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One of the questions that we frequently hear is about how the United States reacted to the Holocaust Our answer is not a happy one During World War II the United States took virtually no action to impede the Holocaust or rescue the victims from the concentration camps even though both Great Britain and the United States knew about that genocide Such proposals as bombing the rail system that brought victims to Auschwitz was rejected The United States even refused to admit the few Jews who were able to escape Europe One historian has labeled the failure of the United States to aid the Jews of Europe as the greatest single failure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt There are many reasons why no attempt was made to aid the Jews of Europe Part of the reason is anti-Semitism in the United States Anti-semitism was much more prevalent than it is today Congressman such as Senator Bilbo of Mississippi and bureaucrats such as Breckinridge Long who was in charge of refugees at the US Department of State did not help because they did not want to help This anti-Semitism also impeded Jewish groups who were afraid of provoking their enemies if they protested too much Those who defend the failures of the United States think that there was little that really could be done They point out that the real genocide did not begin until the United States was at war with Germany Under those circumstances they think that the best way to halt the Holocaust was to defeat Nazi Germany as quickly as possible BibliographyMartin Gilbert Auschwitz and the Allies Holt Reinhart and Winston New York 1981 David Wyman The Abandonment of the Jews Pantheon New York 1984
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