Why didnt the allies do something?

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by kfz, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I dont really know what happened, the final solution isnt my main area of knowledge but I find it really hard to beleive the Allies, the British Govement in particular didnt know what was happening.

    So did they pretend they didnt know, didnt care or plain political reasons prevented action?

    I just dont buy it that the allies didnt know what was going on. But in the case of the extermination camps which where big fixed targets it should have been to hard to slow them down??

    Kev
     
  2. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I dont really know what happened, the final solution isnt my main area of knowledge but I find it really hard to beleive the Allies, the British Govement in particular didnt know what was happening.

    So did they pretend they didnt know, didnt care or plain political reasons prevented action?

    I just dont buy it that the allies didnt know what was going on. But in the case of the extermination camps which where big fixed targets it should have been to hard to slow them down??

    Kev

    We did know,
    the evidence is at T.N.A. contained in Ultra decripts. HW16/10 is a file from 1942 - 43 that gives daily returns for 10 Concentration Camps including Auschwitz,Buchenwald and Dachau.These include daily intakes and Deaths with Inmate totals listed by Nationality headed by Jews.

    Why we did nothing is another question.
     
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Like what? What had you in mind that we should have done? I am all ears? If I recall we had our hands full at the time
    sapper
     
  4. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Like what? What had you in mind that we should have done? I am all ears? If I recall we had our hands full at the time
    sapper

    Exactly,
    but I think there were a few Bombing raids on the IG Farben installations that were attached to Auschwitz later in the War.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Like what? What had you in mind that we should have done? I am all ears? If I recall we had our hands full at the time
    sapper

    I agree with you Mr. Guy. What could be done, other than defeating the the ones who were doing the killing?
     
  6. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    The extirmination camps relied on fixed components, rail links, box vans, gas chambers, cremetoria, huts, camps,etc.

    They could have been bombed.

    Kev
     
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    There was nothing we could do. Bombing? That only killed the inmates.
    The concentration camps were symbolic of everything that was evil about the Nazi Regime.

    For those of our friends here, that still insist that market garden was a failure? It was just another reason why we were going to break out into the plains of Northern Germany. NO MATTER WHAT! Lots of reasons. The war over by Christmas. Berlin in our hands. The relief of the concentration camps. The saving of thousands of Allied lives, A stop to the rockets being fired at targets in Holland and the UK.

    That the Germans denied that knew anything about the camps is just plain daft! The smell of death is something we all recognise. Heavens knows there was enough stench for miles around the camps.
    Cheers
    sapper
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Sapper

    We are back on the thorny question of "hindsight".

    Sixty two years after the event we can all say "they could have done this, they should have done that".

    As someone who, like yourself, lived and served in those times but who also by his very Jewish background had a vested interest in the speedy cessation of hostilities I would have gone along with any decision that was based on the question "will this finish the war any quicker ?"

    Cheers

    Ron
     
  9. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Sapper

    We are back on the thorny question of "hindsight".

    Sixty two years after the event we can all say "they could have done this, they should have done that".

    As someone who, like yourself, lived and served in those times but who also by his very Jewish background had a vested interest in the speedy cessation of hostilities I would have gone along with any decision that was based on the question "will this finish the war any quicker ?"

    Cheers

    Ron


    Dont believe its hindsight at all Ron, tHe Polish goverment in exile knew exactly what was happening. We chose it ignore them.

    Also why was not policitcal force not used, The Nazis had some small degree of policitical consience attempting to hide the evidence, they may well have been less likely to continue if policitcal threats where made before the end of the war.

    Even it it came to nothing, even if bombing the rail lines, destroying the infrastructure didnt work, why was it not tried??

    Kev
     
  10. smc

    smc Member

    Dont believe its hindsight at all Ron, tHe Polish goverment in exile knew exactly what was happening. We chose it ignore them.

    Also why was not policitcal force not used, The Nazis had some small degree of policitical consience attempting to hide the evidence, they may well have been less likely to continue if policitcal threats where made before the end of the war.

    Even it it came to nothing, even if bombing the rail lines, destroying the infrastructure didnt work, why was it not tried??

    Kev

    I'm afraid it is hindsight, it's easy to look at what could have been done after the event has happened. I fully agree with the posters who were contemporaries the best thing the Allied governments could have done to prevent this from happening was to win the war and remove those responsible for doing the killing.

    I also think it is a little naive to expect political pressure to work. Who would exactly do the pressurising? If anything the fact that we were at war meant that normal political pressure had failed and that nothing else could be gained except by a show of strength so you're back to the same point mentioned in the first paragraph about winning the war.

    And what is bombing going to do? Bomb the rail lines leading into the concentration camps? Who do you think will be forced to relay them? Infrastructure can be rebuilt relatively easily, one side bombs them the other rebuilds them, we did it after the Luftwaffe paid us a visit, the Germans did it after the Allies visited. It would also help to note the geographical position of the Camps, not the easiest to get to, remember the UK and US needed Soviet permission to refuel during the Warsaw Uprising because the round trip was a little too far, some of the camps were at the limit of the bomber's range. Then there is the question of what to look for, remember the plans and pictures of the camps were not always available to the Allies until after the war, what do crematoria chimneys look like from the air if you've never seen them before? And if you bomb the fences to allow the inmates to escape where exactly are they going to go when all of Europe is run by the same regime that are persecuting you in the camps?

    The best thing to prevent the Final Solution was to remove the regime that were executing the inmates in an industrial fashion that had never occured before. Trying to put political pressure on a regime that had brushed aside such attempts in the run up to the start of the war is just plain ludicruous.
     
  11. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Ron.
    Well mate your people suffered the most. Can anyone really believe that Hitlers SS, Still killing their victims as fast as they could, even up to the last days of the war....

    That Hitler would listen to anyone? Not a bit of it. He would not listen to his own generals let alone someone without any power at all.
    All that could be done was done. sadly it was not enough. When we did get there, we moved Heaven and Earth to try to save as many as we could, But it is true that the years of privation, starvation, and cruelty, ensured that a great many would die even after liberation.

    Yet we have still not learned the lesson. I supported the war in Iraq. I foolishly thought that in this day and age, there was no place for murderous tyrants, and to save lives, and for the sake of the ordinary man we should remove them.
    How wrong can you be...We removed the murdering tyrant and incurred the wrath of the people for doing it.

    There is a lesson there. It would seem that in future the oppressed must seek their own salvation.
    Sapper
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Bombing the rail service to interdict traffic between materials and factories also affected traffic to the camps. I see no way to have stopped what was going on without having Allied troops in the camps and how could we have done that without first defeating the enemy troops defending the periphery?

    This topic of bombing the extermination camps was discussed ad nauseum here. I am fully convinced that nothing short of ending the war was going to prevent the deaths.

    In all sincerity, what else could have been done other than what was done, the total defeat of the NSDAP government and the occupation of Germany?
     
  13. Marina

    Marina Senior Member

    Also why was not policitcal force not used, The Nazis had some small degree of policitical consience attempting to hide the evidence, they may well have been less likely to continue if policitcal threats where made before the end of the war.
    Kev


    Churchill did warn the Nazis that there would be reprisals after the war.
    As for bombing - is it true that Allied planes couldn't actually fly that distance until they had airstrips in Europe? But even if I am mistaken about that, surely the most certain way to end the exterminations was to win the war.
     
  14. 40th Alabama

    40th Alabama Member

    Watching the Ken Burn's series on the War i recognized a picture that my dad took at a camp his company was involved in liberating-i had wondered where it was. The Camp was Wobbelin (Ludwigslutz, Germany).

    The pictures are here: Hitler's Final Solution

    The reason I bring this up, if you notice in the picture that the town's people were made to bury prisoners on either side of the entrance road all the way up to the castle. I am sure this was done so that the town would always remember what they did there. Well, wrong-the area has been redevolped into a nice park area and aparently all of the graves have been moved.

    Today pictures are here:
    Stadt Ludwigslust

    Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it!
     
  15. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Bombing of the camps would have caused more deaths. Even if the bombing had been precise and the inmates escaped, (if they were physically able) they would have been shot or just returned to their own camp or another nearby.

    The only way to relieve their suffering was to defeat their tormentors and that was achieved in 1945.
     
  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I just sometimes wonder if some of the troops, so outraged by what they found meted out instant justice? I have no knowledge of what took place. I was back in the UK in hospital...But i know that I would have found it difficult to accept what they come across, without taking some severe action.

    In those days our little piratical group were a damn sight more assertive than this old vet is today.
    Sapper
     
  17. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I dont think anyone is suggesting bomb the fences to let the victims out. Rather target the essential imovable bits of infrarstructure these large camps had. Rail lines, Cremetoria.

    I realise that nothing was going to stop it completly, but slowing it down, disabling the huge extirmination camps for soem degree of time.

    The basic fact is that it was a strict military target.

    Kev
     
  18. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    I dont think anyone is suggesting bomb the fences to let the victims out. Rather target the essential imovable bits of infrarstructure these large camps had. Rail lines, Cremetoria.

    I realise that nothing was going to stop it completly, but slowing it down, disabling the huge extirmination camps for soem degree of time.

    The basic fact is that it was a strict military target.

    Kev

    I have to agree with Sapper:

    I think the idea was that any bombing of the Camps would basically do the Germans Dirty job for them, unless you were suggesting some type of tactical Air sortie, which couldn't realistically be done until 44, and then would have been a token gesture better to have gone with transport interdiction, destruction of rail stock.
     
  19. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    If the allies had issued a warning to Germany over its genocidal actions or bombed the camps it would be the same as telling them that their secret communications were being read. As the Germans were industriously murdering right up to the end when it must have been clear the war was lost it is unlikely that the killing would have stopped because the allies knew. Once the Allies decided that issuing a warning or bombing camps while it may have done some good meant giving away the greatest intelligence secret of the war and they are not going to do it what could they have done?. However I have a feeling that doing something was not a priority for the allies.
     
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The idea that we could have bombed the fences to let the people escape? Not on! they could hardly walk, let alone escape.
    What we should have done is extract such a horrific penalty for anyone involved, that no one ever again would contemplate doing the same atrocity.
    Sapper
     

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