We Should Have Bombed Auschwitz

US President George Bush toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel. Wearing a yarmulke, Bush placed a red-white-and-blue wreath on a stone slab that covers ashes of Holocaust victims taken from six extermination camps. He also lit a torch memorializing the victims. Bush was visibly moved as he toured the site, said Yad Vashem’s chairman, Avner Shalev. “Twice, I saw tears well up in his eyes,” Shalev said.

The Allies had detailed reports about Auschwitz during the war from Polish partisans and escaped prisoners. But they chose not to bomb the camp, the rail lines leading to it, or any of the other Nazi death camps, preferring instead to focus all resources on the broader military effort, a decision that became the subject of intense controversy years later. Between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people were killed at the camp. “We should have bombed it,” Bush said, according to Shalev.

Interesting reaction.


2 Responses to “We Should Have Bombed Auschwitz”

  1. January 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    It is an interesting reaction. The article left it unclear whether Bush was referring to Auschwitz or the rail lines. I think it would be difficult to visit that memorial without having the reaction that we should have done SOMETHING.

    I can certainly see why bombing the actual camps would have been a problem, but bombing the rail lines? I wish we’d done it too.

  2. January 12, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Good point. Although my guess would be that Bush wasn’t thinking precisely enough to have thought of just the rail lines. My bet is that he meant the whole camp. I guess I can understand the sentiment: put an absolute and final end to such inhumanity. I’ve been there (Auschwitz). It takes a part of your soul away… forever.

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