Auschwitz and the British

Barbara Rogers ponders the question of when the British government knew of the true role of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the 'Final Solution'.

When did the British government know of the true role of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the 'Final Solution'? Surprisingly few historians have tackled this question. One reason for this is that research is impeded by the government's continuing bar on access to Intelligence files. This issue has been the subject of much conjecture. Until now, no document has been unearthed which could prove that the British Government knew that Auschwitz-Birkenau was being used in the 'Final Solution' prior to June 1944. My research of Foreign Office files and of the periodical the Polish Fortnightly Review at the Polish Library, has revealed beyond question that the British government knew of the grisly role that Auschwitz-Birkenau played in the Holocaust by December 1942, the month that Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden declared in Parliament that the planned systematic extermination of Europe's Jews was being executed by the Nazis.

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