Study: Ben-Gurion Changed His Mind on Allied Bombing of Auschwitz

Historian cites documents which show that Zionist leadership initially believed Auschwitz was labor camp.

David Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership in pre-state Israel had urged the Allies to bomb Auschwitz once they learned that they were in fact death camps and not labor camps as was previously thought, according to documents recently uncovered by a Holocaust researcher in New York.

Historians at The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies presented their findings at a recent conference entitled "The Failure to Bomb Auschwitz" at New York's Fordham University.

The study's author, Dr. Rafael Medoff, said the new documents counter the widely held perception that the Allies' decision not to bomb Auschwitz was in synch with the Zionist leadership's opposition to such bombardment due to the fear of harming the camp's prisoners.

According to Medoff, the Jewish Agency had reversed its opposition immediately upon learning that Auschwitz was indeed a death camp.

Relying on newly declassified documents from the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem, Medoff states that the Jewish Agency and Ben-Gurion had urged U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to bomb the camp and the train tracks leading to the camp after they had learned of the existence of the crematoriums and gas chambers.

Medoff relies primarily on the minutes and protocols of Jewish Agency meetings in June 1944.