The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/usa/conspiracy.003

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Rumanian Jews await their fate
Summary: Antonescu deports 185,000 Jews to the Transnistria, while sending
         an offer to the world to save them... U.S. State Dept. scuttles
         the deal after interminable (and deliberate) delays, with more
         than a little help from the British.
Followup-To: alt.revisionism 
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA

Archive/File: places/usa/conspiracy.003
Last-modified: 1996/04/24

   " February 1944, Rumania ... offered to save its Jews. Its
   dictator, Ion Antonescu had deported 185,000 Jews into the
   Transnistria, the barren area between the rivers Bug and Dnjestr.
   There they lived, or more exactly died, under the most inhuman
   conditions. There were hardly any living quarters, no food, no
   clothing to protect them from the icy winds that swept the plains.
   Daily many dozens died of starvation and others from the cold and
   exposure. On February 13, 1943, The New York Times carried a
   headline, 'Rumania Proposes Transfer of Jews.' In a report written by
   C.L. Sulzberger one of the owners of The New York Times, it stated
   that, in fact, Rumania offered to transfer for the amount of 20,000
   Lei per person (about $2.40) 70,000 Jews from Transnistria 'to any
   refuge selected by the Allies.'

   The proposal was quite specific as to details. The released 70,000
   would first be transferred to Bucharest where they would be
   accommodated in specially selected buildings, and they would then be
   brought by Rumanian ships flying either the Red Cross or, as arranged
   with the Catholic Archbishop of Bucharest, the Vatican flag, to any
   destination chosen by the Allies. Palestine, the proposal said, would
   be the most convenient location to bring them to, but other
   possibilities would be considered.

   It was assumed that these 70,000 were just the initial group, and
   that the others still alive in Transnistria would soon follow. What a
   chance - from the storm swept plains of Transnistria into freedom!

   The State Department must have known by February 13 of this
   opportunity, but it did not follow it up. On April 20, a message
   arrived in the State Department in which Riegner* asked for
   permission to issue a license to pay to Rumania, in Rumanian
   currency, the amount of $175,000 for freeing of those 70,000, a
   ridiculously small amount.... The issuance of a license to spend that
   money was in the jurisdiction of the Treasury and that office should
   - considering the urgency - have been informed by telephone. The
   whole matter, as Treasury officials later assured, could have been
   settled by phone in five minutes and the cable to the American
   Legation in Switzerland to issue the license could have been in
   Switzerland the same day.

   For two more months, from April 20 to late June, the State Department
   did nothing, but withheld information of that request for a license
   from the Treasury. The latter finally found out by a leak that such a
   request was being held back by the State Department. Though the
   Treasury urged fast positive action, it took 3 more weeks before a
   meeting between the Treasury Department and the State Department
   could be arranged. At this meeting, Mr. R. Borden Reams opposed
   granting that license because the matter would not work out anyhow.
   This, of course, was not a valid reason for not having the license
   ready in case it did work out. In fact showing such a license would
   prove to the Rumanians that the United States meant business. (This,
   however was exactly what was apparently to be prevented.) The request
   had been made and immediate action was required as one could not
   meaningfully negotiate without the license. There were no expenses
   involved for the United States as Jewish organizations would carry
   the expense. And it was made certain that no foreign funds would fall
   into Rumanian hands; all payments were to be made in Rumanian leis.

   Rabbi Wise discussed the Riegner plans with President Roosevelt, and
   the President approved of these plans. In spite of the presidential
   approval, Breckinridge Long _delayed_ the issuance of the license
   _for another 45 days_, claiming that it would bring dollars into the
   enemy's hands, although it had been made certain that payment would
   be made in foreign currency and although both the Treasury and the
   White House had approved the plan. _Five months had elapsed_ since
   the April 20 report and request by Riegner, before on September 28,
   the State Department sent a telegram to the Legation in Bern
   informing it that Treasury had granted the license. But the Minister
   there had learned what the attitude of his superiors was. He did not
   issue the license and telegraphed instead that the British opposed
   the whole deal for reasons of economic warfare.

   Still another delay. And in Transnistria people were dying like
   flies, and deportation to Auschwitz seemed the only possible
   alternative. Harrison's telegram regarding the British opposition to
   something that did not require British consent was, for the
   obstructionist conspirators in the State Department, a God-given
   chance for new delay. They did not inform the Treasury of this new
   complication, but the news of Harrison's telegram was leaked to
   Treasury by an unnamed source. Unfortunately communication with the
   Legation had to go via 'State', so the Treasury composed another
   telegram and gave it to the State Department for sending it to
   Harrison. It ordered Harrison to issue the license; Britain had no
   right to object and all measures to protect economic warfare
   interests had been effectively taken. Reams argued with the Treasury
   officials against ordering Harrison to issue the license, and his
   argument is, again, both provocative and absurd. He was against the
   entire action because it gave preference to a 'special group of enemy
   aliens' who alone were by that action being helped. Long however
   recognized that Reams' argument would not halt the action and -
   finally - on October 26 gave orders to Harrison in Bern to issue the
   license. This was _more than six months_ after the Treasury had been
   requested to issue that license, a procedure that could have been
   taken care of simply by telephone.

   But this is not yet the end of the so tragic story. As the economic
   warfare argument did not work because it was so demonstratively
   inapplicable, the British let the cat out of the bag, and the British
   Foreign Secretary, Eden, who in the course of the Holocaust came out
   several times with overtly anti-Semitic statements, cabled now the
   true reason for the British objection. Harrison still did not issue
   the license, allegedly because there was a change in the situation,
   as the British, who so far had expressed displeasure only, had now
   lodged a formal protest. Of this and of his still not issuing the
   license, Harrison informed his superiors in Washington only 17 days
   after receipt of the President-approved order.

   Eden, in, for a diplomat, unbelievably blunt manner, stated in fact
   that they did not want these Jews to be saved, and with this note he
   admitted the true reason for Britain's objection to the issuing of a
   license. The claim it would interfere with economic warfare aims had
   been only an excuse. This is the essense of the British message:
      The Foreign Office are concerned with the difficulties of
      _disposing_ of any considerable number of Jews should they
      be rescued from enemy occupied territory.... difficulties
      of transportation, particularly shipping and of finding
      accommodations in the countries of the Near East for any
      but a _very small number_ of Jewish refugees. They (the
      Foreign Office) foresee that it is likely to be almost if
      not entirely impssible to deal with anything like the
      number of 70,000 refugees whose rescue is envisaged by the
      Rigner plan. _For this reason_ they are reluctant to agree
      to any approval being expressed even of the preliminary
      financial arrangements.

   In speaking of difficulties of finding shipping, the British Foreign
   Office overlooks the fact that the Rumanians offered to supply the
   shipping." (Perl, 59-63)

*  Dr. Gerhard Riegner, representative in Switzerland of the American
   Jewish Congress.

                              Work Cited

Perl, William R. The Holocaust Conspiracy: An International Policy of
Genocide. New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1989

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