How the Allies Responded to the News of Hitler’s Final Solution
...But above all, the story told in these pages is one of many failures, and of two successes. The failures, shared by all the Allies, were those of imagination, of response, of Intelligence, of piecing together and evaluating what was known, of co-ordination, of initiative, and even at times of sympathy. The successes lay elsewhere, with the Nazis; in the killings themselves, and in a series of bizarre deceptions which enabled those killings to be carried out on a gigantic scale, for more than three years, almost without interruption.
Biographical Notes on some of the principal characters in this book, prepared by the author
BORIS OF BULGARIA, born 1896. Became King after the abdication of his father, ‘Foxy’ Ferdinand, in October 1918. Survived an assassination attempt, 1925. Maintained Bulgaria’s neutrality, 1939–41. Under pressure from Hitler, he aligned Bulgaria with the Axis in the spring of 1941, and allowed his Government to declare war on the western Allies, but not on the Soviet Union, December 1941. Opposed the increasing Nazi demands on Bulgaria, 1942–43. He died after an interview with Hitler on 28 August 1943, either murdered, or of a heart attack.
SHALOM LINDENBAUM, born in 1926 in Przytk, the Polish village in which a notorious anti-Jewish pogrom took place in 1936. Deported in 1940 into central Poland, then to a forced labour camp in which, on one occasion, 120 of the 600 prisoners were executed in front of the others. Evacuated to Auschwitz, July 1944. Subsequently transferred to Monowitz. Evacuated from Monowitz, 18 January 1945, on ‘death march’ to Buchenwald on which over 80 per cent were shot, or died of cold, hunger and sickness. Escaped from the death march, 22 January 1945. Sheltered by two Polish women near Gleiwitz. Liberated by the Red Army, 27 January 1945. Joined the IZL (Irgun), 1946. Emigrated to Palestine, August 1946; detained in Cyprus until April 1947. Served in the Israel Defence Forces, 1948–50. Worked in Haifa as an unskilled dock worker, a school janitor, and then as secretary in the school. Worked in a bank. Took his B.A. in Hebrew Literature and History, 1956. Lecturer, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, since 1959.
JOHN J. MCCLOY, born in Philadelphia 1895. On active service 1917–18 (Distinguished Service Medal). Practiced law in New York, 1921–40. Assistant Secretary of War, April 1941 to November 1945. President of the World Bank, 1947–49. US Military Governor and High Commissioner for Germany, 1949–52. (Under his ‘Clemency Act’ of January 1951 many convicted Nazis had their sentences substantially reduced.) Banker and businessman. Co-ordinator of US Disarmament Activities, 1961–63. Chairman of the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament, 1961–74.