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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The World and the Holocaust

The Nazi rise to power was perceived by the world, especially the West, with concern. However, gradually the new regime attained a certain degree of legitimacy. This legitimacy was strengthened by a world-wide participation in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, despite attempts to have them cancelled. Numerous reports on violations of the rights of German Jewry and then of Austrian Jewry, had reached the Free World throughout the 1930s. For example: segregation of the Jews and dispossession of their property. This, however, elicited only weak protests. Most countries even closed their doors to Jews who sought to leave Germany.

Throughout the war, military matters were the top priority for countries at war with the Nazis. As a result, information concerning the persecution and murder of the Jews was pushed aside. Reports on what was happening in the ghettos and death camps, sometimes endangering the life of the person conveying the information, was at times regarded with disbelief. The Holocaust never became a first priority on any agenda. It was generally believed that the best way of stopping the atrocities of the Nazi regime was to win the war. Furthermore, influential international figures and bodies, such as the Catholic Church, generally refrained from engaging in any unequivocal protest measures against Nazi Germany. Even when the magnitude of the atrocities at Auschwitz became clear the Allies did not bomb the camp. There were, nevertheless, cases in which diplomatic intervention by other countries - especially the United States - prevented the murder of many Jews. This occurred, for example, in Romania and Hungary.

Total Sources (by media type):

Artifact Collection 7
Diaries and Letters 4
Documents 41
Lexicon Entries 108
Maps and Charts 3
Photographs 105
Research 70
Testimonies 19
Works of Art 4
   
Total Sources 361