Jews from the Lodz ghetto are loaded onto freight trains for deportation to the Chelmno killing center. Lodz, Poland, between 1942 and 1944. — National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia

Allies Denounce Nazi Plan to “Exterminate” the Jews

December 17, 1942

Allied governments issued a declaration promising retribution for the murder of European Jews.

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In August 1942, the US State Department received a report from a World Jewish Congress representative in Geneva, Switzerland, that the Germans were implementing a policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Three months later, the State Department confirmed this information from independent sources, and on November 24, 1942, Rabbi Stephen Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress, held a press conference to publicize the news, appealing to President Roosevelt to stop the murderous plan. Two weeks later, the Polish government-in-exile sent a report, titled The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland, to the Allied governments urging the world to “draw the appropriate conclusions.”

On December 17, 1942, the United States, Great Britain, and ten other Allied governments issued a Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations denouncing Nazi Germany’s implementation of “Hitler's oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.” The declaration warned that “those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution.”

Newspaper Articles about this Event

478 articles in 302 newspapers

Learn More about this Historical Event


Breitman, Richard, and Alan Kraut. American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Breitman, Richard. Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.

Feingold, Henry L. Bearing Witness: How America and Its Jews Responded to the Holocaust. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995.

Gurock, Jeffrey S., ed. America, American Jews, and the Holocaust. New York: Routledge, 1998.

Hamerow, Theodor. While We Watched: Europe, America, and the Holocaust. New York: Norton, 2008.

Lipstadt, Deborah E. Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945. New York: Free Press, 1986.

Wyman, David S. The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945. New York: The New Press, 1998.

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December 17-18, 1942 News articles about the Allies announcement that they would hold German leaders responsible for policies of extermination.

December 17-31, 1942 Editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons reacting to the Allies announcement that they would hold German leaders responsible for policies of extermination.


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