The Holocaust is likely one of the most misunderstood historical events of modern times. There are those that underestimate the extent of world knowledge about the German atrocities. There are also those whom are ignorant of the way in which the Jews reacted to their situation. The incredible extent of incorrect information about the Holocaust which people have been taught is a severe problem that must be corrected immediately. The only solution is the education of the masses. It is imperative that modern society fully appreciate the terrors of the Holocaust in order to prevent it’s reoccurrence. First and foremost, we must address the fallacies concerning the world’s knowledge of what was happening.
It is often assumed and taught that the Holocaust portion of World War II was such a well kept secret that no one knew of it until after the fact, however, this is untrue. There were various ways that the world was notified of these horrors. Various nations and various Jewish communities gained knowledge of the barbarity and did nothing.
The powers that be were notified many times of what was going on. On September 29 and 30, 1941 there was a mass killing at Babi Yar, a Russian city near Kiev. Reporters in Kiev were sending the story to their publishers within three days, it was never printed. A Swiss-German industrialist, after having been invited to watch a mass killing, sent photographs to Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, they were ignored. In February 1942, the Vatican and the Red Cross received confirmed reports of the Holocaust. After discussing whether to intervene, they concluded that they had to remain silent, so as not to compromise their neutrality. In July of 1942, news reports of the killings were aired in London, however, nothing came of it because the reports were in French. Head of the CIA, Allen Dulles received an account of the camps from two inmates in 1944. Despite being quote-unquote “profoundly shocked” he remained silent for two years. The worst show of the world’s indifference was in the case of the ship named the St. Louis. From May to June of 1939, the St. Louis carrying 930 Jewish refugees, 734 of which had permission to enter America and all of which had Cuban landing certificates went from country to country requesting asylum. All but 22 who were accepted into Cuba, were refused entry into America, Paraguay, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Cuba. Finally on June 12, Britain, Holland, Belgium, and France accepted the refugees. The majority of those that were taken onto continental Europe perished within twelve months, the 287 that went to Britain survived the war.
In addition to the nation’s ignoring the crisis of the Holocaust, the Jews outside of Europe were relatively inactive. There was very little done by the Jewish communities to help their brethren, and their feeble attempts were not supported by the nations in which they lived. Steven Wise, the head rabbi of New York in this time period, received the minutes of the Wannsee Conference. The Wannsee Conference was the 1942 Reich congress were the Final Solution, the plan to kill all the Jews, was completed. Wise took the minutes, which included the “Blueprints for the Extermination” to President Roosevelt. They did not do anything, thereby allowing more Jews to die. World Jewry negotiated with the Nazis to buy the lives of 100,000 Jewish children and bring them into British controlled Palestine. Great Britain refused to allow them into Palestine. In fact, a British official is quoted as saying, “What are we going to do with 100,000 Jewish children?” Those children, whom were so useless to Great Britain were murdered by the Nazis.
It is easy, when faced with all of these facts, to recognize that the image of the world as having German wool pulled over their eyes is fallacious. This information makes it no longer possible to claim that the world could do nothing to save the eleven million people who died, due to ignorance of what was happening. The details related here disclose a grotesque flaw in historical character, it brings to light the complete disregard for human life which nations harbored. However, this is not the only delusion of the Holocaust which I intend to rectify. There is also that of the