Despite important corrective analyses, the narrative that reliable information about Auschwitz was “elusive” has predominated among scholars. Many argue that the Vrba/Wetzler report was the first information about the camp to reach the West and be accepted as credible. The author of this article offers evidence that this contention cannot be sustained. He traces the origin, path, and distribution of a Polish intelligence report from 1943 to show that information was available earlier, and was treated as credible. The Polish government-in-exile routinely distributed information it received about Auschwitz, but British government policy (and American government policy until early 1944) restricted its circulation. The author concludes that Polish-language and English-language scholarship on the subject must be linked in order to further our understanding of Allied knowledge about Auschwitz.


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pp. 31-57
Launched on MUSE
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