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Auschwitz, the Allies and Censorship of the Holocaust


  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107062795

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About the Authors
  • What was the extent of allied knowledge regarding the mass murder of Jews at Auschwitz during the Second World War? The question is one which continues to prompt heated historical debate, and Michael Fleming's important new book offers a definitive account of just how much the Allies knew. By tracking Polish and other reports about Auschwitz from their source, and surveying how knowledge was gathered, controlled and distributed to different audiences, the book examines the extent to which information about the camp was passed on to the British and American authorities, and how the dissemination of this knowledge was limited by propaganda and information agencies in the West. In a fascinating new study, the author reveals that the Allies had extensive knowledge of the mass killing of Jews at Auschwitz much earlier than previously thought; but the publicising of this information was actively discouraged in Britain and the US.

    • Draws from the latest research to provide new data on allied knowledge of Auschwitz
    • Explores wartime information and censorship policies in relation to the Holocaust; explaining how and why information about Auschwitz was censored by allied forces
    • Unites typically disparate Western and Polish debates on Auschwitz and the Holocaust
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Michael Fleming has made a major contribution to the historiography of the Holocaust, and in the process has demonstrated formidable skill as a scholar as well as admirable moral courage … His book is undoubtedly one of the most important in the study of the Holocaust in the last twenty years.' Alexander J. Groth, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

    'Michael Fleming's book is a meticulous investigation into what was known, could have been known, and was transmitted in what fashion about Auschwitz. He details the flow of information by looking at the documents smuggled, the informants debriefed, and the articles published in both the Jewish and Polish press abroad as well as the general press in Britain and the US, with the occasional analysis of the press of other Allied and neutral countries. … A meticulously researched and well-organized book, it raises many more questions than it could possibly answer; questions that will continue to preoccupy us.' Stefan Ihrig, European History Quarterly

    'Michael Fleming's book is a critical addition to the historiography on the intelligence aspects of the Holocaust, particularly the ways in which reliable information concerning the murder of Europe's Jews - and, specifically, information on the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp - became known in Allied capitals and how the Allied governments disseminated and acted on this information.' Norman J. W. Goda, The Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107062795
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. Censorship, self-censorship and the discursive environment
    3. The Polish government in exile in London
    4. Intelligence about Auschwitz: November 1940–February 1943
    5. British suppression of news of Auschwitz: March 1943–June/July 1944
    6. Reassessing the significance of the Vrba/Wetzler report
    7. Conclusion
    Appendix 1. Information about Auschwitz to reach the West, November 1942–June 1944
    Appendix 2. Archives and historians

  • Author

    Michael Fleming, Polish University Abroad, London
    Michael Fleming is a graduate of the University of London and the University of Oxford. He completed his doctoral research at the University of Oxford, including a year affiliated to the University of Warsaw. He has since taught at Jesus College and Pembroke College, Oxford, and at the Academy of Humanities and Economics, Łódź. He has also been a visiting researcher at the Pułtusk School of Humanities and at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He is currently a professor at the Polish University Abroad, London, and conference secretary to the Institute for Polish Jewish Studies. In 2011, he was awarded the Aquila Polonica Prize. Fleming is the author of Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944–1950 (2010) and many articles examining twentieth-century history.

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