Oct. 11, 2019
Dwight Eisenhower, Holocaust Rescuer – Benjamin Runkle
As commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the primary driver behind the memorialization of the Holocaust; he ordered extraordinary measures to ensure the well-being of Jewish displaced persons during the occupation of Germany; and, following David Ben-Gurion’s recommendation, he established a “temporary haven” in the American Zone of Occupation for persecuted Jews from Eastern and Central Europe – a policy that both the Soviets and the British strongly opposed.
Growing up in Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower had virtually no firsthand knowledge of Jews or Judaism. He once told Abba Eban that as a boy he did not think there were any Jews on earth, that they were “all in heaven as angels.”
On April 12, 1945, Eisenhower visited the recently liberated Ohrdruf-Nord concentration camp. In an effort to eliminate witnesses to their crimes, the SS guards had murdered 4,000 prisoners before fleeing. The surviving prisoners were emaciated skeletons, and bodies were piled everywhere. Eisenhower called the atrocities “beyond the American mind to comprehend,” and ordered every American unit not on the frontlines to see Ohrdruf. The next day he visited Buchenwald. “I made the visit deliberately,” he said, “in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.'” (Tablet)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article….Ed.)