The British Press and the Holocaust
Nazi antisemitism and violence against the Jews was widely reported in the Manchester Guardian as early as 1933. The reportage of The Times of London was more general. Many of the other newspapers published similar, less detailed reports. A few even played it down. Undoubtedly, the British public was made aware that violence against Jews was an integral part of the new Germany. In the meantime atrocities were being reported from the civil war in Spain. The Manchester Guardian and The Times published reports from the first concentration camps as well as details of Kristallnacht in 1938. Following the outbreak of the war, the British government denounced and released for publication details of the (limited scale) of Nazi outrages. However, in 1942 another White Paper told of the concentration of vast “reserves” of Jews for physical extermination. Prior to that, there were many accounts of mass slaughter of Jews concomitant with the Nazi invasion of Poland. By the end of 1942, the extent of the continuing slaughter of Jews was widely acknowledged and the British government even knew of its extent and the methods used, including the employment of Zyklon B gas, initially in lorries and then in the camps. By 1942, the British already knew about the Germans’ “Final Solution” plan. However, some of the newspapers were aware of this concept even before the outbreak of the war. In summary, the British press provided full information all along, which the public was prepared to accept.