More BBC archives – it’s so bad it can’t be true
This is proving to be a rich source indeed. Amazing that Edward Schulte and Gerhardt Riegner, both of whom had informed the allies of the genocide taking place in the early 1940s were largely ignored. Even when they were eventually believed, it was difficult for the allies to act. What should they do? Bomb the railways and stop the transports? The Nazis would only rebuild them. Bomb the gas chambers? Yes, that would have been possible. But no matter how accurate our bombers were, there would be some civilian deaths. It would give the Nazis the excuse to say the allies had killed the inmates and not them.
Perhaps, after all, the best was simply to win the war as quickly as possible and then put all of that right.
Even allied Jews in the know were keeping the bad news from other Jews. For the sake of morale?
Yet there was till shock when the allies liberated the death camps. Belsen was particularly shocking because the Germans had abandoned it. It wasn’t in fact the cruellest of the death camps. My father was involved in the liberation of Belsen, so I always get side-tracked whenever that comes up.
Yes, perhaps it seemed so bad that it couldn’t possibly be true. Is it happening again now?