ERIC Number: ED204765
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
We Knew It At the Time: Selected Newspaper Coverage of the Holocaust.
Whitaker, W. Richard
A continuing debate among those studying the Holocaust in Europe during the Nazi era is when Americans first learned of the mass murder of Jews being carried out in the extermination camps. Historians suggest that Americans had been made skeptical of charges of German brutality by World War I "atrocity propaganda," and that the language of many reports did not seriously convey the systematic destruction of six million individuals. However, an increasing body of literature shows that word about what was happening to the Jews was in fact reaching the American public. A content analysis of three major American newspapers, The New York "Times," the St. Louis "Post-Dispatch," and the San Francisco "Chronicle," indicates that Americans should not have been surprised at the horror of the liberated concentration camps. Although only 11 items made the front page, the New York "Times" published an enormous amount of Holocaust material from 1939 to 1943. The "Post-Dispatch" contained repeated warnings, reporters' accounts, and photographs of the Jewish plight during the German invasion of Poland, and a series of articles written by a Berlin correspondent in 1941 left no doubt as to what was occurring in Europe. While the war in the Pacific drew more media attention, much of the same information was available in the San Francisco "Chronicle," indicating that Americans could not help being aware of the Holocaust in progress. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Holocaust; Nazism; World War II
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).