Dr. Christoph Schiessl
Final Abstract for URS Program
During World War II, Nazi Germany carried out one of the most atrocious crimes in human history, the Holocaust. This systematic extermination of approximately 6 million Jews, along with other groups between 1941-1945, has become a focal point of modern human history. It is difficult to grasp the sheer magnitude of the undertaking by the Nazis. One question often asked is why the Allies did not do more to prevent this massacre. Were they simply ignorant of the entire event during the war? Knowing today the sheer magnitude of the Holocaust, it is difficult to believe knowledge of it would not have reached the Allies. Were the extermination camps deemed a low priority? One could argue that winning the entire war was vital to stopping any further suffering. Did those in command of Allied armies share some anti-Semitic beliefs? Perhaps leaders viewed the plight of the Jews differently than we do today. In any case, this project will examine exactly what the Allies, specifically the United States and the United Kingdom, knew of the Holocaust during World War II and what they did with the information, both on the home front and the battlefield.