The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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From: deppitybob@aol.com.x.y.z.. (Buck Turgidson)
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Subject: International Red Cross and the Final Solution
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Date: 11 Jan 2000 06:11:53 GMT
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Red Cross told U.S. of "final solution" - document

By Arthur Spiegelman

  
LOS ANGELES, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The International Red Cross secretly told the
U.S. government at the height of the Second World War that Adolf Hitler had
issued a written order to exterminate's Germany's Jews, according to two
documents recently uncovered in the U.S. National Archives. 

The Nov. 9, 1942, documents, found by World Jewish Congress researchers and
made public on Monday, address some unanswered questions about the war --
including when the United States and the Red Cross first realised the Holocaust
was under way and whether Hitler had actually signed a written order calling
for the death of the Jews. 

Historians to this day can find no evidence that he did, although a complete
record exists of the Jan. 20, 1942, meeting of his henchmen at the Berlin villa
of Wannsee in which "the Final Solution" was planned. 

The United States and the Red Cross have been severely criticised for failing
to speak out against what was a clear Nazi policy of extermination and the Red
Cross has apologised for its "moral failure" during the war. 

"The issue of a written Hitler order remains unresolved by these documents but
what is unquestioned is that the Red Cross and the U.S. government were aware
of Hitler's genocidal intent," said WJC Executive Director Elan Steinberg. 

One of the documents is a memorandum written by the American consul in Geneva,
Paul Squire, of a meeting he held on Nov. 7, 1942, with a vice president of the
Red Cross, Dr. Carl Burckhardt, in which the latter quoted two high level
German sources as telling him that Hitler in 1941 signed an order calling for
Germany to be "Juden-frei" (free of Jews) by the end of 1942. 

Burckhardt, then the second highest Red Cross official, also told Squire that
based on this information he wanted to issue a public appeal to help Jews
throughout the world but his plan was rejected at a full meeting of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Oct. 14, 1942, because "it
would make the situation more difficult." 

The second document is a letter written by Squire to the U.S. Ambassador in
Bern, Leland Harrison, discussing the implications of the phrase "Juden-frei"
and concluding that in the context it was used, it can only mean extermination
and that the choice of phrase was in keeping with the Nazi habit of
"cloaking" their intentions "to satisfy some unexplained qualms of
conscience." 

Observers said it appeared the documents would have been passed on to the U.S.
State Department but it was not known what action, if any, was taken. 

According to Squire, Burckhardt told him that while he had not actually seen
the order he was in a position to confirm its existence "privately and not for
publication." 

The Red Cross official also stressed that his information came from two "very
well informed Germans" in which he had the utmost confidence. Squire believed
these two men to be officials at the German ministries of war and foreign
affairs. 

Squire wrote in his memorandum: "I then asked him (Burckhardt) whether the
word extermination or its equivalent was employed to which he replied that the
words 'must be Juden-frei' were utilized. He then made clear that since there
is no place to send these Jews and since the territory must be cleared of this
race, it is obvious what the net result would be." 

The American diplomat said that Burckhardt was rebuffed at a meeting of the
ICRC when he called for a public appeal to save the Jews because it would "(1)
serve no purpose, rendering the situation even more difficult and (2)
jeopardise all the work undertaken for the prisoners of war and civil internees


the real task of the Red Cross." 

Squire said he also asked the Swiss what interventions had the Red Cross made
in the matter of protecting Jews and was told that the organisation could do
nothing in the various countries under German occupation if "we are not able
to act precisely in the same manner in Germany." 

But Burckhardt said that when the Germans asked the Red Cross to visit German
political detainees in South America, it said it would if given access to
political detainees in Germany -- a reference to the Jews. 

In August 1942, the WJC's representative in Switzerland, Gerhart Reigner, sent
a telegram to the State Department warning that the Holocaust was under way and
asking that his information be relayed to the Jewish group's New York
headquarters. 

The telegram cited information from an German industrialist detailing the
Nazi's plans to murder Europe's Jews. The State Department held onto the
telegram until the fall when it passed it on to the WJC. 

19:18 01-10-00

Dep  

"Always tell the truth. It's the easiest thing to remember."
			--David Mamet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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