Should the Allies have bombed Auschwitz?

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Conlan, Sarah Jane
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Arts
Dublin Business School
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Auschwitz concentration camp is synonymous with the intolerable suffering and persecution of people from different race, nationality, and cultures that culminated in the biggest mass murder in history. For decades historians and military experts have debated and explored whether the Allied forces of World War Two should have attempted to bomb Auschwitz gas chambers or the railroads leading to the camp. The bombings some say would have saved countless lives or at least would have disrupted the systematic killings that occurred on a daily basis. The other side of the argument was it was impractical and would serve no great lasting purpose and many Allied lives would be lost in the attempt to bomb Auschwitz. The decision whether to bomb Auschwitz was complex because there were many aspects to consider such as the moral, political and practical implications of undertaking such a drastic plan that would undoubtedly incur the loss of life for innocent civilians. The decision at that particular time was not to bomb Auschwitz. Would the decision not to bomb Auschwitz be the same from today’s viewpoint? This paper will address the arguments for and against the bombing of Auschwitz concentration camp. Different perspectives will be offered up on the argument to bomb the camp from military experts and historians from both time zones. It is important to note that this paper will not look to apportion blame to any person or Allied nation for decisions made. The blame for what happened at Auschwitz was solely laid at the hands of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party the Nazi Party. Author keywords: Bombing, Auschwitz, Allies