The New York Times coverage of the Holocaust
A lesson in time
The years of the Holocaust was an experience people will never forget. Everyone is involved; including those who suffered in Eastern Europe as well as those who were informed and those who were under informed, to the billions of lives living and learning about it today. In the time of the Holocaust (1933-1945) The New York Times under informed the American public and made them blind to the events occurring in Eastern Europe; their negligence impacted the Holocaust because America could have done more to stop the atrocities.
One paper had more influence on all other newspapers during this time. The New York Times was the primary source wartime newspaper. Their lack of coverage influenced the coverage from other newspapers. (Max Frankel)
Highlight the importance
In a newspaper, normally more important news is published on the front page. Due to the fact the Times’ did not publish the stories on the front page of the paper and rather ‘hid’ them within the pages made it difficult for Americans to find the facts and understand their importance (Leff 51). The Times’ ran 1,147 stories which averaged to about seventeen stories a month (Leff 52). Within six years the Times’ only featured six stories that mentioned Hitler’s target; the Jewish race. The New York Times was the primary source for wartime news. When they neglected the events of the Holocaust it affected the judgment of other news sources as well (Max Frankel). Even when US troops liberated the Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps, the stories still never made it to the front page of the paper and people still did not believe in the reliability of the stories (Leff 52). In 1943, a survey was conducted. It asked a sample of people, ‘it is said that two million Jews have been killed in Europe since the war began- do you think that is true or just a rumor?’ Forty-eight percent who answered believed that is was true, less than half of the sample. Twenty-eight percent who answered believed it was just a rumor and twenty-four percent did not even have an opinion on the subject (Leff 56).
“For years, Time’s editors, reporters and executives tried to explain to themselves why the paper grievously underplayed the Holocaust. Stories appeared now and then... usually small, inside and without trying to deal with the total horror.” (A.M. Rosenthal)
The problem is that The New York Times is being blamed for not showing the importance of the stories they published. In reality, the American public themselves should be blamed for the lack of knowledge. It is the news media’s job to inform the people; in which they did. The people themselves decided to deny the information. They chose not to look into it. They were skeptical, believing there was no way that could be happening. Nonetheless, they chose not to take in the information and decide that it was in fact important. How could stories of mass murders not be important; even if...