UNESCO 2 JULY 2015
MEETING OF 2d JULY 2015 AT THE UNESCO
ORGANIZED BY SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER AND THE RUSSIAN HOLOCAUST UNIVERSITY
Address of Didier BERTIN, Speaker
RESPONSIBILITY OF WESTERN ALLIES IN THE MAGNITUDE OF THE HOLOCAUST
Ladies and Gentlemen
Everyone knows the responsibility of the Nazis in the execution of the Holocaust but it is time now, in particular since OSS and MI-6 have started to disclose their files from 2000, to assess briefly and in the few minutes I have, the responsibility of the Western Allies in the magnitude of the Holocaust.
A real anti-Jewish trap was organized before the war by the most civilized countries which eased substantially the achievement of the Holocaust as I am going to explain it.
The pogroms in the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century involved the flight of near 2.5 million Jews mostly to the USA and a few to Palestine and to the UK. New pogroms took place from 1903 and to avoid the arrival of Jewish refugees in the UK, the Prime Minister Arthur Balfour decided to apply the Alien Act voted on 18 April 1905. Balfour was the leader of the Conservative Party and inaugurated in 1912 the first Eugenics Congress in London promoting the ideas of Francis Galton against any immigration. Balfour is unfortunately only known to have expressed in 1917 the agreement of the British government in which he was only Foreign Secretary to create a Jewish Home in Palestine. USA closed also their borders by the "Emergency Quota Act" of 1921 strengthened in 1924 by the Immigration Act.
The Aryan superior Race was created by the French Arthur de Gobineau and introduced in Germany by Ludwig Schemann. The son in law of Richard Wagner the English Houston Stewart Chamberlain wrote that the Aryan race of Gobineau was the German race. His ideas were adopted by Hitler in "Mein Kampf" and the opinion of Hitler on the Jews expressed in 1925 made predictable the risk of extermination when he took the power in 1933.
The anti-Jewish Laws of 1935 in Germany and the annexation of Austria in 1938 triggered the flight of many Jews. In order to control this flow of refugees President Roosevelt organized the disastrous Conference of Evian in 1938, which closed the anti-Jewish trap. 30 countries were present and 29 of them refused to host the Jewish refugees. Among them we could mention Canada, USA, UK and France; only the small Dominican Republic agreed to welcome Jewish refugees.
The UK restricted substantially the immigration of Jews to Palestine in contradiction to the target of its mandate of 1922 and then took a heavy responsibility in the magnitude of the Holocaust. The USA and Canada behave shamefully in 1939 when they obliged the Ship St Louis to return to Europe with her Jewish German refugees.
The Holocaust started with the invasion of USSR in June 1941 during which the Einsatzgruppen shot 1.1 million of Jews in the last 6 months of the year. UK and USA were aware of the Holocaust at its very beginning.
The British secret intelligence services deciphered immediately the German messages coded with Enigma machine thanks to Polish mathematicians who succeeded to decipher German messages before the war.
The British were informed of extermination achieved by the Einsatzgruppen and thus of the start of the Holocaust and intercepted thereafter extermination statistics sent from Dachau, Buchenwald, Auschwitz and from seven other camps. Among the deciphered documents there was the memorandum of the conversation between Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on 28 November 1941. Hitler explained that the purpose of Germany was the extermination of Jews in Europe and he utilized the word "Vernichtung" (destruction).
British and Americans considered that the extermination of Jews will end with the Victory over Germany without taking into account the high rate of extermination on a small population.
In USA, the intelligence services were COI from 1941 which was aware of the mass murders since August 1941 and the OSS from 1942 which became the CIA after the war. Abraham Duker and Charles Irving Dwork both members of the OSS made a file on the Holocaust when it was in course of achievement. This file named "Duker-Dwork Collection" is in the National Archives of USA. Duker and Dwork were shocked by the lack of interest of OSS for the Holocaust but being both Jews they were afraid to be accused of giving them too much attention.
In early August 1942, Gerhart Riegner representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, sent by cable to British and American Governments information on the Holocaust followed by a complete report of 30 pages. An investigation was requested by Sumner Welles who was advisor to President Roosevelt and which confirmed the accuracy of the report. A press conference on holocaust was held in Washington in November 1942. Unfortunately the Western press did not show a major interest. Robert Borden Rams member of the State Department even complained that this press conference was detrimental to the main target: "Victory over Germany".
In October 1942 Jan Karski a polish resistant working for the Polish Government in London, collected information on the extermination of Jews in Poland to be transmitted to the western allies. In 1943 he conveyed the information to many personalities in the UK and USA and in particular to the UK foreign secretary Anthony Eden and directly to President Roosevelt.
In France Marshal Petain signed an armistice in June 1940 that eased the German offensive. France provided Germany with approximately 50% of its GDP annually and guaranteed the peace on its territory permitting Germany to deploy more troops on other fronts. The substantial support of France to Germany permitted the extension of the war causing the loss of millions lives.
The awful attitude of British caused the sinking of the ship Struma in 1942 with 769 refugees after they prevented her to reach Palestine. In November 1947, the UK abstained to vote for the partition of Palestine and in May 1948, the British General John Bagot Glubb commanding the Jordanian troops attacked Israel.
Although the Americans freed Algeria in November 1942 they left in power the former Petainist leaders enabling General Giraud to present a decree preventing the Jews to recover the French citizenship lost in 1941. Fortunately General De Gaulle got rid of Giraud and René Cassin gave back the French citizenship to the Jews. The Americans did not either deliver the Jewish soldiers confined by order of Marshal Petain in the Labor Camp named Bedeau in the south of Oran.
In 1947 USA voted for the creation of a Jewish State but imposed an embargo on all weapons to Israel. In this time UK and USA were apparently not afraid to cause a second Holocaust in Palestine. From 1947 to 1949 most of the weapons were provided to Israel by the government of Czechoslovakia.
In conclusion -Western allies neglected the lot of Jews to stress the importance of the war against Germany but paradoxically they did not really play a substantial part in the war in Europe. The figures and the facts show that Germany was defeated by the Red Army as this is symbolized by the monument of the Victory inaugurated in 2012 in Israel.
The victims of the war in the allied camp in Europe and the Holocaust amounted to 37 million people out of which approximately 26 million civilians and soldiers of USSR and 6 million of Jews which represent together 86.5% of the casualties of the allied camp in Europe.
The losses of USA and UK troops in Europe represented only 5.5% of the total casualties of Allied armies as compared to 88% for the Red army.
The Holocaust and the European anti-Semitism emptied Europe of its Jewish population from 12.1 million in 1880 to 1.5 million in 2010. This process continues today with the Islamist anti-Semitism.
Thank you for your attention.
Didier Bertin - 2 July 2015