Dwight D. Eisenhower, Champion of Freedom
President Eisenhower predicted Holocaust Deniers, so he ordered pictures be taken of concentration camps!
Millions of Jews were systematically exterminated in concentration camps. These are the facts, and yet some still try to deny that the Holocaust ever happened. Whatever their reasoning, they maintain the stories are Nazi propaganda.
Showing great foresight, Dwight Eisenhower made an effort to stop any such attempts. In 1945, he visited one of the concentration camps near Gotha, and was shocked and horrified at what he saw. Though some of the sights made him physically ill, he inspected every part of the camps. He felt that it was his duty to see it all and be able to testify to the truth of the Nazi brutality.
In order to document these horrors and make sure that cynics and doubters would not brush off the evidence as mere Nazi propaganda, he ordered many photographs taken and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps. He also contacted both London and Washington and urged both governments to send a random group of newspaper editors and legislative groups to the camps to document them.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower: “The things I saw beggar description…”
On the outside of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC there are four plaques with quotes from four presidents, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Eisenhower quote is in the most prominent spot and it is, by far, the most famous:
“The things I saw beggar description…The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering…I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.”
This quote was condensed from a paragraph in a letter that General Eisenhower wrote to General George C. Marshall on April 15, 1945. The letter starts out with Eisenhower outlining his plans for how he will conduct the war in the next few weeks.
You can see a photograph of the second page of the letter here.
On the second page of the letter, in the second paragraph, General Eisenhower wrote the following:
On a recent tour of the forward areas in First and Third Armies, I stopped momentarily at the salt mines to take a look at the German treasure. There is a lot of it. But the most interesting — although horrible — sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops the tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (pronounced /ˈaɪzənhaʊər/, EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO. He was the last President to have been born in the 19th century.
Eisenhower was of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry and was raised in a large family in Kansas by parents with a strong religious background. He attended and graduated from West Point and later married and had two sons. After World War II, Eisenhower served as Army Chief of Staff under President Harry S. Truman then assumed the post of President at Columbia University.
Eisenhower entered the 1952 presidential race as a Republican to counter the non-interventionism of Senator Robert A. Taft and to crusade against “Communism, Korea and corruption”. He won by a landslide, defeating Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson and ending two decades of the New Deal Coalition. In the first year of his presidency, Eisenhower deposed the leader of Iran in the 1953 Iranian coup d’état and used nuclear threats to conclude the Korean War with China. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence gave priority to inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing the funding for conventional military forces; the goal was to keep pressure on the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits. In 1954, Eisenhower first articulated the domino theory in his description of the threat presented to United States’ global economic and military hegemony by the spread of communism and anti-colonial movements in the wake of Communist victory in the First Indochina War. The Congress agreed to his request in 1955 for the Formosa Resolution, which obliged the US to militarily support the pro-Western Republic of China in Taiwan and take a hostile position against the People’s Republic of China on the Chinese mainland. After the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA which led to a “space race“. Eisenhower forced Israel, the UK, and France to end their invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956. In 1958, he sent 15,000 U.S. troops to Lebanon to prevent the pro-Western government from falling to a Nasser-inspired revolution. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed because of the U-2 incident. In his 1961 farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed his concerns about future dangers of massive military spending, especially deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers, and coined the term “military–industrial complex“.
On the domestic front, he covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking the modern expanded version of executive privilege. He otherwise left most political activity to his Vice President, Richard Nixon. He was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security.
Among his enduring innovations, he launched the Interstate Highway System; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which led to the internet, among many invaluable outputs; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), driving peaceful discovery in space; the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act; and encouraging peaceful use of nuclear power via amendments to the Atomic Energy Act.
In social policy, he sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time since Reconstruction to enforce federal court orders to desegregate public schools. He also signed civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 to protect the right to vote. He implemented desegregation of the armed forces in two years and made five appointments to the Supreme Court. He was the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd Amendment. Eisenhower’s two terms were peaceful ones for the most part and saw considerable economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. Eisenhower is often ranked highly among the U.S. presidents.
Holocaust denial is the act of denying established facts concerning the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II. Holocaust denial includes any of the following claims: that the German Nazi government’s Final Solution policy aimed only at deporting Jews from the Reich, and included no policy to exterminate Jews; that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews; and that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly (typically an order of magnitude) lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million.
Holocaust deniers generally do not accept the term denial as an appropriate description of their activities, and use the term revisionism instead. Scholars use the term “denial” to differentiate Holocaust deniers from legitimate historical revisionists, who use established historical methodologies. The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.
Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is considered to be an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and is frequently criticised.