Writing in the Sulzberger-owned Boston Globe, James Carroll tells us:
THIS WEEK marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. When news eventually came to America of what the Red Army found at that death camp in January 1945, the report was remarkably detailed.
The headline of a first New York Times story about Auschwitz, filed from Moscow on May 8, 1945, read, "Oswiecim Killings Placed at 4,000,000." This number overstated by a factor of two the total of those murdered at Auschwitz, yet the account seemed closely observed in most other respects. The remains of the victims were described -- the charnel pits and piles of ashes, the corpses. The mechanized death process was explained, with a careful description of the gas chambers, down, even, to the name of the manufacturer of the crematoria -- Topf and Son. The identities of the victims were given as "more than 4,000,000 citizens" of a list of European nations -- Poland, Hungary, Netherlands, France. But what is most remarkable about the Times story -- apart from the fact that it was buried on page 12 -- is that in defining the identities of those victims, the story never used the word "Jew."
Many non-Jewish Poles were murdered at Auschwitz, but the vast majority of the dead were Jews -- killed for being Jewish. Indeed, of all the death camps, Auschwitz was most expressly commissioned to murder of Jews. Yet the New York Times reporter apparently saw nothing untoward in passing along a Soviet report that made no mention of Jews at Auschwitz. The murdered were Dutch, or French. They were men, women and children. They were old. They were Italian. Nothing about their being Jewish, which for the Nazis was the only thing that counted. The Times reporter was C. L. Sulzberger.
(Hat tip: DFME.)
The editorial goes on to note: "The New York Times index did not cite stories about concentration camps under the category "Jews" until 1950. It was not until 1975 that the index category "Nazi Policies Toward Jews" appeared."
As we approach the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we must take a long, hard look at ourselves, and at the culture of denial that continues to enable religious hate crimes and other atrocities, even in our own day.