Samantha Power (Chapter 3 & 4)

“He told them of naked corpses in the Warsaw ghetto, yellow stars, starving children, Jew hunts, and the smell of burning flesh.” (Power pg.33) Karski, a twenty-eight year old polish diplomat and a roman catholic, did something no one else was going to do, he took action. By putting on a Jewish armband he snuck into the Warsaw ghetto and collected information he hoped would cause others to take action as well! Karski also infiltrated a death camp near the border of Poland and Ukraine. When he finally got out he had hundreds of documents of what the Nazis were planning. Thankfully someone was just as astonished by these findings as Karski, this someone would be Ignancy Schwarzbart. Schwarzbart contacted the world Jewish Congress in New York with a description of the suffering in Poland. Karski also passed along a message from the leader of the underground Jewish socialist bund, Leon Feiner, to the Jewish leaders. The message told them of their ignorance and begged them to take action before they too would be dead. Karski was doing an amazing thing by trying to save these people, a true hero for trying to get the word out. Denial was the most popular reaction at that time in the world, must have been a fad or something.After traveling to the United States Karski met with several more important people, one being a supreme court justice who listened carefully to everything Karski had to say, but in the end he also did not believe these atrocities were happening. More denial. Given Hitler was taking all the means necessary to hide their real plans for the final solution so can we really even blame people for not believing? Yes! Yes we can blame them, and let me assure you, many people do blame them (me being one of those people). Pretty much everyone who was able to intervene just believed that those things weren’t happening or thought that people were over exaggerating the real actions. The Allies suppression of the truth is what Power calls it on page 34. The information was plentiful, so what was really going on in the minds of the allies? Reliable information of millions of deaths was right in front of them but nothing was being done, why was this? Questions we may never really answer. In November 1943 Stalin-Roosevelt-Churchill declaration, reference to the gas chambers was deleted because the evidence was deemed “untrustworthy”. From all that I’ve read and know it really appears to be that the allies believe ending the war was their top priority and that ending the war would end whatever else was happening at the hands of Hitler. True, I also believe winning the wars would stop Hitler, but the end of the war could have taken much longer and that means several million more innocent European Jews would be executed which is not something I believe to be just a cruel act of war. In the end I Am once again angry with the absence of action of the allies but surprisingly I am very impressed with Karskis attempts of progress as a bystander.

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