Holocaust: Western responsibility


Didier Bertin - March 12, 2015



A-The rise of pseudo-scientific racism in France and its effect in Germany

In 1855 the Earl Arthur Arthur de Gobineau published an essay on the inequality of human races where he developed the concept of the Aryan race. Ludwig Schemann published the work of Gobineau in Germany where it was welcome in particular in the family of Richard Wagner. The son in law of Richard Wagner the English Germanophile Houston Stewart Chamberlain explained that the superior race described by Gobineau had successfully developed in Germany and northern Europe. He inspired Adolf Hitler when he wrote his book "Mein Kampf".

B-Anti-Semitism in United Kingdom at the beginning of twentieth Century and closure of borders to Jews

From 1903 to 1907 many pogroms took place in the Russian Empire; the most important were those of Kishinev on 6 and 7 April 1903, Zhitomir in May 1905 and Bialystok on 1 July 1906. In response to the massacres that the Jews were suffering United Kingdom did not open its borders to help them but on the contrary closed them. Arthur Balfour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom obtained the vote of the Alien Act vote on April 18, 1905. The Alien prohibited access to Britain to the poor and criminals, but targeted clearly the Jews of the Tsarist Empire might be tempted to look for a refuge in the UK.

In the nineteenth century half of the Jews in Russia (more than 2 million people) had fled the pogroms and emigrated to the United States and 150,000 of them in the UK. Lord Balfour, leader of the Conservative Party, did not desire a repetition of this immigration and preferred to let the Jews massacred in Russia. In 1912 Lord Balfour inaugurated in London the first Eugenics Congress. The restriction of immigration was an idea of ​​English Francis Galton, the creator of the theories of eugenics in 1883. Lord Balfour is unfortunately only known for the declaration of his government in favor of the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine perhaps was once again a way to avoid the arrival of refugees in the UK.

C- The US policy regarding Immigration during the first half of the twentieth century

In order to close their borders to immigration, the USA strengthened on 16 May 1924 by the Immigration Act (Johnson-Reed Act) the restrictions already set by the "Emergency Quota Act" of 1921. This measure targeted the Asian people and in particular the Japanese but also people from Eastern Europe i.e. mainly the Jews.

D-Birth of the idea of extermination of the Jewish people in the book "Mein Kampf" - 1925-1926

What was going to happen until the end of World War II and in particular the Holocaust was clearly foreseeable when reading Mein Kampf in 1925-1926. One must wonder so little importance was given to this book by the world leaders; they had a duty to read it when his author took the power in Germany from 1933.

Mein Kampf explained how to build the racist and undemocratic state:

1. Revenge on France, which had gone too far in requirements as reflected by the Treaty of Versailles,

2. Acquisition of new territories in Eastern Europe for the development of the Aryan race, whose purity must be protected.

3. Fight against the Soviet Union whose territories are coveted and the Regime hated.

4. Obsessive idea of destruction of the Jews.

9.6 million European Jews became in danger and the wish to conquer large territories in the East could only lead to a major military conflict and consequently to millions of deaths.

E-Evian Conference of 1938:  Closing of the trap on European Jews by the nation of the world abandoning the Jews to their fate: the extermination

The rise of Nazism in Germany with the anti-Jewish Laws of Nuremberg in 1935 and the annexation of Austria on March 12, 1938, triggered the flight of many Jews. To take action on this flow of refugees President Roosevelt organized the Evian Conference on July 6 to 16, 1938.

30 countries were present and twenty nine of them did nothing.

List of Shame = List of countries at Evian which did nothing

1-Argentina - 2 Australia- 3-Belgium - 4-Bolivia - 5-Brazil- 6 -Canada - 7-Chile- - 8-Colombia - 9-Costa Rica - 10-Cuba- 11-Denmark -12- Ecuador- -13 -United States - 14-France-15 - Guatemala 16-Haiti- 17- Honduras- 18- Ireland - 19-Mexico  - 20-Netherlands - 21- New Zealand - 22-Nicaragua - 23-Norway -24-Panama - 25-Sweden - 26-Switzerland- 27-United Kingdom - 28-Uruguay


We have highlighted the countries that had a large area and kept a special place for the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and France, which had room and claimed to represent a high level of civilization.

30-The Dominican Republic was the only country which agreed to receive refugees.

The United Kingdom accepted the invitation to Evian provided that its immigration quotas are not modified on its territory and in Palestine. On 17 May 1939 the United Kingdom by the third white paper limited the Jewish immigration to 75,000 people over 5 years. France had a fairly similar position to that of the Kingdom.

-The United States did not change its restrictive policy (Johnson-Reed Act).

F- Roosevelt, America and the Jews

1-The Ship Saint Louis

After Kristallnacht many Jews were granted visas to Cuba and embarked in May 1939 on the ship St. Louis. Despite its visas Cuba did not accept to welcome them and Franklin Roosevelt refused to allow them to land in the United States; they were not accepted in Canada and had to return to Europe.

2-The Jews of Algeria:

Although US freed Algeria in November 1942, the Vichy laws were maintained. Americans preferred to leave in power in Algeria Pétainists as Darlan and Giraud who also swore allegiance to Marshal Petain. Giraud finally quashed by the act of March 19, 1943 the Crémieux decree which granted French citizenship to Jews since 1870 and which was cancelled under Petain's regime. The Americans did not interfere.

Giraud was removed from power in the French National Committee of Liberation by General de Gaulle and it was then possible to René Cassin to cancel its Giraud's Act and restore the Crémieux decree on October 20, 1943.

Bedeau camp: Jewish French soldiers lost also their citizenship and on 28 February 1941 the Secretary of State for War of Marshal Petain asked General Weygand to neutralize the so-called harmful influence of Jewish soldiers on the Army. To that end on March 27, 1941 all Jewish soldiers were imprisoned in a labor camp in the south Oran: the Camp Bedeau. Despite the control of the territory by the US in November 1942 (Torch Operation) Jewish soldiers were kept as prisoners in the labor camp Bedeau until June 1943 and were finally freed under  the pressure of the Gaullists. The Germans recognized the abuse suffered by the Jews in French camp Bedeau but more difficultly by France, posing a problem of compensation.

One of the known prisoners of Camp Bedeau was Rabbi Leon Ashkenazi (nicknamed Manitou). Having lost French nationality he enlisted in the Foreign Legion but was still imprisoned at the camp Bedeau.

The Americans were particularly disappointing but it turns out that the date of Operation Torch had involuntarily helped them to avoid the deportation of Jews from North Africa in the death camps; this operation was ready to be put in place on the eve of Operation Torch.

G-The United Kingdom and the Jews

1-The United Kingdom duly informed of the beginning of the Holocaust by the MI-6 did not change immigration restrictions of the Jews in Palestine and so took a heavy responsibility in the Holocaust.

2-On December 12, 1941 Struma ship left Romania with 769 Jewish refugees to Palestine. The British refused to host it. The Struma was sunk with the refugees.

The UK and its leader Churchill (until 1945) bear full responsibility for the death of Jews who were not able to go to Palestine and became victims of the Holocaust.

It must be noted that the pogrom of July 4, 1946 in Kielce in Poland against Jews who survived from the Holocaust showed that Jews had no more place in the European countries where they lived despite the defeat of the Nazis.

3-British internment camps in Cyprus

In August 1946 the British had opened internment camps in Cyprus for Holocaust survivors who were trying to go to Palestine. Internees had the status of prisoners.

4-Exodus 1947

In 1947 the United Kingdom sent in Germany, the Exodus 1947 ship carrying Holocaust survivors trying to go to Palestine.

5-Palestine Partition

On November 29, 1947, the United Kingdom did not draw any lessons from its major faults and from the Holocaust and abstained to vote on the partition of Palestine.

6-Sir John Bagot Glubb attack Israel in 1948

On 15 May 1948, Sir John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha told) an English general who commanded a legion he had formed in Jordan, attacked Israel.



As we have explained the book Mein Kampf Hitler announced the Jewish extermination in 1925. In 1933 anti-Jewish measures were immediately taken made and the condition to be Aryan was defined. In 1935 the Nuremberg laws were put in place following the ideas outlined in "Mein Kampf" in order to protect the purity of the Aryan race.

On 1st September 1939 Germany invaded Poland where was living the largest Jewish community of Europe. Germany had two objectives: to colonize the territory of Poland and exterminate the Jews. They focused first on taking possession of Polish territory and its Germanization.



As was explained in Mein Kampf the targets of the Nazis were the destruction of Bolshevism and conquest of more territories for the Aryan race. The attack on the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) focused on three objectives:

1. Destroy the Reds,

2. Partly conquer the territory of the USSR for the Aryans,

3. Start the annihilation of the Jews by shooting.

The executions by shooting were very efficient: 1.2 million Jews were killed by bullets in the last 6 months of 1941. The exterminations were also made by local populations of the Eastern countries. In Poland the most famous massacre is that of Jedwabne in July 1941 (800 victims); massacres by the mob were carried out in 22 Polish cities. Following the progress of the German troops on the ground pogroms were multiplied in particular in the Baltic countries. Einsatzgruppen (intervention groups - militarized police) were responsible for carrying out the Holocaust by bullets.

The Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942 was only a technical meeting of Nazi officers and a monologue of Reinhard Heydrich head of the RSHA.

The total extermination of the Jews was not a decision taken at Wannsee since it began much earlier. The decision was implicit in the program-book Mein Kampf and the policy from 1933 showed the will to achieve it. The number of Jews killed by bullets in the last 6 months of 1941 was well above average "annual" executions in the extermination camps from 1942 to 1945.

The United Kingdom and the United States had information about the start of the Holocaust in 1941confirmed in 1942 by various testimonies. The USSR itself the victim of systematic extermination had to win the war almost alone.



While the war was declared since 3 September 1939 hostilities began only on 10 May 1940 at the initiative of Germany. Both France and the United Kingdom did not intervene to defend Poland while they were committed to do it. On June 16, 1940 Marshal Pétain was appointed to head a new government. Marshal Petain favored an armistice, which was signed on 22 June 1940. The text included twenty-four articles that facilitated the German offensive on other fronts. On 10 July 1940, the Republic, through its National Assembly enacted a dictatorship by granting full powers to Marshal Pétain which enjoyed immense popular support. The French State led, in 1940, a zealous policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany. His government forestalled the demands of German regarding anti-Jewish policy. France wanted to be the star pupil of the Axis to get a place in the future Europe led by Germany and brought the most important help to Nazi Germany among the countries of the Axis on the following plans:

Economic and financial: by deliveries of goods and various commodities, by the payment of 439 million francs a day on average to cover the costs of occupation by the German army and labor delivered to Germany in the STO. France offered to Germany approximately half of its GDP annually.

• Military: by weapons deliveries, by blocking the French fleet, by fighting the opponents of Germany in France, by building the Atlantic Wall with the money given to Germany, by providing 7,000 volunteers enlisted alongside the Germans on the Russian front.

Anti-Jewish policy: laws restricting the activities of Jews and Jews arrests sent to extermination camps. The Vichy government was very productive in terms of legislation and actions to "aryanize" French society by excluding Jews and delivering them to the Nazis.

Some commentators argue that the action of France has reduced the number of Holocaust victims to 77 000 in France which is untrue. In reality the enormous economic and military aid from France to Germany gave Germany the concentrate more troops in the East by guaranteeing the calm in the West and has allowed a time extension of the war which cost Millions of lives.



Each additional year of conflict has cost on average 1.35 million Jewish lives and globally 10 million lives. Prolonging the conflict is a responsibility that must be shared between France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The victims of the war on the European front amounted to 46.3 million people including 37.1 million civilians and military in the Allied camp including the victims of the Holocaust. These 37.1 million includes nearly 27 million civilians and military citizens of the USSR and 6 million Jews i.e.  86.5% of the losses in the allied camp on the European front.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have lost all that 1,286,000 people, or only 2.8% of the civilian and military casualties of the war in Europe. This desire of western allies to avoid casualties has cost in continental Europe millions of deaths. Germany symbolized horror but France, the United Kingdom and the United States symbolized egoism carried to the extreme, and the two have combined to amplify the huge deadly effects of the war.



US and UK did not want to that the Holocaust information may divert their attention from their priority target: "War against Germany" but did not really either focus on this target as this can be seen from the following figures.


Allies and assimilated



other civilians



11 000 000

1 100 000

14 900 000

27 000 000

USA - European front

300 000



300 000

United Kingdom-Europe

383 000


68 000

451 000


8 000

100 000

89 000

197 000


12 000

29 000

52 000

93 000


45 000



45 000

Australia -  European front

30 000



30 000


240 000

3 000 000

3 000 000

6 240 000


446 000

63 000

514 000

1 023 000


12 464 000

4 292 000

18 623 000

35 379 000

Sub - TOTAL  including  Holocaust

12 464 000

6 009 000

18 623 000

37 096 000

URSS % allies'losses





Axis and assimilated






5 260 000

265 000

1 900 000

7 425 000


300 000

287 000

64 000

651 000


300 000

590 000

80 000

970 000


22 000



22 000


24 000

142 000

205 000

371 000


84 000



84 000


28 000



28 000

Spain (Russian front)

12 000



12 000


20 000

67 000

220 000

307 000


212 000

77 000

367 000

656 000


3 000

1 000

6 000

10 000



2 000

1 000

3 000


2 000


1 000

3 000

Pays Baltes


280 000

140 000

420 000


6 267 000

1 717 000

2 984 000

10 962 000

SOUS-TOATL excluding  Holocaust

6 267 000


2 984 000

9 251 000


18 731 000

6 009 000

21 607 000

46 347 000

USSR and Holocaust

% of losses of allies





The Soviet Union suffered 88% losses of the Allied military camp and has fought and won the war almost alone with a weak support from other allies. With nearly 27 million military and civilian deaths USSR suffered 73% losses camp ally in Europe.

2/3 of European Jewish people were exterminated by the Germans leaving indifferent United States and the United Kingdom.

European Jewish population numbered 12.1 million people in 1880 but  pogroms led to a mass exodus to the United States and Palestine. Thus in 1939 the Jewish population numbered only 9.6 million people. The Holocaust has led to the death of 6000 000 Jews and residual anti-Semitism after the war in the countries in which the Jews used to live, forced the survivors to leave Europe. In 2010 Jews amounted to only 1,425,000.

In a century European anti-Semitism led to the death or departure of 88% of the Jewish population; it is a marker indicating the true level of civilization in Europe.



From June 1941 (i.e. the month of start of Barbarossa Operation) the British implemented methods to decipher German messages. Special attention was given by the British to messages from Ordnungspolizei, Abwehr, Gestapo and Sicherheitdienst. British were informed of extermination operations achieved by the Einsatzgruppen in the USSR and thus of the start of the Holocaust. Later the British intercepted extermination statistics sent from Dachau, Buchenwald, Auschwitz and seven other camps.

Among the deciphered documents there was the memorandum of a conversation between Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, 28 November 1941. Hitler had explained that the purpose of Germany was the extermination of Jews in Europe and through East; he used the word "Vernichtung" (destruction).

Furthermore, the information on "mass extermination of the Jews" was confirmed by transcription by the British conversations German prisoners. The Jews were clearly seen as the archenemy of Germany through information obtained that confirmed what Hitler had written and said.

Statistical Sample message intercepted January 11, 1943 at 10:05 am and sent to SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Heim:

Fortnight and annual report:



To   31.12.1942

Total 1942

L= Lublin

12 761

24 733



434 508



101 370


10 335

713 555


23 611

1 274 166

The extermination of the Jews for the intelligence services of allied countries was not priority information of the war and was not really taken into account.

It was considered that the extermination of Jews would end the war without taking into account the high extermination speed and the small number of Jews.



The intelligence service abroad has been entrusted to the COI created in August 1941 (Coordinator of Information) and then from June 1942 to the new body OSS (Office of Strategic Services), which became will the CIA after the war.

The COI and OSS began using diplomatic sources of information and the testimony of refugees. At the end of August 1941 the Mexican ambassador in Lisbon JM Alvarez Castillo told them:

"Almost every morning in Russian in the cities occupied by the Axis troops, men and women accused of committing acts of sabotage during the night, are shot by military squadrons. These mass murders of innocent and helpless men and women under the false pretext of sabotage show the moral or rather amoral spirit of the Reich. "

On 28 June 1942 the OSS received a testimonial letter from Lisbon saying: "Germany no longer persecuted Jews, it exterminates them. The new racist policy, whose cold and calculated cruelty surpasses that of Magdeburg or Carthage, was revealed to me by a British officer who had escaped the hell of the ghetto of Himmler in Warsaw ..."

The Chilean consul in Prague Gonzalo Montt Rivas provided extensive information on the measures taken against the Jews. In November 1941 Montt summarized the Nazi policy as follows:

"The German triumph rid Europe of Jews. Those who will come out will be surely deported to Siberia ..."

Abraham Duker and Charles Irving Dwork of Service R & A (Research & Analysis) of the OSS had made a complete record on the Holocaust. This file called "Duker-Dwork Collection" is in the National Archives of the United States.

Duker and Dwork were shocked by the lack of interest of the OSS for the Holocaust and being both Jews they were afraid to be accused of giving too much attention to this subject in opposition to the rules imposed on them.



In 1942 various reports on the Holocaust were sent to Jewish personalities residing in Switzerland. Eduard Schulte made a report he gave to the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva: Gerhart Riegner.

In early August 1942, Gerhart Riegner cable sent precise details of the Holocaust to British and American diplomats in Geneva and representatives of the World Jewish Congress.

Cable content:

"Received alarming report stating that, in the Fuehrer's headquarters a plan has been discussed of the is discussing, and is under consideration, according to which all Jews in countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering 3.5 to 4 million should be after deportation and concentration in the East, be at one blow exterminated, in order to resolve, once and for all the Jewish question in Europe. Action is reported to be planned for the autumn. Ways of execution are still being discussed including the use prussic acid. We transmit this information with all the necessary reservation, as exactitude cannot be confirmed by us. Our informant is reported to have close connexions with the highest German authorities, and his reports are generally reliable."

This cable was sent to the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States. The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed the information based on its own sources to the American Consul in Geneva in October 1942.

The assistant-Secretary of State Sumner Welles, an important adviser to President Roosevelt ordered an investigation. On October 22, the representative of the assistant-Secretary of State met Riegner who gave him a 30-page report from several sources. The report stated that 4 million of Jews that the Germans starved and enslaved would be exterminated. The investigation requested by the State Department confirmed the accuracy of information and a press conference was held in November 1942.

The US attendant for refugees in the State Department Robert Borden Rams complained of the press conference indicating that too much emphasis was given to the extermination of Jews at the expenses of the sole target which must be considered:"Victory over Germany".



In October 1942 Jan Karski penetrated secretly in the Warsaw Ghetto and in the camp of Izbica Lubelska near the Belzec camp in order to collect information on the situation of Jews in Poland to be transmitted to the western allies. In the ghetto he was guided by a member of a Zionist organization and a member of the Bund (Jewish Socialist Union).

The representative of the Bund said, "You Poles you have luck; many of you suffer, many die but your nation will live after the war. After the war there will again Poland. Your cities will be rebuilt and your wounds will finally heal. In this ocean of tears, suffering and humiliation this country will rise; this country that was also ours. But we Jews will not live anymore. Our entire people will not live anymore. "

"... Three million Polish Jews are doomed to extermination and others from all over Europe. Neither the Polish resistance nor Jewish resistance is able to oppose it. All the responsibility is on the Allies. Effective help can only be given to the Jews from outside.... "

This was the message that Jan Karski had to convey to the free world.

In January 1943 Jan Karski went to London and met Anthony Eden (Foreign Minister), Arthur Greewood, Lord Selborne, Lord Cranborne, Hugh Dalton....

In June 1943 Jan Karski was sent to the USA to continue to its information campaign. On July 28, 1943, he met extensively President Franklin Roosevelt who asked questions about the Nazi methods against Jews.

Jan Karski probably did not know that the British and American governments were already well aware of the situation he described because of the many reports of MI6 and OSS and Gerhart Riegner's Reports from August 1942 confirmed by the Department of State.