Skip to comments.The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World-Meet the Escape Artist.
Posted on 02/10/2023 7:02:14 AM PST by SJackson
click here to read article
Worth mentioning that Jan Karski, a Polish soldier working undercover at the direction of the Polish government in London began warning the Polish, British and US governments of the murder of Jews as early as 1940. After being withdrawn he met with numerous officials of those governments, including FDR in 1943. FDR had no questions for Karski.
Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt knew from the beginning what was being done to the Jews. They refused to act. They even refused to include what they knew of the genocide in propaganda against the Axis. They at the least could have announced that those that did the killing would be hunted down and punished. Nor would they bomb the rail lines that brought people to these execution camps.
If you ask me who my greatest hero is, without hesitation I will say "Witold Pilecki".
And for what he did, he was murdered by the Communists.
That is what communists do.
Without getting into a discussion of the desirability of bombing the rail lines or camps, that tactic was first brought up by the Polish government in exile. Of course it was their citizens, Jews and Christians, who were being killed. As to propaganda, yes, it should have been used.
> Some Jewish leaders begged the Allies to bomb the rail lines leading to Auschwitz. <
There was a whiff of antisemitism in FDR’s government. But all fairness, I must mention two points.
1. Precision bombing was in its infancy in WW II. How many of those bombs would have hit their target? Maybe 10% on a good day.
2. The Germans were VERY good at repairing damaged railroad lines. Repairing damaged oil refineries and ball-bearing factories, well that wasn’t so easy.
So where do you send the limited amount of bombers you have? Hitting which targets would end the war quickest, and save the most lives? I dunno. It’s not the easiest of calls.
Don't kid yourself, there was a whiff of antisemitism in EVERY government at that time.
You might note my post 7. The bombing idea was first raised by the Polish government who knew of the conditions first. And some Jewish leaders in the US once the knew. There are some comments from Karski that most outside of his government didn’t want to hear about what was going on. Including some prominent Jews in the US and the administration. I don’t have a strong opinion either way. Winning the war was the objective. As a secondary target, maybe. Arming the soviets probably saved more Jewish lives.
i had some correspondence with Rudolf Vrba a few years before his passing, a real credit to the human race...
Me too. Looks like an exceptional history and story that is long overdue to be told.
What would that have accomplished? The Germans were conducting mass killings of Jews before they built their first death camp in Poland. At Chelmno, they killed over 300,000 Jews, between 1941-45, by using gas vans - the rail lines didn't even reach Chelmno.
The Allies were committed to total war with Nazi Germany, to end the killing of innocents as quickly as possible. The Nazis, on the other hand, were committed to wiping out the Jews, and diverted essential resources from their war effort to that end, even when the war was obviously lost. Bombing rail lines to concentration camps wouldn't have saved any Jews, or stopped the Nazis. The Germans would have unloaded the stopped trains, machine gunned the prisoners and then gone back to kill more.
‘The Escape Artist’
Keep an eye out for it.
I will read that. I have always been interested in pre-war Germany, and the events that transpired, the people who did them and why, so this book will be read and placed in my collection.
Thank you for posting this most interesting article.
If you’re interested, you should find a copy of the 2021 film, The Aushwitz Report, a dramatization of the escape of Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler.
In the end their escape came to nothing because the information didn’t make it to Allies’ Supreme Command until early 1944, the the brass thought mounting any effort to free them would directly reduce resources they thought better spent on D-Day.
Not to mention most of the Jews were to be found east of Berlin, so that’s where they built the camps, too far from English airbases to be targeted practically.
You might also be interested in another 2021 film, “Getting Away with Murder(s)”, which details how few of the hundreds of thousands of Nazis directly involved in the mass murder program ever were brought to justice, to include some still living but protected by their host nation.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.