May 26, 2015

Letters They Wouldn't Publish

December 24, 2002

Letters to the Editor
The Weekly Standard
editor@weeklystandard.com

Dear editor:

Alan S. Felzenberg (December 30/January 6) argues that President Roosevelt should have ordered the bombing of the Nazi death camps so as to "record the United States as firmly and irrevocably against genocide."  While such action by FDR would have indeed constituted an important moral declaration, there was an even more basic and compelling reason to bomb the death camps: it would have saved lives, at negligible cost to the Allies.

For my recent film, "They Looked Away," concerning the Allies and the question of bombing Auschwitz, I interviewed a number of American and British pilots who either flew reconnaissance missions in the vicinity of Auschwitz or took part in the bombing of German synthetic oil factories located in the Auschwitz complex, just a few miles from the gas chambers and crematoria. They were convinced that it was military feasible to carry out precision bombing of the gas chambers and crematoria that would probably would have posed minimal risk to the Jewish inmates of the camp.

Among those I interviewed was General Allison C. Brooks, who commanded an August 1944 raid by the 401st Bombardment Group on a V-weapons factory that was adjacent to the inmate barracks at the Buchenwald death camp.  Gen. Brooks recalled that "in the briefing on the Weimar mission, the intelligence officer stressed that there was presumed to be a concentration camp next to the factory and that we were to make every effort for precision bombing, right on the target and the confines of the target only." They successfully destroyed the targeted factories with virtually no damage to the adjacent barracks; the only civilian casualties workers in the factory whom the Nazis would not let return to their barracks when the raid began.

I also interviewed Holocaust survivors who recalled how they were literally jumping for joy when Allied planes began bombing the oil factories near the Auschwitz gas chambers.  They described it as "beautiful music from the sky," even though it endangered their lives, because the bombing might yet slow down the murder process.  As Elie Wiesel wrote in his memoir, Night:  "If a bomb had fallen on the blocks [the prisoner barracks], it alone would have claimed hundreds of victims on the spot. But we were no longer afraid of death; at any rate, not of that death.  Every bomb that exploded filled us with joy and gave us new confidence in life.  The raid lasted an hour.  If it could only have lasted ten times ten hours!" (p.71)

Sincerely,

Stuart Erdheim

(Member, Arts & Letters Council, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies)


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Brandeis and the White Paper
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Iran and Germany
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Rescue Was Possible
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The Jews in Iran
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The Failure to Bomb Auschwitz
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Mel Gibson's Critics
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Jo Davidson: Sculptor and Activist
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Nazi War Criminals in Arab Countries
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Israel and Auschwitz
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William Safire and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
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Suppressing Holocaust News
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Betty Friedan and the Nazis
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Civil Liberties, in Nazi Germany and the U.S.
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Paul McCloskey and the Deniers
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Holocaust Denial is Bigotry
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Not Just "Following Orders"
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Melvin Lasky and the Holocaust
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Saudi Arabian Holocaust-Denial
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Iranian Holocaust Denial
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Anti-Semitism in Jordan
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Culture of Hatred in Jordan

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German Jewish Refugee Children

October 24, 2005

An Earlier Black-Jewish Alliance

October 21, 2005

Treatment of Illegal Aliens Not Similar to Holocaust

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Hollywood and the Nazi Filmmaker

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Patton's Antisemitism

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Sudan, Congress, and the Holocaust

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Harvard and the Nazis

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The New York Times
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Should the U.S. Have Bombed Auschwitz?

January 29, 2005

Bigotry and Culture

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Susan Sontag and the Nazi Filmmaker

December 30, 2004

How Moss Hart Alerted America About the Holocaust

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The Quotas That Kept Out the Refugees

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Lindbergh and Antisemitism - Then and Now

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Rationalizing Stalin's Pact with Hitler

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Turning a Blind Eye to Hitler

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Truman and the Holocaust
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FDR and the Warsaw Uprising
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More on the Nazi Olympics
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Avery Brundage and the 1936 Olympics
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Genocide, Then and Now
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Sudan and the Holocaust

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Why did the United States turn its back on the Jews of Europe?
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A Boxer Who Fought for His People
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A Voice for Rescue
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Morris Brafman, Soviet Jewry, and the Holocaust

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An Unsung Hero of the Struggle for Jewish Freedom

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Mel Gibson and the Holocaust
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Was Rescue Possible?

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A Play That Smashed Racism
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Hitler's Filmmaker
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New Biography Wrong About FDR
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Mel Gibson's Holocaust Problem
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A Principal Who Stood Up for a Principle
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Truman's Antisemitism
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Inappropriate Hitler Analogy
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George Marshall, Racism, and the Holocaust
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The Failure to Bomb Auschwitz
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