Why didn’t Britain bomb the death camps?

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s comments to the Foreign Secretary on the actions of Nazi war criminals, July 1944

Catalogue ref: FO 371/42809


There is no doubt that this is probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world, and it has been done by scientific machinery by nominally civilized men in the name of a great State and one of the leading races or Europe. It is quite clear that all concerned in this crime who may fall into our hands, including the people who only obeyed orders by carrying out the butcheries, should be put to death after their association with the murders has been proved.

I cannot therefore feel that this is the kind of ordinary case which is put through the Protecting Power as, for instance, the lack of feeding or sanitary conditions in some particular prisoners’ camp. There should therefore in my opinion be no negotiations of any kind on this subject. Declarations should be made in public, so that everyone connected with it will be hunted down and put to death.