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Millions die when warnings are ignored

By Alan Caruba
web posted December 10, 2001

Gerhart Riegner died on December 3, 2001. He was 90 years old. It is doubtful you ever heard of him. Following World War II, Riegner led the World Jewish Congress for many years, but it was Riegner, on August 8, 1942, who cabled the US vice consul in Geneva, Switzerland to warn of Adolf Hitler's plan to first deport an estimated four million Jews to Eastern Europe and, once there, to exterminate them as "the final solution" to what was widely called "the Jewish problem."

The US State Department reportedly tried to verify Riegner's telegram with the Vatican and the Red Cross, but both said they knew of mistreatment and deportations of Jews, but not of a mass extermination plan. It was one of the Nazi's most closely guarded secrets. Now consider this; the warning was issued just short of sixty years ago. That comprises the lifetime of many still living, including myself. It didn't occur two or three hundred years ago. It was a mere lifetime ago.

The final tally of the final solution was closer to six million before the Nazis were through and to that you can add the lives of five million Gypsies, homosexuals, labor unionists, priests, nuns, and just about anyone that resisted the evil of Nazism. A mere lifetime ago.

The United States was warned in 1979 when Islamic radicals took over Iran and took our diplomats hostage for 444 days. It was warned in 1983 when the US Marine barracks were destroyed in Beirut by a Muslim suicide bomber. It was warned in 1993 with the first attack on the World Trade Center. It was warned in 1996 when a barracks for US military personnel was bombed in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It was warned in 1998 when US embassies were bombed in Kenya and Tanzania. It was warned October 2000 when the USS Cole was bombed in Yemen.

If you do not believe that Islamic radicals would hesitate to destroy the lives of millions of Americans, than you have been blind and deaf to the warnings. Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban called for "the destruction of America." Just because he and the Taliban will be defeated does not mean that, throughout the Islamic world, the call for US destruction will end. If anything, it will intensify. These are people who, after more than fifty years, have been unable and unwilling to accept the existence of Israel.

Gerhart Reigner had been born into an intellectual Jewish family in Germany. In 1933, Nazi thugs stood outside his parent's home and shouted "Jews out! Jews out!" The family fled first to France and then settled in Switzerland. A lawyer by profession, Reigner remained in Switzerland throughout the war, working for the newly founded World Jewish Congress. On July 29, 1942, he received a call with news that a German industrialist, troubled by what he knew, had revealed a terrible plan to kill all the Jews throughout Europe and Russia.

The news he relayed made it to the White House. It was not, however, until January 1944 that then President Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board to make an effort to save the Jews. It was too late. The Nazis would continue to kill them up to the hour allied soldiers breached the gates of the many death camps they had created. Auschwitz. Treblinka. Bergen-Belsen. Sobibor. Others.

This is what happens when we fail to heed the warning that "evil doers" in the world plan "unthinkable" acts. This is what happens when we do not marshal our will and our power to resist evil, whether it comes masked as religion, as a utopian economic theory, as a "save the Earth movement", or as an international organization designed to insure "peace" among nations.

Alan Caruba is the author of "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam", available from, the website of The National Anxiety Center.

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