Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Escapes, Resistance, and The Allies' Knowledge of The Camps

Escapes, Resistance, and The Allies' Knowledge of The Camps

Further information: Auschwitz bombing debate, Witold Pilecki, and Rudolf Vrba

Information regarding Auschwitz was available to the Allies during the years 1940–43 by the accurate and frequent reports of Polish Army Captain Witold Pilecki. Pilecki was the only known person to volunteer to be imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp, spending 945 days there, not only actively gathering evidence of genocide and supplying it to the British in London by Polish resistance movement organization Home Army but also organizing resistance structures at the camp known as ZOW, Związek Organizacji Wojskowej. His first report was smuggled to the outside world in November 1940, through an inmate who was released from the camp. He eventually escaped on April 27, 1943, but his personal report of mass killings was dismissed as exaggeration by the Allies, as were his previous ones.

The attitude of the Allies changed with receipt of the very detailed Vrba-Wetzler report, compiled by two Jewish prisoners, Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, who escaped on April 7, 1944, and which finally convinced Allied leaders of the truth about Auschwitz. Details from the Vrba-Wetzler report were broadcast on June 15, 1944 by the BBC, and on June 20 by The New York Times, causing the Allies to put pressure on the Hungarian government to stop the mass deportation of Jews to the camp.

Starting with a plea from the Slovakian rabbi Weissmandl in May 1944, there was a growing campaign to persuade the Allies to bomb Auschwitz or the railway lines leading to it. At one point Winston Churchill ordered that such a plan be prepared, but he was told that bombing the camp would most likely kill prisoners without disrupting the killing operation, and that bombing the railway lines was not technically feasible. The debate over what could have been done, or what should have been attempted even if success was unlikely, has continued ever since.

Read more about this topic:  Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Other articles related to "camps, the camp":

Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Escapes, Resistance, and The Allies' Knowledge of The Camps - Individual Escape Attempts
... At least 802 prisoners attempted to escape from the Auschwitz camps during the years of their operation, of which 144 were successful ... Jaster carried with him a report about conditions in the camp, written by Witold Pilecki ...

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