The "Holocaust" in the Memoirs of Western WWII Leaders Eisenhower, De Gaulle, and Churchill
Written by Professor Thomas Dalton
Eisenhower’s book, Crusade in Europe (1948), is a single volume of some 550 pages—the smallest of the three. Reviewing the index, one finds no listing for ‘Auschwitz’, ‘Holocaust’, or ‘gas chambers’. The single entry for ‘Jews’ refers to the following paragraph: Of all these displaced persons, the Jews were in the most deplorable condition. For years they had been beaten, starved, and tortured. Even food, clothes, and decent treatment could not immediately enable them to shake off their hopelessness and apathy. They huddled together—they seemingly derived a feeling of safety out of crowding together in a single room—and there passively awaited whatever might befall. To secure for them adequate shelter, to establish a system of food distribution and medical service, to say nothing of providing decent sanitary facilities, heat, and light was a most difficult task. They were, in many instances, no longer capable of helping themselves; everything had to be done for them. (pp. 439-440)
No mention of extermination, mass murder, gassing, crematoria—nothing. Only “beaten, starved, and tortured”—which, given the alternative, isn’t so bad.
De Gaulle’s work, The Complete War Memoirs (1954/1964), consists of three volumes and a total of more than 2,000 pages. In the index we again find no reference whatsoever to ‘Auschwitz’, ‘Holocaust’, or ‘gas chambers’—nor this time even to ‘Jews.’ This being the last-written of the three works (French original in 1954), De Gaulle obviously had plenty of time to reflect on the Holocaust; evidently it merited no discussion at all.
The largest memoir was written by Churchill. The Second World War (1948-1953) is a massive, six-volume account of the war. It consumes nearly 4,500 pages of text. Once again, the indexes (one per volume) have no entries at all for ‘Auschwitz’, ‘Holocaust’, or ‘gas chamber.’ There are a few references to Jews, but most are simple passing comments. Only one entry, out of six volumes, addresses Jewish persecution. In Volume 1, page 58, we find one single phrase: “brutalities towards the Jews were rampant.”
These men all knew what transpired at Nuremberg. They saw the concentration camp photos, and actually visited some of the sites. They had access to the most confidential information available. And yet: no extermination camps, no ‘6 million’, no gas chambers, no Auschwitz—only beatings, starvation, and assorted brutalities. One could almost be forgiven for thinking there was no ‘Holocaust’ at all.