Alexander Werth: Liberation of Majdanek Extermination Camp (Eastern Poland) – 11.8.1944

CC. Album 128
Majdanek Extermination Camp

The ‘official’ date for the ‘Liberation’ of Majdanek is August 11th, 1944 – although the Soviet Red Army discovered the place as early as July 23rd, 1944. The BBC – following directives from Churchill – refused to publish Alexander Werth’s report about Majdanek Extermination Camp (to give it its proper name) the first of its kind, and was still dragging its feet upon this issue of Nazi German atrocities weeks later with the ‘Liberation’ of Auschwitz. It was only with the discovery of similar camps in the West by British and US force that Churchill relented and the BBC issued its reports. A rightwing Polish government in exile was living a life of luxury (whilst the British people suffered), whilst Churchill became ever more perplexed by a growing Socialist movement in and around Poland. Indeed, Churchill’s communications with Stalin on the ‘Liberation’ of Warsaw are not only childish, but also ‘racist’ in nature, and very much set the tone for the Cold War he would help to establish a few years later.

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Alexandr Werth, Russia at War 1941-1945, Barrie & Rockcliff, (1964), Pages 890-899

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