Throughout history one finds stories of the mass murder of people groups by those seeking to secure their own place of power. Among all the events of mass execution, the Final Solution campaign exercised by the Nazis against European Jewry during the Second World War ranks among the most horrendous of all. Over six million innocents were eliminated between 1941 and 1945, with over 1.5 million of them exterminated in the Auschwitz-Berkenau camp alone. Although Allied leadership had knowledge of the Nazi genocide and possessed the capability to intervene in the slaughter taking place at Auschwitz-Berkenau, they failed to act in any significant manner to stop the killings.
While at first glance ...view middle of the document...
S. The expanded restrictions on the number of Jewish immigrants would prove to be disastrous for them after the Nazis came to power, as it significantly reduced the opportunity for Jews to escape persecution via migration to America.
While it may appear on the surface new legislation redefining restrictions contained in the 1924 Act needed to be formulated and passed into law in order to relieve the impact on Jewish immigration that is not the case. The power of the President includes the ability to issue Executive Orders in times of emergency and actually override the wishes of Congress if deemed necessary. President Franklin D. Roosevelt utilized this Executive Office power to issue an order approving the internment camps, which confined Japanese-Americans during the war. Had the President desired to do so, he could have issued an order temporarily lifting restrictions on Jewish immigrants due to the gravity of the situation they faced. However, he failed to act on their behalf in this manner at any time during the war.
While severe restrictions were in place during the war limiting Jewish immigration, an important question needing to be answered is whether or not the Allied leadership was actually aware of the atrocities taking place. Ignorance of the genocide can certainly justify the failure of leadership taking action to relax those restrictions. However, there is no doubt extensive knowledge among all the Allied powers did in fact exist. This is evidenced by the United Nations joint statement presented in December, 1942.
After having received multiple reports of the methodical murders of European Jews, the Polish government in exile spearheaded an initiative to denounce the Nazi exterminations. On December 17, 1942, the Polish effort culminated in a joint statement of eleven countries in what amounted to a United Nations representation. In their statement, governments including the United States and Great Britain declared that they had, “. . . been drawn to numerous reports from Europe that the German authorities . . . are now carrying into effect Hitler's often repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.” The statement further charged that, “The number of victims of these bloody cruelties [sic] is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women and children.”
By the United Nations own admission the Allied powers and leadership were fully aware relatively early on in the war of what was transpiring in German occupied territories. However, in spite of their knowledge, the statement of December 17th was the only known condemnation of Germany’s actions and it did virtually nothing to stay or slow the genocide taking place. Their joint statement also refutes arguments by those such as K.C. Gleason, who advocate the Allies had no knowledge of the atrocities taking place. Proponents of that persuasion also argue the Allies were so shocked at the brutality of the claims being made about the murders, they...