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Why didn't the Allies bomb Auschwitz

(272 Posts)
Gwenick Sun 23-Jan-05 12:34:08

Just read this link

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4175045.stm

It's all very well asking now - "should we have bombed it" - but then what would we be saying if we HAD - it would probably be something along the lines - of "OMG look how many innocent Jews we killed trying to 'save' them".

What about those Jews who survived, and have gone to on to get married and have children, or those that survived and were reunited with family members?? How would the families feel now if we'd bombed them?? I don't think it would have helped bombing them - the Nazi's would only have found somewhere/somehow else to persecute the Jews.


Opinions please (nice controversial one for a Sunday afternoon ;-)

Gwenick Mon 24-Jan-05 15:44:32

BUMP - come on SOMEONE must have an opinion!!!

Socci Mon 24-Jan-05 15:51:23

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PrettyCandles Mon 24-Jan-05 15:52:32

Because it wasn't a military priority. Because humanitarianism wasn't a priority - think of Dresden, and compare that with having historians flying in bombing raids over Italy and saying 'don't bomb that cathedral'.

Of course bombing Auschwitz would have helped, even if it had just slowed down the 'procedure' for a while.

Gwenick Mon 24-Jan-05 15:54:34

No - haven't been watching it - I'm afraid I find them to 'bias' in terms of it's all about the Jews - and no-one else. Which isn't true - it was Romany Gypsies and anyone else who didn't fit into the Nazi's 'perfect' box.

Pretty - it may have helped to 'slow down' - but how many people that DID survive the experience would have died there and then instead....

PrettyCandles Mon 24-Jan-05 15:54:41

Socci - the ghettos, the slow and methodical murder inside them, the camps and even the methods used to gas and cremate people were known about during the war. People did escape, inmates managed to send letters out, refugees brought first-hand experience to Allied or neutral countries. The Allies even had aerial photographs of Auschwitz and other camps, with detailed descriptions of the buildings.

wawawa Mon 24-Jan-05 15:57:09

The fact is that the embassy in vienna who recieved one of these 1st hand accounts couldnt belive that this was the truth and also there was a high level of anti semitism in Britain before and during the war.

PrettyCandles Mon 24-Jan-05 15:58:20

The majority of those who survived were those who were there when the camps were liberated. Very few inmates survived more than a few months.

While it's true that not just the Jews were targeted for destruction by the Nazis, please bear in mind that of the 1.1 million murdered in Auschwitz (I'm not sure of the figure, but it's a little over 1million), 1 million were Jews. And how do we know? It's not an estimate - it was methodically documented by the Nazis.

Socci Mon 24-Jan-05 15:59:15

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Gwenick Mon 24-Jan-05 16:01:53

I'm not denying that the Jews suffered the biggest losses, lets not also forget that Aushwitz wasn't he ONLY death camp - and I'm sure in other camps higher number of 'non-Jews' died. It just annoys me a little when it's ALL about the Jews - and the other groups that were persecuted seem to get forgotten about.

Still that's getting off the point - people did survive, and were reunited with their families - imagine being a family member of someone in Auswitzh and discovering that they were killed...........by a 'friendly' bomb!!

PrettyCandles Mon 24-Jan-05 16:03:08

We are familiar with a society where the public have the 'right to know'. It's become a fundamental aspect of our society. And as a result public opinions may have an effect on national policy. But until about the late 20s or early 30s it was still the opinion that the public didn't have the right to know about the workings of government. And then in the run-up to the 2nd WW, and of course during it, censorship became even more active, and so the stories that were being heard about the treatnmebnt of Jews (and others) would certainly not have been considered suitable for the public. Perhaps if it had become common knowledge things might have been different?

PrettyCandles Mon 24-Jan-05 16:06:04

No, Gwenick. In all the death-camps the greatest proportion of victims were the Jews.

That doesn't in any way diminsh the suffering of others, but I think explains perhaps a little of the 'bias'.

Gwenick Mon 24-Jan-05 16:10:27

Of course the 'majority' where Jews - but that doesn't detract from the fact that 100,000's of NON Jews died too. To me the bias is like saying

"200,000+ people died in the Tsunami - but most were from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India...........so we don't need to think about the victims from other countries - we'll just focus all out efforts and memorials etc on the worst affected"

ocean Thu 27-Jan-05 01:57:13

Actually, 12 million plus died in the camps, and at most 6 million were Jews, though that figure is in dispute as the official death toll on the Auschwitz memorial went down by 3.5 million, yet official figures stayed the same for ages.

Until 1989 it stated 4 million died there, and was then replaced in 2002 by a new plaque which revised that to 1.5 million. Interestingly, the 4 million plaque was to commemerate ALL deaths at the camp, but the new one says "mainly Jews".

So we can either assume that less died than was originally stated, or the new plaque has been revised to reflect only Jewish deaths. If so, what about the other 2.5 million non-Jews who were originally mentioned?

ocean Thu 27-Jan-05 01:57:48

Actually, 12 million plus died in the camps, and at most 6 million were Jews, though that figure is in dispute as the official death toll on the Auschwitz memorial went down by 2.5 million, yet official figures stayed the same for ages.

Until 1989 it stated 4 million died there, and was then replaced in 2002 by a new plaque which revised that to 1.5 million. Interestingly, the 4 million plaque was to commemerate ALL deaths at the camp, but the new one says "mainly Jews".

So we can either assume that less died than was originally stated, or the new plaque has been revised to reflect only Jewish deaths. If so, what about the other 2.5 million non-Jews who were originally mentioned?

PrettyCandles Thu 27-Jan-05 14:10:53

The tsunami was a random act of nature - nobody was singled-out. The Nazis, however, decided to rid the world of people whom they considered to be undesirables: political dissidents, Gypsies, gays, disabled, mentally ill, and, yes, Jews. But the Jews were especially singled-out for annihilation, specially maltreated for nearly a decade in the build-up to the extermination camps, in a way that the other groups were not. Hnece the special emphasis on the Jews.

What particularly horrifies me about that whole period of history is that it wasn't sudden, and it wasn't hidden. From the moment Hitler came to power he instigated official maltreatment and virtually nobody gave a damn. And a few years ago nobody gave a damn about the deliberate genocide in Rwanda, and the attempted genocides in the former East Block countries.

Have we learnt nothing!

aloha Thu 27-Jan-05 14:17:09

As someone who is not only not Jewish, but has Romany gypsy blood (great grandmother) I have NO problem with the emphasis on the Jewish deaths in nazi concentration camps. The vast, vast majority of those who died were Jews. The vast majority of nazi regulations and extermination plans were aimed at Jews. Most of the propaganda was aimed at Jews. I cannot imagine why people are suggesting that somehow the Jews are getting some kind of treat when we think of the deaths of so many Jewish men, women, children and even babies in the death camps.

lisalisa Thu 27-Jan-05 15:55:30

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SkiBunnyFlummy Thu 27-Jan-05 16:12:39

Why have the Jewish been singled out through out history. I was recently reading about Bloody Mary's time and Jews lived in fear then and denied their religion. I know there was loads going on with lots of stuff then but I just wonder.

The only thing I know for nowadays is that sometimes people have a dislike or problem with Jewish people because they are so 'inclusive' ie in a work situation in Jewish firm a Jewish person irrespective of their lack of ability would always be promoted before a non Jew. I have seen that first hand many times.

ocean Thu 27-Jan-05 17:33:55

I just feel ALL deaths should be equally mourned. Why should the memorials be just about how many Jewish people died? Yes, they did suffer the worst losses, but many lives could have been saved if the UK, US etc had not been blocking emigration.

I am not belittling the Jewish suffering at all, just stating that we should also remember the others. When you go to Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, they remember all nations, so why can't we in Europe?

At least 12 million were killed in the camps, possibly as high as 26 million.

The following groups of people were also killed by the Nazi regime:

2.5 – 3.5 million non-Jewish Poles
3.5 – 6 million other Slavic civilians
2.5 – 4 million Soviet POWs
1 – 1.5 million political dissidents

So surely it is right to remember them too?

jangly Thu 27-Jan-05 18:02:04

Perhaps the jews were singled out because they didn't have their own homeland at the time and had to live in other countries? They just happened to be there in Germany, along with the gypsies, and Hitler wanted a "pure" race. Gypsy music was played at the service in London to-day. I think people are becoming more educated about it now that we have this yearly remembrance, though I think there is a long way to go still. I think we should remember them as people and not as Jews, Gypsies, gays, or whatever.

aloha Thu 27-Jan-05 18:36:27

I strongly disagree. Jewishness was central to why Hitler wanted to kill Jews, and we should remember that. These were NOT random victims, they were chosen to be murdered because they were Jewish.
I think some of this smacks of anti-semitism, to be absolutely frank. There seems to be even an, to my mind, an implication that Jews deserved to be murdered in their millions because of their behaviour. I really do hope nobody actually believes such a dreadful thing.

vict17 Thu 27-Jan-05 18:49:47

Skibunnyflummy - please please please can you refrain from saying such a sweeping generalisation as "The only thing I know for nowadays is that sometimes people have a dislike or problem with Jewish people because they are so 'inclusive' ie in a work situation in Jewish firm a Jewish person irrespective of their lack of ability would always be promoted before a non Jew. I have seen that first hand many times." You might have seen this 1st hand but that does not mean that it always happens.

aloha Thu 27-Jan-05 19:14:43

And do you know what? That's exactly the line that nazi propaganda took to 'explain' why the Final Solution was necessary.

vict17 Thu 27-Jan-05 19:30:40

I can't beleive people still say these things in this day and age. I'm still genuinely shocked by that post

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