Newly released United Nations documents reveal that the Allied powers knew about the Jewish Holocaust carried out by Hitler’s Nazi regime at least two-and-a-half years earlier than previously thought.
As early as December 1942, the United States, the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union were aware that at least two millions Jews were massacred by the Nazi regime, according to the British media outlet The Independent. And an additional five million Jews were at risk of being murdered.
Despite knowing about the ongoing Jewish Holocaust, the Allied powers did little to intervene.
“The major powers commented [on the mass murder of Jews] two-and-a-half years before it is generally assumed. It was assumed they learned this when they discovered the concentration camps, but they made this public comment in December 1942,” said Dan Plesch, author of the book, Human Rights After Hitler.
The documents also show that the Allied powers had prepared to indict Hitler and high-ranking Nazi officials for war crimes.
In response to the new Holocaust revelation, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center published a statement on its website saying, “information regarding mass murders of Jews began to reach the free world soon after these actions began in the Soviet Union in late June 1941, and the volume of such reports increased with time.”
“Notwithstanding this, it remains unclear to what extent Allied and neutral leaders understood the full import of their information. The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was not complete.”