The Allies and the Holocaust: A Reappraisal
Stating that the Allies did virtually nothing to alleviate the plight of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe during the Holocaust, Silberklang reflects on the causes of this inactivity. He considers both the 1933–1939 prewar period and the wartime era itself. The earlier period was one of economic recovery for the U.S., so not much could be done for the refugees from Germany; besides, Germany was not the only country to conduct an antisemitic policy. Among the factors which prevented the Allies’ active intervention on behalf of the Jews during the war period were the remoteness of the war theater from the mass annihilation points before 1944, the unwillingness of the Allies to single out Jews from all the other victims of Nazism, their unwillingness to deflect their forces from military efforts, and the attitude of “rescue through victory.” In the entire 1933–1945 period, the national interests of the combatants took priority over humanitarian concerns.