Scrapbookpages Blog

November 18, 2015

Why didn’t America bomb the railroad tracks into Auschwitz?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:43 pm

As a child, living in a small town in America, my home was located right beside the railroad tracks going through the center of the state of Missouri; I would frequently look out the window and see workers repairing the railroad tracks. The tracks required frequent maintenance, which was quickly accomplished.

Today, I read a news story which seems to suggest that it would have taken a long time to repair the tracks leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau and that the Jews could have been saved if the tracks had been blown up.

The following quote is from the news article:

One less fortunate result is that the Big Questions begat by the Holocaust — How could it have happened; Where was God; Where was Roosevelt? — often result in small answers, answers that do not necessarily do the questions justice. Nonetheless, Jews are a meaning-seeking people. And so we keep trying. Jay Winik’s monumental survey of the last full year of the Second World War, “1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History” (Simon & Schuster), marks the most recent effort to answer the third question: Why didn’t America and the Allies rescue the Jews as the Final Solution unfolded? In particular, why were the tracks to Auschwitz, and Auschwitz itself, not bombed?
Railroad tracks entering the gatehouse at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Railroad tracks going through the gatehouse into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

The town of Auschwitz was a major railroad hub, with many train tracks coming into it, and a large marshaling yard was located near the Auschwitz station.  Standing on a railroad overpass at Auschwitz in 1941, Heinrich Himmler realized that Birkenau was an ideal location for transporting people by rail from all over Europe, although the plans for exterminating the Jews were not finalized until the Nazis were confident that they would win their war against the Soviet Union. The gate house at Birkeanu is located three kilometers, or about two miles, from the main Auschwitz camp, known as Auschwitz I.

To get to the Birkenau camp from the main Auschwitz camp, turn right after exiting from the parking lot. The road curves to the left and goes over the railroad overpass where Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler stood on March 1, 1941 when he selected the village of Birkenau to be the location of a new addition to the Auschwitz main camp. At that time, the invasion of the Soviet Union and the plan to exterminate all the Jews in Europe was only months away.

The "Gate of Death" at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My photo of the  “Gate of Death” at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

From the railroad overpass, the road leads directly to the Gate of Death, shown in my photo above.

The railroad spur line that goes through the gate house begins on the left side of the gate, about a quarter of a mile away, and curves around until it forms a straight line in front of the gate.

Trains coming from the west entered the Birkenau camp from tracks on the left side of the gate, as you are facing it, and did not pass the railroad station in the town of Auschwitz. Trains coming from the opposite direction passed the train station in Auschwitz and then entered the camp on the spur line. The train tracks end only a few yards from two of the gas chambers inside the Birkenau camp.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau gate house was not built until 1943, long after the Birkenau camp was first opened.

The first inmates, who were Soviet Prisoners of War, arrived at Birkenau on October 7, 1941. At first, the gate shown in my photo above was for trucks and pedestrians.

Railroad tracks were not laid through the gate until the Spring of 1944, just before the transports of Hungarian Jews began to arrive. According to the Auschwitz Museum, 434,351 of these Hungarian Jews were not registered at Birkenau; instead, they were gassed immediately upon arrival.

At the height of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, during a 10 week period, up to 12,000 Jews were allegedly gassed and burned each day. If only the Allies had destroyed the railroad tracks into Birkenau, they could have been saved.

 

15 Comments »

  1. One of rhw ailly questiona like that why there had not been a Jewish resistance. or any revolution in the Ghettoes. Questions in no wiser that the stament of a runner for nomination that if German Jews would have guns then … .

    Comment by Wolf MURMELSTEIN — November 21, 2015 @ 7:09 am

  2. In that original news story, I had a good chuckle at the author – Barry Lichtenberg’s – claim that “…the Holocaust’s sheer immensity and utter incomprehensibility continues to reshape our view of the world and ourselves…”

    Yes, he’s certainly right there – it is immense. It’s like a gigantic, out-of-control, hot-air balloon which fills the sky and prevents us from seeing the true daylight. And I certainly agree that it is utterly incomprehensible, because what I’ve been told doesn’t make a lot of sense to me!.

    But Mr Lichtenberg then goes on to quote a mysterious character named Yehuda Mirsky, who recently wrote of the Holocaust;- “it is the only thing large enough to take the place of God”.

    Wow! – so there you have it guys n’ gals. This shabby, thread-bare, moth-eaten, discredited old holocaust – which has got more holes in it than a slice of Swiss Cheese – is in the running to take over from God himself.

    Isn’t that a wonderful prospect for us all?.

    Comment by Talbot — November 19, 2015 @ 8:49 am

  3. Allies didn’t believe the atrocity stories and the photo evidence taken by US planes over Auschwitz several times showed nothing whatsoever sinister going on, quite the opposite. Well worth reading is Ball Report book called Air Photo Evidence.

    Comment by Mr B — November 19, 2015 @ 4:44 am

  4. From 1933 the Western Democatic governments considered discrimination and growing persecution of Jews as internal affair of Germany and then of the other states allied with the Third Reich. This attitude had been considered by Hitler as an silent aproval of his policy and he so went on unitl the Death Camps. So the tale of a wide reaching Jewish-Zionist porver is at least a phantom; and here we have an exmple.

    Comment by Wolf MURMELSTEIN — November 19, 2015 @ 2:54 am

    • wolf wrote: “So the tale of a wide reaching Jewish-Zionist porver is at least a phantom; and here we have an exmple.”

      Do you really fail to see the reason why anti-Semitic pressure (‘persecution’ as Jewish crybabies usually put it) was something that Zionists wanted?!?

      The Jewish population of Palestine doubled from 1933 to 1939. Can you imagine how ecstatic the Zionists of that time were about that? Collaboration with anti-Semitic leaders and regimes was part of the Zionist plan from Herzl’s days. Zionism claimed to provide the anti-Semites with a practicable solution to their Jewish problem and the Ostjuden with a homeland where they could live as free men (unlike in Czarist Russia) without dropping their Jewishness through assimilation (unlike in America and England). Zionism was a reactionary movement created and led by Jewish bigots appaled at the sight of Jewry’s secular demographic and cultural reservoir in Eastern Europe being emptied at full speed. The Zionist bigots hated to see the Jewish migrants from Central and Eastern Europe (the only real Jews in their views) destroy their own Jewishness in America and Britain. The main goal of Zionism was the diversion of the large migratory flows from Central and Eastern Europe to America and Britain and the redirection of those flows to a Jewish land. Zionism was in fact a reaction to Assimilationism (inherited from the doctrine of ’emancipation’ of the French revolution) and its dissolvent effects, not to Anti-Semitism as claimed now. Or in other words, the Zionists wanted to re-erect new ghetto walls in order to replace the collapsed walls of the old ghettoes and so ‘protect’ their fellow Ostjuden from themselves, from their own racial and cultural annihilation through assimilation in philo-Semitic democratic countries.

      Comment by hermie — November 19, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

    • So the tale of a wide reaching Jewish-Zionist porver is at least a phantom; and here we have an exmple.

      Another example: Jonathan Pollard to Work at N.Y. Investment Firm

      I wonder what kind of people run that ‘investment firm’…

      Comment by eah — November 21, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

  5. The industrial complex Monowitz a sub-camp of the Auschwitz complex, which produced artificial rubber among other strategically important products, was bombed because it helped the war effort. There was no reason to bomb the Auschwitz (1) or Birkenau railway tracks because the administration didn’t believe the fantastic atrocity stories being peddled by the usual suspects. There was no hard evidence backing up the inconsistant and outright contradictory claims. The many aerial photographs taken on recognizance flights over the camps didn’t indicate that anything untoward was taking place there. Had there been anything at all that could be used to besmirch the enemy they wouldn’t have hesitated to use it in their propaganda. Their broadcasts were always vague generalized allegations of German atrocities because any thing specific, such as the bizarre allegations of mass homicidal gassings, would result in the Germans bringing in the international Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as they did with the Soviet massacre at Katyn and discredit the whole allied propaganda effort. It was only after the war, when they had total control and could thwart any contradiction, that they were able to misrepresent typhus cadavers as gassed victims. Not only was the ICRC or other neutral observers barred from inspecting the notorious conditions and treatment of the German POW’s they were not brought in, as the Germans had at Katyn, to examine the results of the autopsies carried out on the cadavers. As a matter of fact the autopsy reports have not been made public to this very day. If the reports would have shown that the victims had died of cyanide poisoning they would have publicized it immediately and wouldn’t have had to go through the seventy year charade starting with the kangaroo court at Nuremberg.

    Comment by John Mortl — November 18, 2015 @ 8:27 pm

  6. Apart from the fact that the Allies had no definitive proof that anything terrible was happening in Auschwitz – southern Poland and its railway network was simply out of range for the bomber aircraft until the Autumn of 1944. And by then, we’ve been told, the alleged exterminations were almost over anyway.

    Its true that the aircraft could get to Auschwitz from bases in central Italy by the Spring of 1944, but it was a long flight there and back, and thus there was simply not enough time available for the air crews to orientate themselves over the area; identify realistic railway targets; aim and drop their bombs; before returning home. Then, of course, a plane would have to be sent out to take aerial photographs to see how effective the bombing had been. The film would have to be developed, and then examined by photo-interpreters. They would then report the results to senior officers in Bomber Command who had to sit down and consider if the railway network had been effectively damaged, or whether another series of raids was required.

    But these air officers had also been given a whole list of other strategic targets around southern Europe and throughout the Mediterranean theatre to consider as well. Was it worth sending another fleet of bombers all the way to Poland in order to achieve some extremely doubtful results again. Would not their resources be better deployed in strikes against known German military targets much nearer to their air bases in Italy.

    But our holocaust friends are oblivious to such practicalities as the availability of air resources, logistics, geographical distance, weather conditions, and the human abilities of the air crews – they live in a fantasy world, where they think they can simply wave their arms in the air and loudly beseech either Roosevelt or God to come to their rescue immediately.

    Comment by Talbot — November 18, 2015 @ 3:48 pm

    • Mr.Talbot
      On July 7, shortly after the U.S. War Department refused requests from Jewish leaders to bomb the railway lines leading to the camps, a force of 452 Fifteenth Air Force bombers flew along and across the five deportation railway lines on their way to bomb oil refineries nearby. Several nearby military targets were also bombed, and one bomb fell into the camp grounds. Buna-Werke, the I.G. Farben industrial complex located adjacent to the Monowitz forced labour camp (Auschwitz III) located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Auschwitz I camp was bombed four times. On December 26, 1944, the U.S. 455th Bomb Group bombed Monowitz and targets near Birkenau (Auschwitz II); an SS military hospital was hit and five SS personnel were killed.

      Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — November 18, 2015 @ 7:08 pm

      • Thanks for the information Mr Stolpmann. So it would appear that a sizeable US air raid did take place over the Katowice-Auschwitz area on July 7 1944. Was this a one-off event, or was it the start of a series of raids which went on over the remainder of the summer. It would appear, though, that this raid was designed to attack large, extensive areas such as major industrial plant and oil refineries that could be easily identified from the air. In addition, no real targeting was necessary, as the bombs could simply be dropped and the planes return home.

        But I believe the kind of precision bombing necessary to hit individual railway lines, junctions and bridges was beyond the capacity of the bombers and their aircrews in the summer of 1944. The distance was just too great, and thus there was not enough time to achieve this kind of accuracy. Only when the Allied ground forces had advanced into eastern France and northern Italy could new airbases be opened to cut the journey time there and back.

        Comment by Talbot — November 18, 2015 @ 8:19 pm

        • The Allies were fully aware of Auschwitz II as an extermination camp, pictures taken by an American surveillance plane on August 25, 1944 show clearly Crematoria II and III and the holes used to throw cyanide into the gas chambers which are visible. One of a series of aerial reconnaissance photographs of the Auschwitz concentration camp taken between April 4, 1944 and January 14, 1945, were available but not examined until the 1970s.
          The photo-analysts knew nothing of Auschwitz and the political and military hierarchy didn’t know that photos of Auschwitz existed. For this reason, the photos played no part in the decision whether or not to bomb Auschwitz. Photo-interpretation expert Dino Brugioni believes that analysts could have easily identified the important buildings in the complex if they had been asked to look.
          As a side issue about accurate targeting: On August 24, 1944, the U.S. Army Air Forces carried out a bombing operation against a factory adjacent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. Despite perfect conditions, 315 prisoners were killed, 525 seriously harmed, and 900 lightly wounded.

          Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — November 19, 2015 @ 12:01 am

          • I’m not quite clear if you are saying that “the Allies were fully aware of Auschwitz II as an extermination camp” before August 25, 1944, or only after that date. You say that there were aerial photos done in January 1944 but that the photo-analysts were not aware of any alleged extermination process taking place there. Well, if that be so, it would be a fair assumption that the Allied chain of command didn’t have an inkling either, because otherwise they would be “breathing down the neck” of these photo-analysts to check thoroughly and report back.

            The aerial bombing of a factory adjacent to Buchenwald in the summer of 1944 is not in contention. By that stage of the war, this part of central Germany was well within Allied bomber range. But Auschwitz was almost twice this distance away from air bases in southern and Eastern England, and thus much hazardous to reach before carrying out quite difficult, precision bombing raids on railway infrastructure.

            Comment by Talbot — November 19, 2015 @ 12:54 pm

  7. Your home was a child?

    Comment by Jett Rucker — November 18, 2015 @ 12:58 pm

    • I don’t think that you read my blog post correctly.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 18, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

      • Fllowing is part of what I once published about ‘Auschwitz Bombing’:
        A 2004 documentary, Auschwitz; the forgotten evidence included interviews with historians William Rubinstein and Richard Overy. It mentioned the Jewish Agency’s request to the Allies on 6 July 1944 to bomb Auschwitz and showed the aerial reconnaissance photographs. It then examined the operational and technical feasibility aspects, in two categories: precision bombing by Mosquito-type aircraft, and area bombing by larger aircraft. It considered that precision bombing of railway lines was so common by 1944 that the Germans had specialist teams that could repair damage within hours or days.(I seen this myself) The inmates’ food supplies were assumed to come by rail, and so an unrepaired railway would cause them hardship. Area bombing risked killing too many prisoners. However, Rubinstein says that on 11 June 1944, the Executive of the Jewish Agency considered the proposal, with David Ben Gurion in the chair, and it specifically opposed the bombing of Auschwitz. Ben Gurion summed up the results of the discussion: “The view of the board is that we should not ask the Allies to bomb places where there are Jews.”

        Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — November 18, 2015 @ 3:54 pm


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