Interestingly, both seem unaware that by the time the British government were officially requested to take such action by the Jewish Agency in July 1944, the great majority of Jews that were to perish at Auschwitz were already dead.
Anger amid the tears - did the allies do enough to save Jews?
Anniversary stirs claims of betrayal
Friday January 28, 2005
Accusations that the allies should have done more to destroy the Auschwitz gas chambers were given fresh political impetus yesterday as world leaders gathered to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation.
Rekindled outrage over the murder of more than 1.5 million Jews and other prisoners prompted Israel's president, Moshe Katsav, to express grief and appreciation - but also betrayal.
"The Holocaust is not only a tragedy of the Jewish people, it is a failure of humanity," he said in Krakow in Poland before the ceremony. "The allies concentrated a huge force in the fight against the Germans and we are very grateful.
"But the allies did not do enough to stop ... the destruction of the Jewish people." Bombing Auschwitz from the air "could have saved many hundreds of thousands of Jews from the gas chambers", he said.
"Hundreds of missions of fighting aircraft passed next to ... Auschwitz and Birkenau. But [the camp] was not bombed ... Bombing the railways which led to the concentration camps ... could have stopped the destruction of the Jews."
Earlier this week Israel's president, Ariel Sharon, was even harsher: "The allies knew of the annihilation of the Jews. They knew and did nothing. On April 19 1943, the Bermuda conference gathered, with the participation of representatives from Britain and the United States, in order to discuss saving the Jews of Europe. In fact, the participants did everything in their power to avoid dealing with the problem."
"The indictment of the allies is that they didn't consider all these possibilities." Lord Janner, the spokesman for the London-based Holocaust Educational Trust, who was in Auschwitz yesterday, said the real failure had occurred before the war when Jewish refugees were prevented from fleeing persecution in Germany.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story ... 43,00.html