JF Ptak Science Books Post 2406
There was a time in 1943, in London, that there was a great call for the "immediate rescue" of the Jews and other victims of Nazi massacre--given everything, those were pretty strong words, a call to instant action in helping populations in the immediate threat of "extermination". Nazi massacres of the Jews & others : some practical proposals for immediate rescue (1943) was written with the addresses made by the Archbishop of Canterbury (William Temple) and Lord Rochester (Ernest Henry Lamb, Baron of Rochester) in speeches made on March 23rd 1943 in the House of Lords, an addressed an issue that few cared to discus.
There are volumes of reports and newspaper articles by 1943 on the extermination and deportation of the Jews and other people, but, really, there was very little discussion about what to do about it. There were no plans for rescue. Even when it came down to much more simple issue of raising the levels for accepting refugees (and this by the tens of thousands) there was usually struggle and defeat. On the practicable end of the argument, ships full of refugees were often turned away.
It is a very contentious issue as to whether the Allies could have taken pro-active measures against the concentration camps, and the issue of the discussion of whether help could have been given is contentious in itself. What makes this pamphlet noteworthy is that it showed there was a public display of concern during a time when there wasn't much public thinking being done on that. This is a complex issue, though I think the capacity to effect some sort of rescue of thousands, or hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people could have taken place2, though it did not, for reasons of indifference more so than for ability or capacity.
This pamphlet certainly laid the issue wide open:
"My chief protest is against procrastination of any kind. ... The Jews are being slaughtered at the rate of tens of thousands a day on many days. ... It is always true that the obligations of decent men are decided for them by contingencies which they did not themselves create and very largely by the action of wicked men. The priest and the Levite in the parable were not in the least responsible for the traveller's wounds as he lay there by the roadside and no doubt they had many other pressing things to attend to, but they stand as the picture of those who are condemned for neglecting the opportunity of showing mercy. We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility. We stand at the bar of history, of humanity and of God."
I couldn't find the full text online, so I scanned my copy and include it below:
1. Nazi massacres of the Jews & others : some practical proposals for immediate rescue made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Rochester in speeches on March 23rd 1943 in the House of Lords / [William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury ; Ernest Henry Lamb, Baron of Rochester.
2. This has been shown work by David Wyman The Abandonment of the Jews, America and the Holocaust 1941-1945 (1998) and Richard Breitman FDR and the Jews (2014), among others.