Part 1. „Cruel mockery” – tell someone in Your country about the truth who saved Jews!


Autor: Paweł Jędrzejewski

In 1938 and 1943, the world defined its attitude to the situation of the Jews who were within Hitler’s power. First, just before the Holocaust: a few months before Kristallnacht. Later, at a time when the murdering of European Jews was at its height: in April 1943, when the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was underway.

When the problem of guilt for the Holocaust, as a topic in the media, returns due to the Israeli-Polish conflict, I would like to recall two historical events, which are not mentioned, and which put this issue in a completely new light.

In 1938 and 1943, the world defined its attitude to the situation of the Jews who were within Hitler’s power. First, just before the Holocaust: a few months before Kristallnacht. Later, at a time when the murdering of European Jews was at its height: in April 1943, when the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was underway.

I mean two international conferences convened to find a way to help Jews.

The first is a conference announced by President Roosevelt to deal with the problem of Jewish refugees. As it turned out later, this was only a propaganda act. The conference was held in Evian, France, July 6-15, 1938. The aim of the conference was to find an answer to the question of what to do to refugees in Europe, primarily Jews from Germany and Austria, deprived of their rights and citizenship. Representatives of 32 countries as well as 24 organizations were present. The only representative of the Jews was Golda Meir, who was not allowed to speak.

Upon hearing of plans to convene a conference, Hitler made the famous statement: “I can only hope and expect that another world that has such compassion for these criminals (Jews) will be at least so generous that it will transform compassion into real help. We, for our part, are ready to release all these criminals to these countries and – as far as I am concerned – even with luxury ships. ”

Conference in Evian

The conference ended with nothing, and neither the United States nor other countries expressed readiness to accept Jewish refugees. Britain excused itself with unemployment, while France claimed it was „saturated with refugees.” Only Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic expressed interest. The remaining 30 countries showed indifference. The world gathered, gathered and washed its hands. Later, he explained that „then he did not know yet.”

Hitler, in reaction to the Evian conference, triumphed: „They complain about the boundless cruelty with which Germany – and now Italy as well – trying to get rid of its Jewish elements (…) All these great democratic empires, taken together, only have a handful of people per kilometer square. Both in Italy and Germany there are over 140 people per square kilometer. However, in former times, Germany, without batting an eye, welcomed these Jews by hundreds of thousands for decades. But now that the nation no longer wants to be sucked out by these parasites, only lamentations are heard from all sides. But the lamentations did not induce these democratic countries to eventually replace their hypocritical questions with useful actions; on the contrary, these countries reassured us with an icy cold that, of course, there was no room for Jews in their territory. So they gave no help, but saved their sense of moral superiority. ”

The NYT columnist predicted the Holocaust

Szmul Mordechaj Zygielbojm,

Probably no one assessed the situation in detail from the columnist of The New York Times, who wrote on July 4, 1938: „Materials for publication in” The Daily Telegraph „were provided by Szmul Mordechaj Zygielbojm, Bund politician, trade union activist, journalist, former Warsaw councilor and Łódź, which at that time was a member of the Polish National Council in London. He received reports from Jewish organizations and the Polish underground, which he passed on to the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress, counting on their influence in the hope that they would put pressure on the Allied governments and help Polish Jews. It is in vain. It is frightening to think of the queues of despairing people around our consulates in Vienna and other cities, waiting tensely for what is happening in Evian (…) This is a test of civilization. Can America live with itself if it allows Germany to go unpunished for its extermination policy? Prophetic words! Shocking for 1938, it turned out to be appallingly real.

At the second of these lesser-known conferences, the two most important Western countries – the US and the UK Britain reaffirmed their indifference and proved that they were washing their hands even now that they knew everything. On June 25, 1942, the very important British daily The Daily Telegraph published an article revealing the terrifying truth about German crimes against Jews. The title itself was shocking: „Germans Murder 700,000 Jews in Poland”. And in the first sentence of the text, the German crime is called „the greatest massacre in the history of the world”. Let me remind you: it is June 1942. Jan Karski’s report on the murder of Jews will not be published until December this year. Karski will be heard (very inattentively!) By President F.D. Roosevelt only on July 28, 1943, that is, in over a year.

However, an article in The Daily Telegraph changed the situation. The BBC reacted. The head of the BBC European Service, ordered: „This ghastly news told by Zygielbojm in The Daily Telegraph must be publicized as much as possible.” As instructed, the BBC began reporting on the mass murder of Jews. In early 1943, Archbishop William Temple of Canterbury called for the rescue of the Jews in dramatic words: “At this moment we have a great responsibility. We stand before history, humanity and God ”

Let’s pretend we’re acting


The UK government was dissatisfied. Public pressure was building up. It was necessary to take some action that would create the impression that the government was doing something important in this matter. It was about cynically deceiving the public. The British therefore proposed to the Americans that they convene a conference at which a joint answer to the question „How to stop the mass murder of Jews?” Was to be obtained.

The conference in Bermuda was preceded by a meeting at the White House. In addition to President Roosevelt, it was attended by Secretary of State Cordell Hull, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden and British Ambassador to the US Lord Halifax. Everyone knew well that a great number of Jews were already murdered. And they also knew very well that there were still hundreds of thousands of Jews waiting for certain death.

At one point in the conversation, Secretary of State Hull drew attention to the fate of some 70,000 Bulgarian Jews and the possibility of saving them from being murdered by the Germans. Anthony Eden replied, “The whole problem of the Jews in Europe is very difficult. We must be very careful about any proposal to take all Jews from countries like Bulgaria for example. If we do that, then Jews all over the world will demand similar actions from us in Poland and Germany. „


At the same time, in occupied, terrorized Poland, there was already – first, from September 27, 1942 – the Temporary Committee to Aid Jews named after Konrad Żegota, founded by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz, and – from December 4, 1942 – the Council to Aid Jews at the Delegation of the Government of the Republic of Poland to Poland appointed in his place.

Author: Paweł Jędrzejewski, co-founder and associate of the 614. Przykazania Association founded in 2005 in the USA, dealing with the dissemination of knowledge about Judaism in Polish, member of the editorial board of the Forum of Polish Jews, author of the book „Judaism without secrets” and other publications on topics related to Judaism and Jewish culture.

To be continued! In part 2.: There are no people willing to buy lilies in Bermuda


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