Washington: A new book has opened old wounds about the question of whether President Roosevelt ignored Jewish requests to bomb the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The book, written by a Jew, Robert Rosen, protects President Roosevelt and claims that Jewish leaders in the Land of Israel and the rest of the world, dispatched contradictory letters to the president - for and against the bombing of the concentration camp.
Rosen writes in his book entitled "Saving the Jews, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust," that from Roosevelt's point of view, all that could have been done for the Jews of Europe was done."
He opposes those who say Roosevelt ignored the requests to bomb Auschwitz and calls them "Anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist left wingers, people who always seek the worst in America, who in their eyes is responsible for slavery, for the killing of Indians, imperialism and the rest of the world's evils."
The letter of protest
Fifty-five historians, from Israel, the US and Canada, recently signed a protest letter against the new book, saying that it doubts the patriotism of learned scholars who thought it necessary to bomb Auschwitz, to take in more refuges and to take additional measures in a bid minimize the genocide carried out by the Nazi regime.
These historians argue that Rosen's claims are false and should be renounced, "they have no place in serious discussions over the Administration's response to one of the 20th century's worst moral crises," they wrote. They support the historic claim that Roosevelt was guilty of abandoning European Jewry.
Rosen adds that "the majority of people in the US today believe that the government should have bombed the camp, and that American Jews begged to do so, however the Roosevelt administration refused because of John McCloy, the assistance secretary of war who was anti-Semitic. I think this is simply not true."
Rosen told the Washington Post that he got the idea to write the book after visiting the Holocaust Museum in Boston and seeing a sign next to one of the displays which read: At the end of 1944, the US and its allies knew about the concentrations camps and did nothing to destroy them.
Perpetuating a falsity
Rosen argues that not only is this claim false but that it also maliciously perpetuates a falsity. He notes that there is a letter on display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington from the World Jewish Congress dated August 9th, 1944, asking Roosevelt to bomb Auschwitz.
"They put this letter on prominent display while ignoring two earlier letters asking not to bomb Auschwitz, so as not to kill the Jews. The truth is American Jewry was disputed over what to do and few asked Roosevelt to bomb the camp," says Rosen.
The historic truth, as in many cases, is somewhere in the middle. Experts say that that the accepted historic stance states that the Jewish leaders of the Land of Israel initially opposed bombing the camp, because it was a labor camp and not a concentration camp until 1944.
However, in July of 1944, the Jerusalem based Jewish Agency received eye witness reports of mass murder, and from that moment on the Jews of the world began calling on the American administration to bomb Auschwitz.
The outrage to the accusations made in Rosen's book continues, which obviously is adding to its sales. Rosen's publisher says the book is "selling steadily," and that some 6,000 copies have been sold so far.