New Book Details How US Media Downplayed Hitler’s Holocaust During First Years of World War II

CC0 / / Soviet POWs covering a mass grave after the Babi Yar massacre, October 1, 1941
Soviet POWs covering a mass grave after the Babi Yar massacre, October 1, 1941 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.07.2022
Over 22 million non-combatants perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War, including over 13 million Soviet citizens (1.3 million of them Jewish), 4.3 million Jews from other countries, 2.8 million Soviet prisoners of war, 1.8 million Poles, and hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Romani, Freemasons, homosexuals, and others.
A new book by US professor of Jewish history Rafael Medoff offers fresh insights into how American newspapers deliberately buried the lead on Hitler’s genocidal rampage in occupied Europe until well after the Red Army had turned the tide against the Nazis in World War II.
The book, entitled "America and the Holocaust: A Documentary History," takes a look at reporting on the Holocaust by major American newspapers, discovering, for example, that the Chicago Daily Tribune put a single paragraph from an Associated Press report on Hitler’s "Final Solution," including an estimate that over one million Jews had been killed across occupied Europe, on page six of its June 29, 1942 edition.
Medoff discovered that other daily newspapers followed similar tactics, avoiding front-page spreads on the systematic killing campaigns undertaken by the Nazis. The Los Angeles Times, for example, published the same AP brief on page three of a late June edition of the paper, below a story about British PoWs.

Medoff noted that between the autumn of 1941, when The New York Times ran a piece entitled “Holocaust by Bullets” on page six of its October 26, 1941 edition detailing the execution of tens of thousands of Jews in occupied Poland, and late 1943, when the systematic nature of the Nazis’ crimes could no longer be ignored, media, the government, and even US-based Jewish groups largely sidelined the issue.

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The scholar noted, for example, that by the summer of 1942, amid the Nazi invasion of the USSR, US media and officials in Washington were perfectly aware of the extermination campaigns – including the Babyn Yar killings outside Kiev in September 1941, in which some 33,000 Soviet Jews were killed in the space of two days, and another 150,000 more people perished in the months that followed.
“But instead of questioning Roosevelt administration officials about the emerging genocide, journalists usually avoided the subject altogether,” Medoff said in an interview with Israeli media. “Few American journalists ever questioned President Roosevelt or his senior aides about their no-rescue policy during the Holocaust. That was both an abdication of their responsibility and a moral tragedy,” the scholar argued.
Jewish American media covered the Nazis’ crimes in better detail and regularity, but American Jewish leaders curiously failed to act to pressure the government into action, according to Medoff. For example, influential US-based rabbi Stephen Wise – a confidante of Roosevelt’s, was said to have deliberately suppressed Telegram reports on the Nazi crimes, including the "Final Solution" plan for the industrial-scale genocide of Jews and other undesirables at a series of death camps, after being asked to do so by the State Department.
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“It is startling to see how little attention he paid to the mass murder during September, October, and much of November of 1942, and how much he was mired in business as usual, such as Jewish organizational rivalries, local politics, and other less-than-urgent matters,” Medoff said.
Even as reports from occupied Europe became impossible to ignore by 1943, the US government would occasionally suppress them, “fearing that publicity would increase public pressure to open America’s doors to refugees,” the scholar indicated.
Between 1933 and 1945, only 125,000 Germans, most of them of Jewish heritage, were granted refugee status in the United States, with 73 percent of available visa slots left unfilled between 1934 and 1937, and a whopping 92 percent unfilled between 1942 and 1945.
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