Sunday, February 05, 2017

Western Knowledge of Goebbels' Extermination Statements

On April 14, 1943, the World Jewish Congress submitted this memorandum to the Bermuda Refugee Conference. The memo quoted an interview given by Goebbels to the international press on March 14: 
Germany is firmly convinced that the Jews are an international disease which must be exterminated in Europe [NARA, Records of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, 1938-1947, which is available to me here via the Gale Digital Collections resource, Archives Unbound.]
This statement had been reported on March 23 in a leader by the Manchester Guardian, which had linked it to "news lately that the massacres have been renewed in Poland. There was a telegram saying Jews are now being sent from Bulgaria to Poland which is the clearing­ house to death" [source: Simon Leader, The Holocaust and the British regional press 1939-1945, PhD dissertation, University of Leicester, December 2004, p.178, online here]. 

This was not the first time that the WJC or the British press had noted Goebbels' extermination goals. On Saturday June 27, 1942, the Yorkshire Post had noted that:
Giving me these details of the persecution of the Jews by Germany and. her partners, Mr. S. S. Silverman M.P., acting chairman of the British Section of the World Jewish congress said that this was the most tragic story of the war. It was an attack not upon the freedom of a country or of a people but one designed to exterminate them physically from the face of the earth. Goebbels had stated this in a recent editorial in “Das Reich” as the Nazi war aim [Leader, dissertation, pp.74-75].
Leader's thesis also notes that, on May 7, 1943, the Manchester Guardian had reported Goebbels' article from Das Reich, "The War On The Jews", the full text of which is here.

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