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Why did the world not care about the Holocaust

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZeJanIt, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You have confused "feasible" with "favored"...The British considered gas warfare feasible, but undesirable - in other words, the British did not favor gas warfare. Only Churchill seemed to "favor" gas warfare.

    Admiral Cunningham's diary
    Monday, July 31st, 1944.


    C.O.S. meeting at 1100. Nothing much of importance, P.M.'s minute on the study of retaliation by gas was to the effect that he could do nothing if the warriors as well as the parsons were against him.


    The US stockpiled mustard gas for retaliatory use against the Germans, should the Germans decide to initiate gas warfare. However, gas warfare took a slightly more prominent position in the war against Japan, then it did in the war against Germany. Still, gas was never used against the Japanese.


    Of course, token actions were occasionally carried out...Since the trains to the death camps were unmarked, the were occasionally strafed by roving Allied aircraft, with the result being that several Jewish prisoners would be killed in each attack. I doubt that the Jewish prisoners were uplifted by these air attacks. Further, giving the relatively poor accuracy of bombers at the time, it is almost certainly assured that a good many Jewish prisoners would be killed in any attack. Rather counter-intuitive...Killing Jewish prisoners to save them from the gas chambers. Finally, as it would only be "token" attacks, it would be wasting aircraft and aircrew when they could be attacking more worthwhile German targets.


    It was not the BBC per se, but the Political Warfare Executive(PWE).
    Political Warfare Executive

    Of course, you have the flip side of the coin...
    Could the BBC have done more to help Hungarian Jews?
    Could the BBC have done more to help Hungarian Jews? - BBC News
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The locals had a fair idea of what was going on...The problem is that it was not the "locals" that were being sent to the camps.

    Further, the British organization, Political Warfare Executive was doing this, although it's extent would vary from occupied nation to occupied nation.

    Why? Do we fear that they will revolt and go over to the German side? This was the reason we sent the Japanese Nisei units to fight in Europe and Italy.

    Desensitizing the units to the camps would greatly decrease the lasting effects that such an experience will have on the troops. I would say that by doing so, you are doing more harm than good.

    The world is already doing their utmost to defeat the Nazis. Such an action is going to have little to no effect on the eventual outcome.

    Counterproductive...What would be the German reaction? Kill all Allied troops that were purportedly killing "innocent" German civilians. Such an action would probably put a big crimp on the morale of Allied aircraft crews.
     
  3. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Once again; which time period are you talking about?

    You do know that Germany and Austria were absolute world leaders in Chemical Engineering in the 20s and 30s? Just check the list of Nobel Laureates. Then check the list of the nominees that didn't get the prize. The allies for all their resources were not keen on getting into a chemical arms with Germany, of that I can guarantee. The Germans had the most horrible nerve agents then known to science, making mustard gas look like domestic pepper spray. German superiority in Chemical Science and weapons was why the Western Allies had to prepare for the eventuality of a gas attack, without actually taking the first step. Thankfully, all evidence points to Hitler being adamantly against their use after his WW1 experience.

    Auschwitz was in what is today Southern Poland!! Bombers, based in England, would have to fly a minimum of 3,200 km, and cross the whole of Germany twice! Talk about a suicide mission!

    Which Allied bombers are you going to send?

    Formations of B-17s proved unable to fight their way unescorted to targets deep inside Germany in the face of determined fighter opposition without incurring excessive losses. Deep raids were called off in mid-October 1943. The Western Allies were helpless to assist the Warsaw uprising, without assistance from the Bear. 36 of the 296 planes taking part in the operations to support the Uprising were lost, and they were night missions, and with non-existent LW around Warsaw. The effect was minimal. That's more than 250 airmen lost.

    Do you know how "accurate" daylight bombing was in 1943? Conventionally, the air forces designated as "the target area" a circle having a radius of 1,000 feet (300m) around the aiming point of attack. While accuracy improved during the war, US Survey studies showed that, over the duration of the war, only about 20% of the bombs aimed at targets fell within this target area. Consider that accuracy was improving throughout the war, and that most tonnage was dropped later, rather than earlier... So in summary, bombing Auschwitz with long range daylight bombing raids will kill more inmates and not likely harm the concrete crematoriums.

    What should've been bombed, was the big railway stations and junctions in the East. But hey, guess what? The US was trying to get the USSR to accept US long range bombers on the Eastern front to do this type of mission... but the discussion took so long to iron out the details, and relations soured over the Soviet intransigence during the Warsaw uprising.

    The radio message you refer to was right at the end, when even the diehard fanatics were calling Hitler's bluff on the wunderwaffe. Had it happened in mid-1943, in the middle of the Holocaust, before the Battle of Kursk, the Guards would've ROFL:ed and killed two more Jews that day just to prove the BBC wrong. Timing is everything.
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    "Something must be done!"

    Why do I keep on insisting on a date? At the Wannsee conference, (Feb '42) an estimated 80% of European's 6 million Jewry was still alive (Browning 1998) From mid-March '42 to mid-Feb '43, an estimated 3.6 million Jews were killed. In other words, in those 11 months 60% of the Jews in Europe were killed. This was at a time when the USSR was the only power on continental Europe opposing Hitler (no, I'm not counting Gibraltar :p ), desperately trying to defend the Caucasus, and ultimately succeeding in circling and destroying the German 6th Army at Stalingrad. At this time, The Western Allies were nowhere in continental Europe. They were still fighting the Battle of the Atlantic, and in Africa! This is well before the massive Battle of Kursk, the Allied Invasion of Sciliy, indeed, Italy is still in the war, and the US has only been in the war for 14 months.

    Post Feb '43, most of the Holocaust apparatus of Vernichtungslager was winding down (many closed down during '43), with sporadic bursts when "opportunities" arose, such the German occupation Hungary. For example, Chelmno was operational for 16 months until April '43, then restarted again for 3 months in '44. Of the destruction camps, 'only' Auschwitz kept going through to the end of '44. Soviets captured it in Jan '45.

    The window of opportunity when the Allies knew, and could actually do something concrete, was very limited.

    References
    Browning, C. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.
    Ward, M. Deadly Documents: Technical Communication, Organizational Discourse and the Holocaust
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It would interesting to see that quote in context.
     
  6. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    I would say it's a slight exaggeration, the basic knowledge required to produce nerve gases existed in the US too. There were aware of their existence, they had access to German patents describing their production (they were patented in the US as insecticides), it would be months not years before they would catch up.

    But as the Allies weren't aware of the extent of German nerve gas production, we can't claim it wasn't done because nerve gases. They suspected strongly the Germans had some but not in military significant quantities.

    But the point is the Allies were able to mount numerous thousand bomber raids, the Germans weren't. The Allies were riding trucks, the Germans horses.
    The Allies could have drenched German cities in gas, even if inferior - the Germans barely could reach some British cities with a few dozens of planes incurring non-sustainable loses in the process.
    The Allies' logistical system, based on trucks, could survive a gas attack easily, the German, horse based, couldn't.

    The nearest airfields were in Italy (the enormous Foggia Airfield Complex - since the end of 1943) and at Poltava.

    In 1944 as gassing of Hungarian Jews went at full strength Polish heavy bombers, starting from Bari ,almost every day overflew Auschwitz on their missions to Warsaw. The Poles were ready to attack Auschwitz and they would do it - assuming as some say (but not me) that British or American blood was too precious to be wasted in such way - but weren't allowed.

    Heavy bombers were capable of precise low level attacks, and Polish pilots were doing low level precise airdrops at night under heavy anti-aircraft fire.
    The Mosquito was even more capable, and from the beginning of 1944 fighters were able to reach Auschwitz too.
    Birkenau where the gas chambers were located had no air defenses worth mention.

    So the gas chambers could have been attacked successfully at least in summer 1944, as to collateral damage they were outside the camp, and the prisoners didn't give a damn about collateral damage anyway in this case.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  7. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    Of course, most of the Jews were dead by the end of 1943. But still in 1944 about a million was gassed. A million is still a lot of people.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Remove identity of Jewish soldiers in the US Army? I don't think the men would accept that.
    I worked with two surgeons years ago who were Jews. We talked about their war experiences. Both were adamant that they wanted that "H" on their dogs tags, no matter what would happen to them were they captured.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    It would take more than enough time to refine the production, and delivery systems, that D-Day at Normandy would be an utter failure.

    "The irony of Germany's insecurity is that relative to its adversaries, the German Reich was in a superior position to wage chemical warfare. Even with a limited economy, Germany had the largest supply of chemical agents on hand at the beginning of the war, with some 120,000 tons, 80 percent of which was mustard gas. Through most of the war, Germany had a production advantage. In total, the Third Reich produced some 65,000 tons of poison substances..."

    "Germany was also the economic and technological leader in chemical warfare. The Third Reich had the premier chemical industry in Europe."

    "Postwar Allied assessment of German chemical warfare capabilities concluded that stocks were greater than expected, of higher quality, and included weapons of 'outstanding merit.'"​

    - Legro, J. Cooperation Under Fire: ANglo-.German Restraint during World War II


    Not the agents per se, but they suspected similar. That's why the US was producing mustard gas in large quantities. Yet Mustard Gas is a lot less lethal.

    When?!? It wasn't until the arrival of the long range escorts (1944), that air raids could comfortably penetrate German airspace with acceptable losses. Furthermore, the German preparations by that time against gas attacks were extensive, and included above ground shelters with airlocks. So the effects of bombing the cities is reduced. Earlier in the war, British bomber aircraft needed conversion. By the end of 1941, only 15% of the bomber force could've been utilized for chemical warfare.

    It was not popular in the JPS: "...by adopting gas bombing we should be substituting an untried form of attack for the present incendiary and high explosive bombing which is well tried and known to be achieving a very grave effect upon German war production."



    Excuse me, at that stage of the war, the various Polish, and Commonwealth bomber crews flying British bomber aircraft with their flights to Warsaw were a grueling 11 hours return, and as stated earlier, losses were heavy, with less than satisfactory accuracy and disheartening results, even with low-level runs.. It wasn't practical at that range, at night. Just because some hotheads say they can charge into action, does not mean it is a good and practical use of resources.

    One problem was the LW base in Krakow, which was still there.
    [​IMG]

    During the summer of 1944, there were a few other targets of greater military importance that needed support and resources. In the summer of 1944, Bomber Command attacked few cities. Most of its efforts went into support of the Allied ground forces, the bombing of Hitler's V rocket sites, and attacks on oil targets. Intercepted German signals traffic showed that the oil campaign was hugely successful and was starving the Nazis of vital fuel supplies. Which of these should we give up to ensure the destruction of gas chambers on one site? How quickly will they be repaired or built elsewhere? Will that really save the Jews, or are you going to try and bomb all known KZ throughout Germany, and claim it is in the name of humanity, to "save" them?

    Your timing (the Warsaw uprising) is in Fall '44 (Sept-Oct), and by then, even the majority of the Hungarian Jewry are dead; They were deported in May-July.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The world did care about the Holocaust, but there was not much that could be done to prevent the Holocaust .
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    We need a "This again?" subforum.
     
  12. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    "Postwar Allied assessment of German chemical warfare capabilities concluded that stocks were greater than expected, of higher quality, and included weapons of 'outstanding merit.'"

    What happened or was concluded post-war shouldn't be used as explanation why they didn't do it.

    So we are back at square one, that Jewish lives were worth less than the price of a few bombers.

    At the same time thousands of American and British bombers were hunting V1/V2 launchers in a misguided attempt to save maybe a thousand or so British lives. This was one of the main reasons so few bombing missions against Germany was flown. It was a political decision, not a military one - and some air commanders believed it was a pointless misuse of their assets.
    It's seems British civilians' lives had a much higher price tag.

    And really, the Foggia Airfield Complex was a part of The Mediterranean Theater of Operations. They didn't support Overlord, they didn't bomb V rocket sites.

    Yes, the Warsaw Uprising happened at the end of the operation, but the planes and pilots were available earlier too. They were delivering supplies to the Yugoslavian partisans.
    Of course the attack should have been carried out in broad daylight. A few such attacks were carried out for a much less important reasons.

    As to the air raids comfortably penetrating German airspace the British had been doing it comfortably since Operation Gomorrah - at night. Chemical weapons don't need daylight to kill.
    Maybe the German preparations against gas attacks were extensive - I don't know, but against persistent chemical agents there was no good defenses. Tens of thousands tons of liquid agents would stay in place precluding all reasonably useful activity. There were area denial weapons - their main purpose was to deny no to kill.
     
  13. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Don't need to quote properly, apparently...

    Nah, it's just Polish lives that are worthless.

    If "they" bombed the site, and killed the inmates, what would the Nazi propaganda machine make of that? What would the likes of David Irving be saying now?

    The bombing of V-sites was a politico-military decision; just as the Allied buildup of chemical weapons in the European theatre was; there was a huge fear that the Germans would resort to chemical weapons as the war drew to a close. Chemical weapons make mobile warfare much more difficult. We know V-weapons were tested with chemical weapons.
    The commanders that thought bombing V-sites was a waste of their assets, weren't advocating the destruction of KZ's as an alternative. they wanted to destroy other, war-making infrastructure.

    Again, nope, it just Polish lives are a dime a dozen.

    But "they" did bomb the oil fields.... so your point is....not.

    Perhaps "they" should've supplied weapons for the uprising, prior to the uprising, directly to the Germans?

    Not many missions, not that deep into enemy territory, and, of course, you are the expert in judging mission importance for the war effort. Remember that? The actual war? With fighting men dying daily? You have not met the counter argument, that with several other former sites still in operational order across occupied Europe, that the bombing of Auschwitz itself, would not conclusively prevent the deaths of the inmates.

    Could you please tell the British airmen, that they had been penetrating German airspace "comfortably." 95 bombers lost of 795 against Nuremburg on 30th March, 1944 ("Window" / chaff was fist used in '43 against Hamburg... so what went wrong?) That was 545 men killed. Throughout the war 55,753 bomber crew died, of 125,000 men. But some of them may have been Polish, so I understand that you don't count those. In a single raid, in 1944, caused nearly 1% of all the deaths in Bomber Command over 6 years time. But yeah... it was "comfortable." Note also, that the raid on Nuremberg, produced roughly the same percentage of casualties (12%), as did the flights to Warsaw... So comfortable, was neither. You seriously overestimate the capability of the RAF to sustain such losses. It would be an absolutely bloody pointless exercise in chasing KZ locations to bomb suspected gas chambers. resulting in huge losses, for utterly no military gain, and instead providing Germany industry with the respite it so desperately needed.

    Mustard gas, called "persistent", does not entirely prevent activity for the duration. Depends on the exact formula and weather, from what I can ascertain. Phosgene, the other gas stockpiled in the Allies arsenal, lasts about two hours in the soil.
     
  14. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    Between the time of the German victory in the Battle of France and the liberation of the country, the Western Allies bombed many locations in France. In all 1,570 French cities and towns were bombed by Anglo-American forces between June 1940 and May 1945. The total number of civilians killed was 68,778 men, women and children.

    Buchenwald concentration camp
    During an American bombing raid on August 24, 1944 that was directed at a nearby armaments factory, several bombs, including incendiaries, also fell on the camp, resulting in heavy casualties among prisoners (2,000 prisoners wounded and 388 killed by the raid).

    Are you aware how many East European slave workers were killed in American/British bombing raids? Because they not Germans mostly worked in those bombed factories, and were a part of civil defense in those bombed German cities.

    So, did the Allies care about collateral damage? The answer is no.

    Have you considered what an Auschwitz survivor might think hearing nothing was done because of Irving?


    Yes, it was political decisions, some people were awarded with political decisions, some weren't.


    Like here?
    On September 18 a USAAF flight of 110 B-17s of the 3 division Eighth Air Force dropped 1,284 containers over Warsaw, only 288 reached the.Polish forces.

    We might write about bombing of oil refineries till kingdom come. But the fact is it was another case of the loudest bird gets the worm.
    The Londoners got their political decision, and were allocated thousands of missions despite their futility.
    The Poles were allocated too.
    The Jews were silent and powerless, they didn't get even a single mission.

    Have you considered what an Auschwitz survivor might think hearing that from the tens of thousands missions flown in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations the million or so victims of Auschwitz gas chambers didn't deserve even one?


    Are you?


    That many people were gassed in three weeks, sometimes more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  15. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    So many points have sailed right past you, that is blatantly obvious in your replies. As usual, and observed in other threads, you are obstinate, you are failing to acknowledge factual errors.

    It is patently obvious that you are not willing to accept facts, yet again; why should I feign surprise? You are instead only satisfied to stand on some assumed moral high ground and pontificate (again), despite what facts may be telling you. Your logic is fundamentally flawed. Bombing Auschwitz achieves nothing, but killing inmates for Germans.

    You have done nothing to address questions posed to you. Debate with you is pointless.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Nothing was done against Auschwitz?
    I'm surprised that you did not mention the five 15th Air Force raids on Auschwitz and the collateral damage they caused...
    Oh, yeah, that's right, your whole hullabaloo is based on the "alternate fact" that Auschwitz was never bombed...


    You might want to check what happened on these dates..August 20,1944, September 13, 1944, December 18, 1944, December 26, 1944, and January 19, 1944.
    There are 5 "tokens" for you Auschwitz Jews...Not that it had any effect on the price of tea in China. But, it did make them feel good...Well, except for those who were blown to kingdom come.

    Unfortunately, no Auschwitz survivors that I have listened to or talked to have ever said a word about any such "hypothetical" bombings...They were far more concerned with actual reality...The bombings of cities and factories where they worked as slave laborers, cleaning up the aftermath of Allied air raids on German cities - as they were part of "chain gang" clean up crews, the kindness of some of the German residents(who left small packages of food for the crews, etc.

    wm., it might do you a world of good to actually talk to some Auschwitz survivors...
     
  17. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I have a sneaking suspicion that this will.not end well
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Now where, oh where, would you get that idea from? He asked knowingly.
     
  19. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    Well, try me.

    You've said it was too far away from Britian. It was but still irrelevant.

    You've said the Allies were busy hunting V1/V2s. Wrong. It was a different theater of operations. They didn't do V1/V2s there.

    You've said the Allies were busy supporting the invasion. Wrong. A different theater of operations. The didn't - too far away.

    You've they were busy bombing oil targets. No, there were dedicated squadrons in Italy that never did oil. They were busy with other things. In my opinion much less important than the Holocaust.

    You've said it couldn't be done because it would be a long, grueling mission. Irrelevant. From Italy they did missions as far as the Baltic Sea, and Berlin - via Poland. Those people were totally badass.

    You've said innocent prisoners would die. Wrong. Gas chambers were outside of the camp. And during the day the prisoners worked outside so the barracks were empty.
    And they were dead anyway. It was an extermination camp. They were brought there to be exterminated. Although some of them actually survived - miraculously.

    What I missed?

    My point was the gassed Jews and the prisoners of Auschwitz deserved that several planes were sent and tried to destroy the gas chambers. They would most likely be successful. They wouldn't save many lives because of an unfortunate confluence of events. But it was worth it - those people there deserved it.

    So again. What is you point? In simple words, and short sentences. As you said I'm an idiot. I require it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  20. wm.

    wm. Active Member

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    As seen from Auschwitz:

    The beginning of operation of gas chambers and crematoriums, gassing and incinerating of thousands of people was a tremendous shock for the prisoners. There were huge outbursts of panic. Prisoners couldn't sleep at night, gathered in small groups, anxiously commented latest events. The fact that there were no partisans or people actively resisting the Germans among the gassed was extremely chilling. They gassed quiet, peacefully living families.
    We were waiting for a world reaction. We expected a rain of warnings, threats, excommunications, reprisals from all over the world. The gassing was done practically in public, and the news about the murders were spreading around the world quickly. But nobody said a word, nobody protested. [...] Transports to the gas chambers were becoming more and more numerous. They built the second crematorium shortly, and then the third.

    One day the sky over Birkenau was on fire. A small group of prisoners gathered between the blocks 20 and 21, Czechs and Poles. Among the Czechs there was an older prisoner, an abbot or prior of some monastery. On of my camp mates pointed at the glow and said: "They will pay for this."
    "They will be annihilated." I added in total agreement. "bombings will begin soon for sure, Germans will have not only to stop the gassing but also themselves to surrender."
    The old cleric went bonkers.
    "You are young and stupid." he said. "The gassing will continue, there won't be any intervention, and you, not them will pay for all of this after the war. I won't for sure - I will soon die like a dog anyway. After the war all the world will help them to recover and they will start another war, do you understand this?"
    Angry, he went to his block, without any goodbye.
    "The old shaveling is talking nonsense" said one of the Poles.
    But, as it turned out, he was quite right.
     

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