British Turned Down U.S. Suggestion to Rescue European Jews During War, Article Reveals

A suggestion to save 60,000 or 70,000 Bulgarian Jews during the war from Nazi hands made at a Joint meeting of British and American government leaders, at which President Roosevelt was present, was rejected by the then British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden; it is revealed in the current issue of Collier’s magazine.

The suggestion, made by Secretary of State Cordell Hull, is disclosed in the twelfth installment of Robert E. Sherwood’s series, “The Secret Papers of Harry L. Hopkins.” Also present at the conference were Under Secretary of State Summer Welles, British Ambassador Lord Halifax, and William Strang, Under Secretary for State in the Foreign Office. Hopkins’ description of the parley follows:

“Hull raised the question of the sixty or seventy thousand Jews … in Bulgaria … threatened with extermination unless we could get them out and … pressed Eden for an answer to the problem. Eden replied that the whole problem of the Jews in Europe is very difficult and that we should move very cautiously about offering to take all Jews cut of a country like Bulgaria. If we do that, then the Jews of the world will be wanting us to make similar offers in Poland and Germany. Hitler might well take us on any such offer and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.

“Eden said that the British were ready to take about 60,000 more Jews to Palestine but the problem of transportation … is extremely difficult. Furthermore … the Germans would be sure to attempt to put a number of their agents in the group. They have been pretty successful with this technique in getting their agents into North and South America…”

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