The existence of concentration and extermination camps were well known before they were liberated. The reason why it was not acted upon is not clear to me. I have heard the theory that it was more important to win the war then to liberate the camps, for defeat of Nazi Germany would ultimately safe the victims. In a way I can understand the idea behind it but I don’t really agree with it. But then again I didn’t live in those times and I didn’t have to make those decisions.
On April 4 1944 an Allied de Havilland Mosquito surveillance aircraft of 60 Squadron SAAF photographed Auschwitz concentration camp.
The selection process of a recently arrived transport visible on the ramp has been completed, and those selected to die are being taken to Crematorium II. Photo released by the Central Intelligence Agency, 1979.
From the CIA files
“On the photography of 4 April 1944, a small vehicle was identified in a specially secured annex adjacent to the Main Camp gas chamber. Eyewitness accounts describe how prisoners arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau, not knowing they were destined for extermination, were comforted by the presence of a “Red Cross ambulance.” In reality, the SS used that vehicle to transport the deadly Zyklon-B crystals. Could this be that notorious vehicle?”
“The mission of 4 April 1944 produced very little photographic coverage of the I. G. Farben complex. It was not until the 26 June 1944 mission (Photos 1 & 1A) that an overall view of the complex, both as to extent and purpose, could be interpreted”
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