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Old 01-12-2008, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Drury Lane
823 posts, read 2,621,131 times
Reputation: 250

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According to the article, Bush misspoke. Condi Rice said he meant to say it was the train tracks that should have been bombed.

I am sure he misspoke, and that's not the reason for the post. Bush implied that the train tracks for Auschwitz could have been a bombing target. This doesn't fit with the historical evidence. World War II and the Holocaust are separate events that happened at the same time. The U.S. fought the war for political and economic reasons, not humanitarian reasons. I am interested in hearing people's knowledge about this "what if" scenario. Was this possible, why or why not? Please chime in.

Here's the AP article and a link to a blog that analyzes the facts that, it seems, the AP article has wrong.

The Associated Press: Bush: US Should Have Acted on Auschwitz (broken link)

Andrew Silverstein: Bush's Weepy Visit to Jerasulem

Last edited by muffinman; 01-12-2008 at 10:14 PM..
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:40 PM
 
238 posts, read 780,331 times
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Sounds like an honest mistake to me. I completely disagree with your statement about the Holocaust and WW2 being separate events.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Drury Lane
823 posts, read 2,621,131 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernjewishgal View Post
Sounds like an honest mistake to me. I completely disagree with your statement about the Holocaust and WW2 being separate events.
Excellent. I am glad to see your post. Still the question remains, would it have been realistic for the U.S. to have bombed train tracks to Auschwitz, or any camp infrastructure for that matter, during the war.

I'll clarify my statement about the war and the Holocaust being separate events. They were caused by the same government obviously but what would become the Holocaust was well under way by the time Poland was invaded on September 1, 1939 with state sponsored persecution (Kristallnacht, etc.) taking place. The U.S. didn't enter the war till Pearl Harbor, over 3 years later. If the U.S. was fighting for humanitarian reasons, wouldn't we have started fighting sooner and with Germany instead of Japan? Sure we were providing assistance to the Allies with the Lend-Lease Act, but even that didn't start until 1941 and traded war material for military bases.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Cali
3,906 posts, read 6,511,908 times
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Not to mention that our military should have been built up much sooner. We should have started arming up when Germany invaded Poland. We could have gotten across the English channel sooner and saved more lives!!!:''-(
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,762,499 times
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I think he misspoke as well.

Should we have bombed the tracks? well yea. It would have been a feasible target if this particular camp also possessed some sort of manufacturing for parts. And in return, I think the Nazi's would have found another site to do what it had done.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:58 PM
 
238 posts, read 780,331 times
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Your clarification of your statement is fair enough. If we went in for humanitarian reasons we would have gone years before we did. The fact that we went in when we did is(so late) and allowed so many millions of my people and others to be slaughtered is something I will always consider shameful on the part of our government. I don't see why bombing the tracks wouldn't have been feasible. Care to show any links if you have them handy? I've done quite a bit of research on the subject and believe that could have been ordered done and carried out just fine.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:39 AM
 
14,030 posts, read 20,252,438 times
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Why did we enter the war so late? You have to remember the mindset of the nation at that time. It was a war between the Europeans in many peoples eye's, it didn't involve the U.S. We were a nuetral county just like Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, etc, although of course we had started aiding England in 1940 and many saw us being dragged into the war as unavoidable. But no one wanted a war, just like no one wants to be in Iraq right now. The catalyst was Pearl Harbor, which of course brought the nation together. Germany actually was the one to declare war on the U.S. after that.

Now - some remarks about the holocaust. The U.S. was certainly aware of the misstreatement of jews and work camps, but the death camps themeselves never really started cranking on a full scale basis until 1942 after the U.S. entered the war. Before that, massacres were occuring, but on a relatively small scale. Incidently, Russia at this time was massacring a number of their citizens as well (Lithuanians, Poles, etc.)

Most of the horrors of the holocaust never came out until the U.S. and Russia started to liberate the death camps. Before this - yeah their were rumours and a few escapes and eyewitnesses, but the simple fact is the Allies never believed it or thought these stories were only exaggerations, and you have to admit even today it is difficult to comprehend murder on such a huge scale. The proof in that, for those who may tend to say that "yeah the allies knew it but were hiding it", should be obvious - it would have been a perfect propaganda tool by the allied powers to publicize the holocaust during the war - to increase the war efforts, to sell war bonds, etc...

Now, on the subject of targeting rail lines. Well, they were targeted, of course. Germany had a very difficult time moving anything by rail by mid 1944 (but by 1944 the mass killings had mostly run it's course). But, also remember that most of the death camps such as Auswich are in Poland. That's a long reach for the bombers of those times, particularly if you wanted to keep a fighter escort. I dare say it was out of range until after Dday when we established air bases in France. It was also in Russia's theater of operations. Also I doubt it would have been effective, rail lines themselves are relatively easy and quick to fix. We used to target bridges and movement on the rail line, which would of course have been counterproductive.

No, the best we could do for them even if we knew was to end the war as soon as possible.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:56 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
1,622 posts, read 2,803,004 times
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Through spring into early summer of 1944, the Jews of Hungary, approximately 435,000, were rounded up and deported to Auschwitz. By this time, credible information had been received by both the British and U.S. governments about what was taking place at Auschwitz.

Based on this information, a request was made to the U.S. War Department in June of 1944 to bomb the camp. The request was denied. Winston Churchill also supported the bombing of the camp and the tracks leading to it. However, both the British Air Ministry and Foreign Office stalled action on doing so. The basis of the delays and denials of taking this action was always stated as it would "divert military power from essential war operations".

The problem with this statement is that by this time in 1944, the Allies had complete dominion over the skies of Europe. They were also well within range of Auschwitz. In fact, the camp itself was a legitimate military target. Within the Auschwitz complex were industrial facilities producing armaments and other war items for the Germans. Also, there were seven synthetic fuel refineries located within 45 miles of Auschwitz.

From July to November of 1944, approximately 2,800 American aircraft flew bombing missions to destroy the synthetic fuel plants. Their flight route took them directly over Auschwitz and the rails leading to it. On August 20th and again on September 13th, the industrial facilities at Auschwitz itself were bombed. The target of this bombing was less than five miles from the gas chambers at the Auschwitz sister camp, Birkenau.

From March to October 1944, approximately 585,000 people died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the crematoriums were destroyed during a revolt of the prisoners who worked in them, the gassing ceased in November and the camp was "sanitized" in an attempt to erase any trace of the mass killings. As the Russians approached from the east, the Germans evacuated 58,000 prisoners from the camps in January 1945, leaving behind 7,000 that were too ill to move. The Russians liberated the camp on January 27, 1945.

Only those who ultimately decided against bombing Auschwitz can say why they did what they did. And it may be true that ending the war as quickly as possible was believed the best way to end the suffering of those at Auschwitz in 1944. The unfortunate reality of it all is that the end of the war came far too late for the vast majority of them.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Drury Lane
823 posts, read 2,621,131 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernjewishgal View Post
Your clarification of your statement is fair enough. If we went in for humanitarian reasons we would have gone years before we did. The fact that we went in when we did is(so late) and allowed so many millions of my people and others to be slaughtered is something I will always consider shameful on the part of our government. I don't see why bombing the tracks wouldn't have been feasible. Care to show any links if you have them handy? I've done quite a bit of research on the subject and believe that could have been ordered done and carried out just fine.
Thanks southern, that's just it, I don't have any sources to help my answer this question. I was asking the question to find out what others knew.

I would be interested to know of any sources you find worthwhile, electronic or otherwise.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Drury Lane
823 posts, read 2,621,131 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Why did we enter the war so late? You have to remember the mindset of the nation at that time. It was a war between the Europeans in many peoples eye's, it didn't involve the U.S. We were a nuetral county just like Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, etc, although of course we had started aiding England in 1940 and many saw us being dragged into the war as unavoidable. But no one wanted a war, just like no one wants to be in Iraq right now. The catalyst was Pearl Harbor, which of course brought the nation together. Germany actually was the one to declare war on the U.S. after that.

Now - some remarks about the holocaust. The U.S. was certainly aware of the misstreatement of jews and work camps, but the death camps themeselves never really started cranking on a full scale basis until 1942 after the U.S. entered the war. Before that, massacres were occuring, but on a relatively small scale. Incidently, Russia at this time was massacring a number of their citizens as well (Lithuanians, Poles, etc.)

Most of the horrors of the holocaust never came out until the U.S. and Russia started to liberate the death camps. Before this - yeah their were rumours and a few escapes and eyewitnesses, but the simple fact is the Allies never believed it or thought these stories were only exaggerations, and you have to admit even today it is difficult to comprehend murder on such a huge scale. The proof in that, for those who may tend to say that "yeah the allies knew it but were hiding it", should be obvious - it would have been a perfect propaganda tool by the allied powers to publicize the holocaust during the war - to increase the war efforts, to sell war bonds, etc...

Now, on the subject of targeting rail lines. Well, they were targeted, of course. Germany had a very difficult time moving anything by rail by mid 1944 (but by 1944 the mass killings had mostly run it's course). But, also remember that most of the death camps such as Auswich are in Poland. That's a long reach for the bombers of those times, particularly if you wanted to keep a fighter escort. I dare say it was out of range until after Dday when we established air bases in France. It was also in Russia's theater of operations. Also I doubt it would have been effective, rail lines themselves are relatively easy and quick to fix. We used to target bridges and movement on the rail line, which would of course have been counterproductive.

No, the best we could do for them even if we knew was to end the war as soon as possible.

Do you have any sources you'd recommend to support what you've said? Thanks for posting.
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