"When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak."
-On the Wall at the Holocaust Museum in Washington
It is impossible to learn about the Holocaust and the Second World War without the question of how it possibly could have happened arising, and along with that question comes another. The question of whether or not the Western World did enough to help the Jews in Europe. What was their reaction to the campaign of systematic persecution, robbery and murder the Third Reich inflicted upon the Jewish people?
During the time leading up to the outbreak of World War II, the Western Press consistently carried numerous reports of the German’s anti-Jewish policies and their purposeful victimization of the Jews living in Nazi Germany as well as the annexed territories. The general public cannot claim that they did not know what was going on, that they were uninformed. Whether or not they chose to believe it however, is a completely different story. The public were indeed outraged in many of the cases but the governments of the major European democracies felt that it was not for them to intervene for they felt that the Jewish problem classified as an internal affair within a sovereign state. The truth behind this is simply that the governments were anxious to establish cordial relations with Germany and didn’t want to cause any hostility. Thus they stood idly by and remained silent as Hitler went from denying the Jews of their civil rights to denying them of their means of earning their daily bread.
As much as they wanted to remain neutral, the countries of the Western World were finally forced to take a stand on the issue of emigration of Jews from the...