When the Allied armies liberated the Nazi concentration camps in the spring of 1945, nothing prepared them for the horror. News reels and film footage of the skeletal survivors, most of them Jews, haunted the world. As shock reverberated across Europe, no one stopped to ask who had sanctioned the filming and why. Today, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to assume that knowledge of the Holocaust as well as atrocities against Allied personnel has already been sufficiently catalogued. Startling new evidence has emerged that British and American Intelligence had graphic evidence about atrocities against Russians, Poles and Jews and the full-scale Holocaust as early as June 1941. Churchill was sent personal memos from the head of MI6 about the mass slaughters in Europe; material which remained classified for over 60 years.
Already in the 1930s, detailed knowledge of the existence of concentration camps was being provided by the diplomats working out of Embassies and Passport Offices across Europe. They had embarked on their own rescue missions, often against government visa policy and with little recognition. When the borders of Europe closed during the war, British and American Intelligence began a deliberate policy of interrogating German POWs about atrocities and concentration camps. Why were the intelligence services cataloguing evil? In an even more extraordinary discovery, Allied Intelligence was drawing up detailed ground plans of the layout of every major concentration camp at least six months before their liberation. It begs an important question: why was nothing done to prevent the mass genocide of 6 million Jews and 5 million others? However, contrary to popular understanding and uncovered here for the first time, are two covert missions behind enemy lines to break survivors out of two major concentration camps. Equally revealing and shocking is the fact that this mass of evidence was not released by Allied Intelligence for the Nuremberg Trial or other war crimes trials. This book firmly places on record what was known about the Holocaust and other atrocities, and when – questions which are as relevant today as at any point in the last 70 years.
Helen Fry was raised in North Devon and went on to graduate from the University of Exeter with a degree and Ph.D. She has written numerous books on the Second World War with particular reference to the 10,000 Germans and Austrians who fought for Britain. Her highly acclaimed book The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens: Germans who Fought for Britain in the Second World War received international media coverage. The book is now out in paperback as Churchill’s Secret Soldiers. Helen has worked closely with war veterans with whom she has built up a special rela...
More about Helen Fry