Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

It was 1939 and the Nazi Holocaust was accelerating. More than 900 Jews boarded the St. Louis expecting to spend a brief time aboard ship, then be in Cuba a few days before being admitted to the United States – and safety.

But Cuba, unstable then as it has been for much of its history, after initially granting permission abruptly refused to permit the threatened Jews to leave the ship, and the United States did no better.

According to the the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, after they were rejected by Cuba ordered to return to Europe, they sailed “so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami.”

“Some passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge. Roosevelt never responded,” the museum documents.

“A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must ‘await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.'”

Some of the more than 900 Jews died in Hitler’s effort to wipe their community from the face of the earth.

But the Allies’ failure to act quickly against the growing Nazi threat cost more than those few hundred lives. It cost millions, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled at the beginning of the recent Holocaust Memorial Day at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

“If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps – and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps – had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people,” he said.

According to World Israel News, Netanyahu pointed to the inaction of the Allies as the Hitler death campaign was reaching full speed.

He stressed the importance of a strong Jewish state, pointing to newly released U.N. documents showing that the Allies understood the dire situation of Europe’s Jews as early as 1942.

“The powers knew, and they did not act,” he said. “When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces, the powers knew and did not act.”

Check out the itinerary for WND’s 2017 Israel Tour this fall or call WND’s tour partners for more information – 1-866-267-2511.

World Israel News reported it is now known that “news of the Nazi death camps in Poland reached the West months after they had begun to carry out the ‘Final Solution.'”

That’s based on London University researcher Dan Plesch’s investigation of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, which was to help governments put war criminals on trial.

Plesch said the 1942 Wannsee Conference of Nazi officials to design the death camp process was a “highly kept state secret.”

However, by the summer of 1942, “the secret was out and the extermination of millions of European Jews was publicly condemned in specific detail by the Americans, the British, and the Soviets – well before the liberation of the death camps in 1945,” the report said.

Plesch said that “early on” the Allies were informed of the “Nazi industrial murder, including the use of poison gas.”

“Indeed, in late December 1942, after the U.S., U.K. and others issued a public declaration about the mass murder of Jews, U.K. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told Parliament: ‘The German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule extends the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people.'”

Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries, who worked with Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman to tell her story in the book and documentary “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” said it’s clear the Allies had an opportunity to save many, many people.

And failed.

“The Allies knew of the deplorable situation in the camps before 1941. History shows that many pleaded with Franklin Roosevelt. Entire books were written about the dark chapter of Roosevelt and the Jews. He was in office only one week when the first concentration camp opened – Dachau,” she told WND.

“Delegations of Jews visited him telling him of the atrocities and pleaded with him to do something once America entered the war. Not only did he look the other way, he even turned away the ship the St. Louis in 1939 with 900 German Jewish refugees on it. It sailed back to Germany where many died in the ovens.

“Historians acknowledge that the state of Israel might not have been born if Roosevelt had been the President in 1948,” she wrote. “It was suggested that the Allies bomb the railroads going into the concentration camps. The Roosevelt administration’s answer was, ‘Such an operation would in any case be of such doubtful efficacy that it would not warrant the use of our resources.’ In other words, the Jews weren’t worth it. Yet 90 percent of them voted for Roosevelt. He also would not ease immigration laws. It took Harry Truman to do that.

“Think of the outcry if a nation allowed six million blacks or Muslims to be slaughtered when they could have intervened. But hardly anyone speaks up about this atrocity,” she said.

“God used the Holocaust to cause a sympathy vote in the U.N. in 1948 so God used the evil for good. But Benjamin Netanyahu was right in saying that millions could have been saved had the allies acted. They just were not motivated to do so. Gen. Eisenhower had U.S. troops take pictures of the camps when we liberated them, knowing the world might not believe what we found.”

She pointed out that Dittman was able to come to America in 1946 “because Harry Truman had a burden for Jewish refugees, victims of WWII. He eased immigration laws and is a true hero when it comes to doing what he could to re-settle the victims of the war … particularly the Jewish refugees as they had suffered so.”

Netanyahu said the horror was fueled by widespread anti-Semitism, global indifference and a weak and dispersed Jewish people.

“We have to be able to defend ourselves on our own against any threat against any enemy,” he said at the memorial event. “From a helpless people, we have turned into a robust nation. From a defenseless nation, we have turned into a powerful country that can defend itself with one of the strongest armies.”

WND reported a year ago on the occasion of the memorial day that Netanyahu charged Iran with staging a Holocaust-themed cartoon contest that mocked the Nazi genocide.

Iran, he said then, “denies the Holocaust, it mocks the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust. I think that every country in the world must stand up and fully condemn this.”

Netanyahu has been invited to speak later this year to the annual WND Israel Tour.

Participants in the trip to Israel in November will have an opportunity to meet Netanyahu in person during a special briefing. The tour coincides with the seismic and historic shift in relations between the U.S. and the Jewish state due to Trump.

Check out the itinerary for WND’s 2017 Israel Tour this fall or call WND’s tour partners for more information – 1-866-267-2511.

“This is going to be something,” said Joseph Farah, founder of who is organizing the trip with his wife, Elizabeth. “The addition to the itinerary of briefings by Netanyahu as well as David Friedman, the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, give this tour a different spin. While attendees will still get to see all the remarkable sights in Israel, participate in worship together and hear unique spiritual teachings, this political component is something new to our usual tour.”

Farah, a former Middle East correspondent who first went to Israel in that role, has become one of the most well-known Arab-American defenders of the Jewish state. And he’s the author of a new book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” which looks back at the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith while examining the prophetic picture the Bible gives of the future Kingdom of God on Earth.

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