By John Weir
According to recent press reports, a newly declassified government document shows "U.S. intelligence officials knew about Nazi Germany's plan to eradicate the Jews early in World War II." The document at the center of this revelation is a Chilean diplomatic document dated Nov. 24, 1941 and obtained by the U.S. by the third week of the following March.
From the media hype one would think that this document is an historical blockbuster. Upon further examination however it turns out that the media has once again distorted the historical record by exaggerating the importance of an insignificant document. Press reports trumpeted that this document "details the Nazi plan for the destruction of 'Semitism,' the 'eradication' of the Jews of Europe."
But what are these details? The ‘eradication’ turns out to be the expulsion of the Jews of Reich Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia to ghettos in Theresienstadt (Terezin) and in occupied Poland. Theresienstadt was inside Bohemia-Moravia and was established by the Nazis as a ghetto for Jews. It was established to be a show place. The Nazis produced a propaganda film about it. As late as 1944, the International Red Cross inspected the Theresienstadt ghetto and issued a report which upset the World Jewish Congress because the IRC report was not negative enough.(1)
The infamous Wannsee Conference had not taken place when this document was written. The consensus is there was no plan to kill the Jews when the conference was held in January of 1942. This means the Chilean diplomat knew about the plan before there was a plan. This is an amazing act of prescience.
So here, in early 1942, U.S. intelligence officials knew the Nazis were going to kill the Jews of Europe from a document written before any of the infamous "killing centers" had been established. It is interesting to note here "eradication" means resettlement of the Jews into ghettos. In later documents, such as the Wannsee protocol, "resettlement", according to Holoscribes, means killing.
The Interagency Working Group director of historical research asserted in a recent UPI article that "few" U.S. Intelligence officials reviewing the document in March 1942 would have believed the Nazis were singling out Jews for extermination.(2) Can one know, yet not believe?
Government intelligence had many sources for information. It was not dependent on pilfered Chilean diplomatic reports. There were many independent religious and other international non-governmental organizations operating in Germany and areas occupied by Germany during the war. Today we know that even encoded transmissions between Nazi government branches and its military were being read by the British. The Nazis could not have kept big secrets from the British or Americans for very long.
No one in the U.S. would have been in a better position to know what was happening in Nazi occupied Europe than Intelligence officials, yet, as noted in recent news articles, they didn't believe the Nazis were killing the Jews even a year later. As late as August 1944 -- after the Auschwitz camp had been under air photo coverage for over eight months-- the leader of the British Air Ministry refused to bomb the camp despite pressure from Jewish organizations to target the camp because there would be no point in doing so.(3)
What can we conclude from the fact that the best informed people in the British and American governments disbelieved? Readers should draw their own conclusions.
NOTES1)Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (1976), Page 76.
3)Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies (1981), page 305.
Installed: 07/27/98, 1: 00 AM, PST