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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

From Information to Understanding - News Regarding the Holocaust

The persecution, segregation and murder of European Jewry, perpetrated during the turbulent years of WWII, was shunted to the sidelines of international attention and even concealed. Rumors and initial reports of mass murders in the USSR, some of them received through the decoding of German wireless transmissions, were initially met with apathy and even disbelief. By the summer of 1942, there were already reports of the extermination process (including on the BBC). The absence of any historical precedent as to the scope and nature of Nazi crimes made it harder for western countries to translate the reports into a comprehensive understanding of what was happening and therefore to react accordingly. The Nazis were careful to conceal and camouflage the murders. From June 1942 and onwards, the flow of information regarding the mass murders intensified. In October, the Jewish Agency released a statement about the mass murders. On December 17, 1942, after the Polish underground managed to convey information to the west about what was happening in the extermination  camps in Poland, the Allies issued a joint statement denouncing the murder of the Jews and stating that those responsible would be brought to justice. By then, the vast majority of Polish Jews were no longer among the living. Despite the statement, however, no direct military action was taken to stop the murders.

News of the mass deportation of Hungarian Jewry to Auschwitz and their murder there in 1944 did not substantially change the Allies' policies in this regard either. Nevertheless, pressures exerted on the Hungarian administration by the United States resulted in the suspension of the deportations saving many Jews.

Total Sources (by media type):

Diaries and Letters 1
Documents 7
Lexicon Entries 12
Photographs 24
Research 3
Testimonies 4
Total Sources 51