Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Light On Roosevelt's Failure To Bomb Auschwitz

From the Wyman Institute, 17 January 2010:

For years, defenders of the Roosevelt administration's response to the Holocaust have tried to mitigate the Roosevelt administration's refusal to bomb Auschwitz by alleging that leaders of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, including future Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion, opposed bombing the death camp for fear of harming the prisoners there.

But the new research shatters that claim.

... [Wyman] Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff described the research ...on the papers of the late Zionist leader Yitzhak Gruenbaum, which had been closed to the public more than twenty five years...[which]demonstrate that Ben-Gurion and his colleagues opposed asking the Allies to bomb Auschwitz only for a period of several weeks, when they believed that Auschwitz was a labor camp. After they learned that Auschwitz was a death camp, the Jewish Agency leadership reversed its position and Agency officials in London, Washington, Cairo and elsewhere lobbied the Allies to bomb Auschwitz.

...In 1996, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute convinced the Holocaust Museum to change its exhibit on the bombing issue. The original exhibit stated that Jewish leaders favored bombing Auschwitz, but the administration refused their requests. The revised exhibit makes it appear that many Jewish leaders opposed bombing.

From Dr. Medoff's new report, "The Roosevelt Administration, David Ben-Gurion, and the Failure to Bomb Auschwitz.":

Executive Summary
Since the early 1990s, defenders of President Franklin Roosevelt's response to the Holocaust have argued that the Roosevelt administration's failure to order the bombing of Auschwitz is mitigated by the fact that the leadership of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, including David Ben-Gurion, declared their opposition to
bombing Auschwitz, at a meeting in Jerusalem on June 11, 1944. ...

...Newly-discovered documents, found in a Zionist archival collection that had been closed to the public for more than 25 years, demonstrate that the Jewish Agency leadership, including Ben-Gurion, did change its position, and that efforts by Jewish Agency officials and other Jewish leaders around the world to bring about the Allied bombing of Auschwitz were more extensive than previously realized....

.... An individual document, such as the minutes of the June 11, 1944 Jewish Agency Executive meeting,
may not provide an accurate or complete picture of the events in question. The leaders of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and their supporters  ...selectively quoted only from the June 11 session, thus providing a profoundly misleading portrayal of history....

The Yitzhak Gruenbaum papers and other Jewish Agency documents have now revealed the truth about the Jewish Agency’s position regarding asking the Allies to bomb the Auschwitz death camp and the railway lines leading to it. The Roosevelt Institute should acknowledge its error, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Musuem should correct its mistaken panel, as soon as possible.

Follow this link to read the full 19-page report.

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