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History > WW22 > 1939-1945


Axis powers, Germany, Europe >

Antisemitism, Adolf Hitler, Nazi era,

Holocaust / Shoah, Samudaripen



Antisemitism worldwide



What the Allies knew about the Holocaust




The persecution of Jews begins in 1933










documentaries > Ken Burns

The U.S. and the Holocaust



























Philip and Ruth Lazowski











When Nazis invaded

the Polish town of Bielica,

Philip Lazowski and his family

were among the Jewish residents

who were sent to the Zhetel ghetto

during Word War II.


One April morning in 1942,

the Lazowski family caught wind

that the Nazis

were killing Jews in the ghetto,

in what is now Belarus,

and decided to go into hiding.


Philip, then just 11 years old,

helped his parents and siblings

take shelter in a hideout

they'd built in their apartment.


He closed off the hiding spot

so it wouldn't be discovered,

telling his family he would find

another place to hide.


But before he could,

a German soldier spotted him.


Philip was then taken

to the Zhetel marketplace,

where German soldier

 split people into two groups

— those who could work

and those who could not.


As Nazis conducted the selection,

Philip noticed

that the killing squad members

were sparing families

with adults who had work papers.


About 1,000 Jews were killed

in the massacre that day.


Philip, now a 91-year-old rabbi,

came to StoryCorps

with his wife, Ruth, last month

to remember how quick thinking

and a woman's kindness

in that moment

had saved his life.


Searching the crowds frantically,

the young Philip saw a woman

with the documentation in hand,

a nurse who stood with her two girls.


"I went over to her and I asked her,

'Would you be kind enough

to take me as your son?' "

Philip recalled.


"She said,

'If they let me live with two children,

maybe they'll let me live with three.

Hold on to my dress,' " as he tells it.


That woman, Miriam Rabinowitz,

was the mother of his future wife, Ruth.




















David Sword Wyman    1929-2018


David S. Wyman ('s)

exhaustively documented 1984 book

argued that the United States

willfully failed to act to save

Jews from the Holocaust




Dr. Wyman’s book

was as uncompromising as its title,

“The Abandonment of the Jews:

America and the Holocaust 1941-1945.”


The opening words of its preface

signaled that Dr. Wyman

was certain that he had proved

longstanding contentions

that the United States had cost

tens of thousands of Jews

their lives.




The book became a best seller.


It also riled some

of Dr. Wyman’s

fellow historians.


Especially contentious

was its unflattering portrait

of President Franklin D. Roosevelt,

who Dr. Wyman concluded

did nothing for 14 months

after learning in 1942

of the mass exterminations

of Jews in Nazi Germany

— and, when he finally did act,

did so only out of political calculus.


“If you look in a larger context,”

the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

complained in 1994,

reacting to an episode of PBS’s

documentary series

“American Experience”

based largely

on Dr. Wyman’s book,

“no one did more to save

the Jews in Europe

than Franklin Delano Roosevelt,

by his opposition to Hitler,

by changing the United States

from an isolationist nation

to a nation prepared to go to war.”


Dr. Wyman

remained unapologetic.


“If it had gone into depth

on Roosevelt and the Holocaust,”

he said of the PBS program,

“it would have been worse.


There would have been a couple

of more positive things to say,

and eight or 10 worse things.”




In his research he found

not only a president

and Christian leaders

who seemed uninterested

in the problem,

but also a federal bureaucracy

that could be openly hostile

to helping Jews,

a news media that underplayed

the shocking revelations

about the exterminations,

and a Congress and country

where anti-Semitism

and anti-immigration sentiment

encouraged inaction.


Gas chambers and the rail lines

leading to them

could easily have been bombed,

he found,

and rescue efforts could have saved

at least some of the millions who died.


Despite the complaints

by some historians,

John Gross, reviewing the book

in The New York Times,

found Dr. Wyman’s conclusions

well grounded.



















Jan Karski    1914-2000
















America’s Holocaust response






















America’s inaction during the Holocaust


“The U.S. and the Holocaust,”

coming to PBS Sept. 18, (2022)

examines the reasons behind the country’s

inadequate response

to Germany’s persecution of Jews.



















Allies Knew of Nazi Plans for Roman Jews

in 1943



British and American

intelligence agents

had information in 1943

that could have helped

save Italian Jews

from the Auschwitz death camp,

historians said today.


At a news conference

for the release

of 400,000 pages of newly

declassified documents

at the National Archives,

historians said Western officials

might have been able

to warn Jews in Rome

that they were about

to be rounded up and deported.


The documents from

the Office of Strategic Services,

the forerunner

to the Central Intelligence Agency,

included Nazi SS messages

between Berlin and Rome in late 1943

that British intelligence intercepted,

decoded and shared

with the Americans.


The papers include conversations

among German prisoners of war

secretly recorded by the British

and information gathered by the O.S.S.

from a German informer.


The messages showed

that Nazi security forces

were planning to seize Jews

in Rome.


''The release raises

the historical question once again

of what Allied governments

knew about the Holocaust

during World War II

and what might have been done

with information they possessed,''

said Richard Breitman,

a historian who was co-author

of the document study

for the Nazi War Criminals Records

Interagency Working Group.


The other author, Timothy Naftali,

also a historian,

said perhaps Prime Minister

Winston Churchill

or President Franklin D. Roosevelt

should have made a statement

warning the Jews.


''It is clear,'' Mr. Naftali said,

''that had a statement

been made on the radio

to the effect that Allied forces

feared for the safety of Romans,

and particularly the Jews of Rome,

this might well have had an effect

on decisions made by people

to get out.''


He warned against

a ''rush to conclusions.''


Mr. Naftali and others

said it was unclear in hindsight

whether acting on the information

would have compromised

British intelligence gathering.


Other experts said it was unclear

whether Jews could have acted

on the information had they received it.


The government set up

the office last year to coordinate

releasing records.


Federal agencies have resisted

opening their files,

citing national security.



New York Times,

June 27, 2000






















Signature: "Bild 183-R99542"

Old signature: Bild 146-1971-006-01

Original title: ADN-ZB/Archiv

Deutschland unter dem faschistischen Terrorregime 1933-1945

Weltweit als Dokument der Schande

für die Nazi-Schergen wurde dieses Foto vom März 1933.

ein jüdischer Anwalt,

der noch auf die Polizei als Hüterin von Recht und Ordnung vertraut hatte,

wird von SA-Rowdys,

die als Hilfspolizisten fungierten,

über den Stachus in München getrieben.


Der Mann, den das Bild zeigt,

der Münchner Rechtsanwalt Dr. Michael Siegel,

einer der ersten Opfer des braunen Terror-Regimes,

war einer der wenigen, der es überlebte,

obwohl er bis in die Kriegszeit hinein

in Deutschland ausharrte.


Er ist am 15. März 1983 im 97. Lebensjahr

in Lima (Peru) gestorben.


Foto: Heinrich Sanden


Archive title:

München.- Kahlgeschorener,

barfüßiger jüdischer Rechtsanwalt Dr. Michael Siegel unter SS-Bewachung

mit einem Schild

(retuschierte Aufschrift: "Ich werde mich nie mehr bei der Polizei beschweren")

auf der Prielmayerstraße laufend; vgl. Bild 146-1971-006-02

Dating: 10. März 1933

Photographer: Sanden, Heinrich

Origin: Bundesarchiv





















Window of shop owned by Jewish merchant

w. sign reading JUDEN GESCHAFT (Jewish owned business),

sign is now required to be displayed by Nazi laws.


Location: Linz Oberdonan, Germany

Date taken: 1938


Life Images
























December 17, 1942



condemns massacre of Jews



The British Foreign Secretary,

Anthony Eden,

tells the House of Commons

about mass executions

of Jews by Germans

in occupied Europe.


Mr Eden also read out

a United Nations declaration


"this bestial policy".



















September 1942    Shoah: ce que savait l'Eglise





The four-page note was written later in 1944

by a member of the Holy See’s diplomatic service

and was among the archives for Pope Pius XII.


Photograph: Anonymous/AP

‘Nothing was done’:

Vatican note suggests part blame in bombing of Monte Cassino


Tue 13 Feb 2024    06.00 CET

Last modified on Tue 13 Feb 2024    09.25 CET











Les archives secrètes

du Vatican sur Pie XII

sont enfin ouvertes

[ depuis mars 2020 ].


Un historien allemand

a déjà trouvé la preuve

que le chef de l'Eglise catholique

était informé sur la Shoah

dès septembre 1942.


























In August 1942,

the State Department received a report

sent by Gerhart Riegner,

the Geneva-based representative

of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).


The report revealed

that the Germans were implementing

a policy to physically annihilate

the Jews of Europe.


Department officials

declined to pass on the report

to its intended recipient,

American Jewish leader

Stephen Wise,

who was President

of the World Jewish  Congress.



the State Department's delay

in publicizing the mass murder,

that same month Wise received

the report via British channels.


He sought permission

from the State Department

to make its contents public.

Undersecretary of State

Sumner Welles asked Wise

not to publicize the information

until the State Department

confirmed it.


Wise agreed and after three months

the State Department notified him

that its sources had confirmation.


On November 24, 1942,

Wise held a press conference

to announce that Nazi Germany

was implementing

a policy to annihilate

the European Jews.


A few weeks later, on December 17,

the United States, Great Britain,

and ten other Allied governments

issued a declaration denouncing

Nazi Germany's intention to murder

the Jews of Europe.


The declaration

warned Nazi Germany

that it would be held responsible

for these crimes.


























US State Department policies

made it very difficult

for refugees to obtain entry visas.


Despite the ongoing persecution

of Jews in Germany,

the State Department's attitude

was influenced

by the economic hardships

of the Depression,

which intensified

grassroots antisemitism,


and xenophobia.


The number of entry visas

was further limited

by the Department's

inflexible application

of a restrictive Immigration Law

passed by the US Congress

in 1924.

Beginning in 1940,

the United States

further limited immigration

by ordering

American consuls abroad

to delay visa approvals

on national security grounds.


Nevertheless in 1939 and 1940,

slightly more than

half of all immigrants

to the United States were Jewish,

most of them refugees from Europe.


In 1941,

45% of all immigrants

to the United States

were Jewish.


After the United States

entered the war

in December 1941,

the trickle of immigration

virtually dried up,

just at the time

that the Nazi regime began

systematically to murder

the Jews of Europe.


Despite many obstacles,


more than 200,000 Jews

found refuge

in the United States

from 1933 to 1945,

most of them

before the end of 1941.
























During the era of the Holocaust,

the American press

did not always publicize

reports of Nazi atrocities in full

or with prominent placement.


For example,

the New York Times,

the nation's

leading newspaper,

generally deemphasized

the murder of the Jews

in its news coverage.


The US press had reported

on Nazi violence against Jews

in Germany as early as 1933.


It covered extensively

the Nuremberg Laws of 1935

and the expanded German

antisemitic legislation

of 1938 and 1939.


The nationwide

state-sponsored violence

of November 9-10, 1938,

known as Kristallnacht

(Night of Crystal),

made front page news

in dailies across the US

as did Hitler's

infamous prediction,

expressed to the Reichstag

(German parliament)

on January 30, 1939,

that a new world war

would mean

the annihilation

of the Jewish “race.”


As the magnitude

of anti-Jewish violence

increased in 1939-1941,

many American newspapers

ran descriptions

of German shooting operations,

first in Poland

and later after the invasion

of the Soviet Union.


The ethnic identity of the victims

was not always made clear.


Some reports described

German mass murder operations

with the word "extermination."


As early as July 2, 1942,

the New York Times

reported on the operations

of the killing center in Chelmno,

based on sources

from the Polish underground.


The article, however,

appeared on page six

of the newspaper.



the New York Times covered

the December 1942

statement of the Allies

condemning the mass murder

of European Jews on its front page,

it placed coverage

of the more specific information

released by Wise on page ten,

significantly minimizing

its importance.




















What did Franklin D. Roosevelt do

— or, more to the point, not do —

in response to the Holocaust?


















Carl Laemmle (born as Karl Lämmle)    1867-1939




 Laemmle with Margaret Apt Weissman,

who immigrated to the United States with his help.


Photograph: Collection of Rosemary Hilb



Laemmle’s List: A Mogul’s Heroism

Unlike His Peers, a Studio Chief Saved Jews From the Nazis


APRIL 11, 2014









Among the pioneering

moguls of Hollywood,

Carl Laemmle,

who commanded Universal Pictures

for more than 20 years (...),

was not only less recognizable

than the rest,

he was also different from the rest.


For one thing,

he was older than the others

and the first to emigrate

from Europe to America.


For another,

he was less autocratic.

Laemmle, an elfin man,

was informal, unpretentious

and cheery.




Laemmle kept close ties

to his native Germany

— he visited Europe

each year —

and called the country

his fatherland.




But there was another way

in which Laemmle,

whose studio was responsible

for the silent

“Phantom of the Opera”

and the original “Frankenstein,”

was different from nearly all

his Hollywood confreres.


When Hitler came to power

in Germany in 1933,

Hollywood barely reacted.



on the other hand,

was terrified of what

Hitler’s ascension

would mean for his country,

for the village of Laupheim

(where he was born),

for members of his family

— many of whom had remained

in Germany — and,

perhaps above all,

for his fellow Jews.


And Laemmle,

unlike the other  studio heads,

was determined

to do something about it.


Though it is not widely known,

Laemmle, like Oskar Schindler,

kept a list

— an ever-lengthening

and changing list of Jews

whom he fought to save

from the Nazis.

The list
was his instrument

in a long, emotional battle

during which he confronted

the German government and,

even more, recalcitrant elements

of the American State Department

to get endangered Jews

out of Europe.


It was a battle to which,

by his own estimation,

he devoted 80 percent of his time

from the mid-1930s,

when he surrendered

the economically distressed Universal

to the financier J. Cheever Cowdin.


And though the numbers

are imprecise,

by the time Hitler invaded Poland,

Laemmle directly or indirectly

saved more than 300 Jews.



















Virginie Linhart :

"Le monde d'avant-guerre

est un monde antisémite"



La réalisatrice du documentaire

"Ce qu'ils savaient.

Les Alliés face à la Shoah"

explique le silence de Churchill,

Staline, Roosevelt et de Gaulle.


Le remarquable documentaire

de Virginie Linhart

révèle l'indifférence générale

des Alliés face à la Shoah.


"La préoccupation principale

est de gagner la guerre.


N'oublions pas

que le monde d'avant-guerre

est un monde antisémite.


On aurait démobilisé

les populations

si on avait clamé

qu'on faisait la guerre

pour stopper le génocide juif.


Cela aurait donné d'ailleurs

du grain à moudre

à la propagande allemande

qui martelait que les Alliés

faisaient la guerre

pour sauver les Juifs.


Il faut aussi rappeler

que les Juifs d'Europe de l'Est

étaient considérés

comme des moins que rien.


De Gaulle

établit cette hiérarchie

entre les Juifs de l'Est

et les Juifs français,

dont il est persuadé

qu'il ne leur arrivera rien.



le secrétaire d'État au Trésor

de Roosevelt, est un Juif

qui se soucie assez peu

des Juifs de l'Est.


Quand la Suède négocie le passage

en pays neutre

de quatre mille enfants juifs,

elle spécifie

"préférer éviter les enfants juifs

d'origine polonaise".


Il y a donc

une hiérarchie très forte."


Le Point.fr

Publié le 26/10/2012 à 18:40

Modifié le 27/10/2012 à 10:12

- broken link





En août 1941,

alors que les chars allemands

approchent de Moscou,

Staline, jusque-là

farouchement antisémite,

suscite la création

d’un Comité antifasciste juif

qui dénonce les massacres

dans les territoires conquis

par la Wehrmacht.


L’écrivain Ilya Ehrenbourg

lance un cri d’alarme,


dans tous les pays alliés,

dont l’objectif véritable

est d’encourager

les juifs du monde entier

à soutenir

l’effort de guerre soviétique.


Les dons afflueront

mais la boucherie continuera.


Winston Churchill

a lu « Mein Kampf »,

il connaît les théories raciales

développées par Hitler,

ses services secrets le tiennent

personnellement informé

des tueries de masse.


Mais rien n’indique

que les Britanniques

sont prêts à s’intéresser

au sort singulier des juifs de l’Est,

et l’union nationale doit être préservée

car le Royaume-Uni lutte seul.


Quatre mois plus tard,

les Japonais frappent à Pearl Harbor

et les Etats-Unis sont impliqués.


Connu pour avoir

de nombreux amis

et collaborateurs juifs,

le président Roosevelt ménage

la partie de l’électorat

hostile à l’immigration.


Le département d’Etat,

particulièrement xénophobe,

bloque la circulation

des informations

concernant les juifs

et accorde des visas

au compte-gouttes.


L’Amérique n’est pas seule

à verrouiller les portes.


Pour ne pas mécontenter

les dirigeants arabes,

Anthony Eden,

chef de la diplomatie

du gouvernement Churchill,

s’oppose lui aussi

à toute immigration juive

en Palestine,

alors sous mandat britannique.


De Gaulle

se trouve également à Londres.


Après avoir condamné

les lois discriminatoires de Vichy,

lui aussi pèse ses mots

car la population française

soutient Pétain et ne manifeste pas

contre l’antisémitisme d’Etat.


Pour ces raisons,

le général sans armée

se contente de faire allusion

au drame vécu

par les juifs de France.


A partir de 1942,

des informations

de plus en plus précises

sortent d’Europe de l’Est.


Un rapport faisant état

de 700 000 juifs tués en Pologne

et de « chambres à gaz ambulantes »

est remis à Shmuel Zigelbaum,

le représentant du Bund

(mouvement socialiste juif)

à Londres.


Ces révélations

donnent lieu à un article

dans le « Daily Telegraph »,

qui ne suscite aucune réaction



Un peu plus tard,

l’information selon laquelle

les nazis ont décidé

de gazer tous les juifs d’Europe

parvient à Stephen Wise,

le président

du Congrès juif mondial,

qui en informe aussitôt

la Maison- Blanche.


Laquelle exige

un silence absolu

le temps de procéder

à une enquête.


En réalité,

le scepticisme domine.



lorsqu’un agent polonais,

Jan Karski, s’introduit

dans le ghetto de Varsovie

et affirme que les juifs

ne sont pas déportés

pour être utilisés

comme travailleurs

mais pour être gazés,

son témoignage est mis

sous le boisseau.


Seul Staline

est pleinement conscient

du sort réservé aux juifs,

et il l’instrumentalise au mieux

pour procurer à l’Armée rouge

toujours plus de chars et d’avions.


En 1942, 2, 6 millions de juifs

ont déjà été assassinés.


Mais lorsque Stephen Wise,

lors d’une conférence de presse,

dénonce leur extermination,

les journaux relaient l’information

avec une grande prudence.


L’année suivante, des voix

de plus en plus nombreuses


une intervention gouvernementale,

sans succès.


Fin 1943, 4, 4 millions de juifs

ont été éliminés.


C’est seulement

sous la menace d’un scandale

(la révélation

que le département d’Etat

a entravé l’immigration

des juifs d’Europe depuis 1933)

que Roosevelt crée tardivement

l’Agence pour les Réfugiés de Guerre,

qui sauvera 200 000 vies.


Mais devant

le massacre des juifs hongrois

et le rythme effréné des déportations

vers Auschwitz-Birkenau,

de 12 000 à 14 000 personnes par jour,

elle reste impuissante.


La résistance juive presse les Alliés

de bombarder les voies de chemin de fer,

les chambres à gaz, les fours crématoires,

mais le haut commandement

doute de l’efficacité de ces opérations

et aucun chef militaire ne veut en prendre

la responsabilité.


Fin 1944,

5, 1 millions de juifs

ont disparu dans le génocide.


L’année suivante,

les camps d’extermination,

évacués par les SS, sont libérés

les uns après les autres

et le monde entier

découvre l’horreur.


Au printemps 1945,

le général Eisenhower,

commandant en chef des forces alliées,

déclarera avoir subi

le plus grand choc de sa vie

en découvrant la machine

concentrationnaire nazie.


Mais les Etats savaient cela

depuis longtemps,

et ce qui manquait, ce n’étaient pas

les projets réalisables ni les moyens

de les mettre en oeuvre,

mais le désir de sauver les juifs.


Ce documentaire

de bonne facture,

s’appuyant sur des archives

récemment déclassifiées,

ne formule pas explicitement

la thèse de l’antisémitisme d’Etat

mais la suggère

avec insistance et conviction.

articles/38216-ce-qu-ils-savaient-les-allies-face-a-la-shoah -
- broken link
















German antisemitism

before and after Hitler's rise to power




Hitler/Jaeger File

Hitler at the Berghof, Obersalzburg.

Location: Germany

Date taken: 1938


Photographer: Hugo Jaeger


Hugo Jaeger

was one of Hitler's personal photographers.


Life Images

http://www.life.com/image/ugc1000272/in-gallery/27022 - broken link































Antisemitism in the United States



























19th and 20th centuries


Europe    Austria-Hungary







A Jewish-owned optician’s shop in Austria

marked by the Nazis with the word ‘Jew’ and a swastika.



Hulton Deutsch/Corbis/Getty Images


Austria offers citizenship to the descendants of Jews who fled the Nazis

New law hailed as justice for families of refugees

– and could benefit thousands of Britons


Sun 30 Aug 2020    06.15 BST

Last modified on Tue 10 Nov 2020    15.50 GMT


















Jews scrub Vienna streets in a Nazi ‘purge’,




University of Southern California/Corbis/Getty Images


Austria offers citizenship

to the descendants of Jews who fled the Nazis

New law hailed as justice for families of refugees

– and could benefit thousands of Britons


Sun 30 Aug 2020    06.15 BST

Last modified on Tue 10 Nov 2020    15.50 GMT

















About 120,000 Jewish refugees

fled persecution

after the Nazis took power in Austria

in March 1938.


The second

most common destination

after the US was the UK,

with up to 20,000 refugees

registered in 1945.













































































Related > Anglonautes > History > 20th century > WW2 (1939-1945)


What the Allies knew about the Holocaust -

Jan Karski    1914-2000



Germany, Europe >


Adolf Hitler,

Nazi Germany / era,

Holocaust / Shoah,







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genocide, war,

weapons, arms sales,

espionage, torture



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migrants, refugees




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