link to the image?

    Take a look at this You Tube video : http://tinyurl.com/klxp27
    A very fearful time. Date of the story 2-23-1942, in Life mag
     
  4. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    This is from the 17 October 1943 edition of a British Sunday newspaper, The People, but its source is US.

    'Hitler Murdered Three Million Jews in Europe.
    Hitler has murdered or destroyed by planned starvation, pogroms, forced labour and deportations more than 3,000,000 of Europe's Jews, according to a statement of the Institute of Jewish Affairs published in the United States.
    Russia and other countries have given asylum to 2,000,000 exiles says the report., leaving only 3,300,000 of Europe's pre-war Jewish population of 8,300,000 unaccounted for.'

    The byline is B.U.P., which is presumably a press agency.

    The article was on the front page of the paper, which is reproduced in Auschwitz and the Allies by Martin Gilbert. It takes up 10 lines at the bottom of the extreme left of 8 columns, so wasn't very prominent.

    The People is a downmarket paper, which then claimed to sell over 3 million copies each Sunday.
     
  5. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    This is from the 17 October 1943 edition of a British Sunday newspaper, The People, but its source is US.

    'Hitler Murdered Three Million Jews in Europe.
    Hitler has murdered or destroyed by planned starvation, pogroms, forced labour and deportations more than 3,000,000 of Europe's Jews, according to a statement of the Institute of Jewish Affairs published in the United States.
    Russia and other countries have given asylum to 2,000,000 exiles says the report., leaving only 3,300,000 of Europe's pre-war Jewish population of 8,300,000 unaccounted for.'

    The byline is B.U.P., which is presumably a press agency.

    The article was on the front page of the paper, which is reproduced in Auschwitz and the Allies by Martin Gilbert. It takes up 10 lines at the bottom of the extreme left of 8 columns, so wasn't very prominent.

    The People is a downmarket paper, which then claimed to sell over 3 million copies each Sunday.

    The labor camps and such were public knowledge to a extent, I think (and I hope the original poster can clarrify) the question may have been about the final solution, gassing, etc?
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    There's a need to parse the question a bit and no reason not to widen the scope.

    The western governments, after some negotiation, agreed to release the following statement:

    "Annexed
    German Policy of Extermination of the Jewish Race
    [Released to the press by the Department of State December 17, 1942]

    The attention of the Belgian, Czechoslovak, Greek, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norwegian, Polish, Soviet, United Kingdom, United States, and Yugoslav Governments and also of the French National Committee has been drawn to numerous reports from Europe that the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has been extended the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler's oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe. From all the occupied countries Jews are being transported in conditions of appalling horror and brutality to eastern Europe. In Poland, which has been made the principal Nazi slaughterhouse, the ghettos established by the German invader are being systematically emptied of all Jews except a few highly skilled workers required for war industries. None of those taken away are ever heard of again. The able-bodied are slowly worked to death in labor camps. The infirm are left to die of exposure and starvation or are deliberately massacred in mass executions. The number of victims of these bloody cruelties is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women, and children.

    The above-mentioned Governments and the French National Committee condemn in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination. They declare that such events can only strengthen the resolve of all freedom-loving peoples to overthrow the barbarous Hitlerite tyranny. They reaffirm their solemn resolution to insure that those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution and to press on with the necessary practical measures to this end. "

    I once tried to search newspaper archives online and was only able to find some mention of this statement in the The Times (of London?) in December of 1942. I believe hisorians have cited simlar stories appearing in the New York Times and other US newpapers.

    Not sure what the public reaction was to such reports, the only thing that is certain was there was no wide spread outrage across all segments of society.

    Now the parsing, the statement above would have been pre-mature to mention the "death factories" such as Auschwitz which most people associate with the term Holocaust. All these camps were located in Poland and as soon as they were liberated the Soviets made them public.

    As mentioned above the Western world didn't become fully aware until they liberated the "slave labor" camps in Germany where people were starved, exposed to the elements, denied medical treatment and worked to death.
     
  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Here is a link to the BBC History section relating to Churchill and the Holocaust.

    BBC - History - Churchill and the Holocaust

    I am sure that there would not have been much of a delay in Churchill contacting Washington as soon as he learned of the mass exterminations being carried out.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Senior Member

    There was another problem with the news of the treatment of the Jews (and other untermensch) by the Nazis. It wasn’t that long ago that the Kaiser’s troops were also accused of atrocious behavior in WW1. Much of that was later shown to be either made up out of whole cloth for allied propaganda, or greatly exaggerated for the same purposes.

    The fear in this case was that persons of German extraction (especially in the US) would point out the past falsities in defense of their homeland. Nazis being in charge of Germany or not, they were still Germans and rightly proud of their culture. In addition to that (at least in America), the Jews weren’t all that much of a favored minority then, or even later. To have their plight officially recognized by the government might just as easily detract from the overall war effort by the American populace.

    FDR was a shrewd politician, and he understood that making the war focus "saving the Jews" would deter from the swift prosecution of the war against Hitler and Nazism. Which would in the long run save more of the Jewish faith from Hitler and the "final solution". He told his close Jewish friend, and Sec. of the Treasury (Morgenthau) this in a private conversation. Morgenthau recorded the exchange in his diary.

    When there were cries from the west as to what the Nazis were doing with their "Jews", the International Red Cross was sent in to "check up" on the German’s treatment of the Jews. What they were shown were "model camps" like the one at Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. They came away convinced that the Jews were being treated humanely.

    As to America not accepting as many Jews as it could when they tried to immigrate, two things must be remembered. First, the immigration quota system which had been in place since the twenties. There were set numbers of persons from each area of the world a percentage of whom could be admitted into America. Those areas quota numbers had been filled, and could NOT be exchanged with other areas. Sadly for the Jews, most of the areas with small percentage numbers were in the eastern European landmass, and the Levant. Not because it was filled with Jews, but because prior to the numbers being set, those areas had a smaller number of immigrants to America. The north of Europe, Britain, and western Europe had the largest numbers of immigrants already in America.

    Second, the people had to obtain visas in order to leave and when the Jews were made "non-citizens" by the Nazis, those papers could be difficult if not impossible to obtain, the inertia of bureaucracy at its 'best". Just my opinions of course.
     
  9. HeatherV

    HeatherV Junior Member

    The U.S. media printed information about the extermination centers in late 1942, which coincided with the operation of the death camps; however, most newspapers did not consider the murder of the Jews to be important enough to place on the front page. The government, including FDR, had more specific inside information but chose not to share it because the topic could open up discussions on immigration reform. Even within the immigration laws, the State Department did everything possible to postpone the granting of visas for Jews and instructed its consuls in European countries accordingly.
     
  10. kiwigeordie

    kiwigeordie Senior Member

     
  11. Tab

    Tab Senior Member

    If I remember rightly the stories broke as the Allies started to liberate the death camps. The press and news reel people were given full access to them, which gave the people back home a sense for what they had been fighting to avoid. Okay we can now read that governments did have reports of just what was going on, but just did not comprehend the scale of what was happening. Now I think it was beyond most peoples to comprehend such a thing could be done by an intelligent race of people like the Germans
     
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    If the same question had been asked about the British public I would answer that British Jewry knew only too well what lay in store in the Germany of that period as this page taken from the Archives of the Jewish Chronicle of that time clearly shows.

    The date was June 2nd 1938

    Ron

    ps
    Not sure if the pdf file can be read, perhaps others can let me know ?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    The date was June 2nd 1933

    ps
    Not sure if the pdf file can be read, perhaps others can let me know ?

    Could it be that the date is 1938?
    Thanks for sharing btw!

    (I couldn't open the file as .pdf, but opening with Firefox worked)
     
  14. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Heimbrent

    Thanks for the PDF info & the date correction..... It's my lousy eyesight :)

    Ron
     
  15. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Senior Member

    I never understood why,as it was made against some jails or kommandantur buildings, air allied forces did not try to launch a limited air assault against gas chambers and death industry facilities?
     
  16. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    I never understood why,as it was made against some jails or kommandantur buildings, air allied forces did not try to launch a limited air assault against gas chambers and death industry facilities?

    Those sorts of high precision raids were carried out by low-flying, fast aircraft like Mosquitoes. None of which would have the range to make it to south-central Poland where the main death camps were located.
     
  17. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    I recently read a library book called Voyage of the Damned which is a true story about Jewish refugees fleeing Germany in 1939, it was well known to these people what had been happening in Dachau and other camps since 1933.
    I think Britain and America and other countries knew full well what was taking place.I think It wasn't a case of not knowing but not wanting to know.
     
  18. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Senior Member

    Those sorts of high precision raids were carried out by low-flying, fast aircraft like Mosquitoes. None of which would have the range to make it to south-central Poland where the main death camps were located.

    Of course!How simple to take the range in count...
    Thank you Psywar!
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

     
  20. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I recently read a library book called Voyage of the Damned which is a true story about Jewish refugees fleeing Germany in 1939, it was well known to these people what had been happening in Dachau and other camps since 1933.
    I think Britain and America and other countries knew full well what was taking place.I think It wasn't a case of not knowing but not wanting to know.

    A ww2 Jewish vet recently told me that he fought from D-Day onward but had no idea of the extent of the Holocaust. He was very well aware that Jews were being persecuted in Germany and that is why he and many other Jews in Canada volunteered at such high rates. It was only after the war had ended that he learned any detail.
    There were 3,752 deaths at Dachau in the first seven years that the camp was in operation. Some prisoners were even released. I'm not sure those numbers would necessarily alert anyone to the genocide which dramatically accelerated only after 1941.
     

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