International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. The community of states has given the ICRC a unique role, based on so-called international humanitarian law via the Geneva Convention as well as customary international law, to protect the victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.
The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation and 186 National Societies. It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.
The Red Cross and the Holocaust/WWII
The International Red Cross were asked by the German Government, along with scientists and medics from other countries in Europe, to be present for the exhumation of the Polish officers, aristocrats and intellectuals murdered by the Soviet Union's NKVD in the Forest of Katyn in 1940. The report of their findings is in the Red Cross archives in Geneva.
The Holocaust revisionist Germar Rudolf has criticized the Red Cross for pro-Allied bias during and after WWII. "That it definitely was, because while The Red Cross during the war reported about the bad conditions in the German camps – without, however, being able to find anything whatever to the rumors about mass extermination – it was silent both about the extensive Allied bombing of European cities, which was contrary to international law, as also it was completely silent after the war about the disastrous conditions in Allied prisoner-of-war camps, about the mass murder and mass expulsions of Germans from eastern Germany and eastern Europe, and about all the other injustice which set in across Germany after the end of the war." See also Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies.
The Red Cross in 1944 visited Auschwitz. The organization (which in accordance with the Geneva Conventions has an official status regarding POWs) was given only limited access to the camp, but spoke with a British POW. This may have been a POW from the British POW sub-camp "E715". He only spoke of unverified rumors. "Spontaneously, the British main man of confidence in Teschen asked us if we knew about the 'shower room'. It is rumored that there is a very modern shower room in the camp, where the detainees would be gassed in series. The British man of confidence, through his Auschwitz Kommando, tried to obtain confirmation of this fact. It was impossible to prove anything. The protective custody prisoners themselves have not talked about it."
See also Holocaust testimonial evidence and the section "Witness testimonies" on camp rumors.
The Red Cross in 1948 published a report on its wartime activities. The early revisionist book Did Six Million Really Die? cited this report and other claimed Red Cross material as evidence against the politically-correct view on the Holocaust. This has been criticized for various reasons, such as selective and incorrect citations. The report does (contrary to what the book claims) contain some brief and general politically-correct statements on the Holocaust, but makes no claim of the organization having evidence supporting this. Today, this report is rarely mentioned as evidence by either revisionists or anti-revisionists.
The Red Cross in the 1990s apologized for not being more active against the Holocaust during the war and alleged that their organization knew about the Holocaust, but did not act due to this risking the organization's special mission involving POWs. However, this "knowledge" seems to involve the many wartime rumors of German atrocities (which were often created and spread as part of Allied psychological warfare operations). The organization had only very limited access to the camps (most prisoners were not POWs). As noted earlier, the Red Cross inspectors themselves could not find any evidence of mass killings.
The organization also alleged that the positive reports that Red Cross inspectors wrote on the Theresienstadt camp were due to the organization being "manipulated" by the Germans, implying that the inspectors did not lie in their reports, but believed that what they stated on the camp was correct.
See also Holocaust demographics: National Socialist camp death records and postwar death certificates on associations of these with the Red Cross.
Did Six Million Really Die?
- The section "9. THE JEWS AND THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS: A FACTUAL APPRAISAL BY THE RED CROSS" - as noted above this material has been criticized for various reasons.
- Nazis set up a Family Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau to fool the Red Cross
- Famous Red Cross Visit to Theresienstadt
- Theresienstadt survivor tells British school children about Red Cross visit
- Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- Red Cross Admits Knowing of the Holocaust During the War http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/19/us/red-cross-admits-knowing-of-the-holocaust-during-the-war.html