Bush Ignorant on World War II History 1-16-08

Letter to the Journal News

January 16, 2008


On January 12, 2008, in the Journal News, it was reported that President George W. Bush stated, at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem’s Holocaust Memorial, that the Allies should have bombed the railroad tracks leading to the Auschwitz Death Camp. Again our President has shown an incredible lack of knowledge and understanding of commonly known history. Any casual student of World War II would know that it was virtually impossible for high-level bombers to hit any single railroad track from between 10 and 20 thousand feet in the sky. All the marshalling yards, where trains are assembled, were constantly bombed in daylight and the Germans used thousands of soldiers, prisoners and slave-laborers to repair these yards. His pandering remarks, to his hosts, reflect his typical ignorance of the facts. In June of 1944, David Ben-Gurion, the future first Prime Minister of Israel, who was the Chairman of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, responded to a proposal by the Allies to bomb Auschwitz. His agency met, and voted eleven to one against bombing the facility. By the time the Allies had discovered that Auschwitz-Birkenau was the final destination for all those helpless victims, over 90% of them had been killed. The leading historian of that gruesome era, Sir Martin Gilbert has written that, “the details and even the name of Auschwitz were not confirmed until the escape of two prisoners in April, 1944.”  Even though there were numerous raids, in late 1944, over the nearby synthetic oil production plant at Monowitz, Allied planes from Foggia, Italy did not have fighter escort. Therefore low-level attacks were virtually impossible. In late January of 2009, and not too soon, former President Bush can go back to clearing brush in Crawford, and spend some of his idle time reading a book once in awhile, and contemplating his disastrous administration.


Richard J. Garfunkel

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