The deep history of US and Britain’s never-ending Cold War on Russia

The UN War Crimes Commission has finally released files that show the Allies knew – and did – much more about the Holocaust during WWII than previously thought. Cold War politics kept the files locked away | FINIAN CUNNINGHAM*
The Deep History of US, Britain’s Never-Ending Cold War On Russia

Birkenau gate at Auschwitz

After decades of delaying, the United Nations finally released archives from the Second World War-era war crimes commission investigating the Nazi Holocaust. The source of those archives on Nazi war crimes were Western governments, including those in exile at the time of the war, such as the Belgian, Polish and Czechoslovakian. The time period covered is 1943-1949. Washington and London had long sought to halt the release. Why?

Notably, the landmark publication of the files last month was given scant Western media coverage. Surprisingly, perhaps, because the story that can be gleaned from the documents tells of a hidden history of the Second World War, namely the systematic collusion between the American and British governments and the Nazi Third Reich.

As a report in Deutsche Welle remarked on the released archives: «The files make clear that [Western] Allied forces knew more about the Nazi concentration camp system before the end of the war than has generally been thought».

This revelation points to more than just «knowledge» among the Western allies of Nazi-era crimes; it points more damningly to state collusion. This would also explain why Washington and London have been reluctant to make the UN war crimes files publicly available.

RAF image of Auschwitz taken in August 1944, suggesting that the RAF had the capability to reach Auschwitz with bombers | BBC, Courtesy of Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (Click to enlarge)

There has long been a controversial debate among Western nations about why the US and Britain in particular did not do more to bomb the Nazi infrastructure of death camps and railroads. Washington and London have often made the claim that they did know the full extent of the horror being perpetrated by the Nazis until the very end of the war when extermination centers such as at Auschwitz and Treblinka were liberated – by the Soviet Red Army, it should be noted too.

Red Army doctor attends to Auschwitz prisoner after its liberation in January, 1945

However, what the latest release of UN Holocaust files shows is that Washington and London were indeed well aware of the Nazi Final Solution in which millions of European Jews and Slavic people were being systematically worked to death or exterminated in gas chambers. So the question again is: why did the US and Britain not direct more of their aerial bombing campaign to destroy the Nazi infrastructure?

One possible answer is that these Western allies had a callous disregard for the Nazi victims. Washington and London establishments were themselves accused of harboring antisemitic prejudices, as can be seen from the scandals when both these governments spurned thousands of European Jewish refugees during the Second World War, in effect sending many of them to their deaths under the Nazi regime.

Not excluding the above factor of Western racist insouciance, there is a second more disturbing factor. That the Western governments, or at least powerful sections, were loath to hamper the Nazi war effort against the Soviet Union. Notwithstanding that the Soviet Union was a nominal «ally» of the West for the defeat of Nazi Germany.

This perspective harks to a radically different conception of the Second World War in contrast to that narrated in official Western versions. In this alternative historical account, the rise of the Nazi Third Reich was deliberately fomented by American and British rulers as a bulwark in Europe against the spread of communism. Adolf Hitler’s rabid anti-Semitism was matched only by his detest of Marxism and the Slavic people of the Soviet Union. In the Nazi ideology, they were all «Untermenschen» (subhumans) to be exterminated in a «Final Solution».

So, when Nazi Germany was attacking the Soviet Union and carrying out its Final Solution from June 1941 until late 1944, little wonder then that the US and Britain showed a curious reluctance to commit their military forces fully to open up a Western Front. The Western allies were evidently content to see the Nazi war machine doing what it was originally intended to do: to destroy the primary enemy to Western capitalism as represented by the Soviet Union. This is not to say that all American and British political leaders shared or were even aware of this tacit strategic vision. Leaders like President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared to be genuinely committed to defeating Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, their individual views must be set against a background of systematic collusion between powerful Western corporate interests and Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler bestows medal on Henry Ford

As American author David Talbot documented in his book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (2015), there were massive financial links between Wall Street and the Third Reich, going back several years before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Allen Dulles, who worked for the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell and who later headed up the American Central Intelligence Agency, was a key player in the linkage between US capital and German industry. American industrial giants, such as Ford, GM, ITT and Du Pont were invested heavily in German industrial counterparts like IG Farben (manufacturer of Zyklon B, the poisonous gas used in the Holocaust), Krupp Steel and Daimler. American capital, as well as British, was thus integrated into the Nazi war machine and the latter’s dependence on the system of slave labor as provided by the Final Solution.

This would explain why the Western allies did so little to disrupt the Nazi infrastructure with their undoubted formidable aerial bombing capacity. Far more damning than mere inertia or indifference owing to racist prejudice towards the Nazi victims, what emerges is that the Americans and British capitalist elite were invested in the Third Reich. Mainly for the purpose of eliminating the Soviet Union and any kind of genuinely socialist global movement. Bombing Nazi infrastructure would have been tantamount to deleting Western assets.

To this end, as the war was drawing to a close and the Soviet Union looked poised to roll up the Third Reich singlehandedly, the Americans and British belatedly stepped up their war efforts from western and southern Europe. The goal was one of salvaging Western assets remaining in the Nazi regime. Allen Dulles, the director of the-soon-to-be-formed American Central Intelligence Agency, extricated top Nazis and their gold looted from Europe in secret surrender deals known as Operation Sunrise. Britain’s military intelligence MI6 was also involved in the clandestine American effort to salvage Nazi assets via ratlines. The bad faith on display to the Soviet «allies» heralded the chill of the ensuing Cold War that immediately followed the Second World War.

The principles established at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-46, following the victory over fascism, affirmed that heads of state and other political leaders as well as the military leaders must be held accountable and punished for crimes of aggression, breaking the peace and crimes against humanity. Today, 71 years after the conclusion of the main trial at Nuremberg, the U.S. and its allies including Canada are going all out to smash all the conclusions of Nuremberg.

Significant and damning testimony of what was going down was given recently in a BBC interview by Ben Ferencz, the most senior surviving US prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials. At age 98, Ferencz was still able to lucidly recall how scores of Nazi war criminals were let off the hook by the American and British authorities. Ferencz cited US General George Patton who remarked just before the final surrender of the Third Reich in early May 1945, as saying: «We’re fighting the wrong enemy». Patton’s candid expression of deeper animosity towards the Soviet Union than towards Nazi Germany was consistent with how the US and British ruling class had been colluding with Hitler’s Third Reich in a geo-strategic war against the Soviet Union and worker-led socialist movements arising across Europe and America.

In other words, the Cold War which the US and Britain embarked on after 1945 was but a continuation of hostile policy towards Moscow that was already underway well before the Second World War erupted in 1939 in the form of a build up of Nazi Germany. For various reasons, it became expedient for the Western powers to liquidate the Nazi war machine, along with the Soviet Union. But as can be seen, the Western assets residing in the Nazi machine were recycled into American and British Cold War posture against the Soviet Union. It is a truly damning legacy that American and British military intelligence agencies were consolidated and financed by Nazi crimes.

The recent release of UN Holocaust files – in spite of American and British prevarication over many years – add more evidence to the historical analysis that these Western powers were deeply complicit in the monumental crimes of the Nazi Third Reich. They knew about these crimes because they had helped facilitate them. And the complicity stemmed from Western hostility towards Russia as a perceived geopolitical rival.

[L to R] Washington warmly welcomes the neo-Nazis, November 16-18, 2014. Photo shows Andrey Teteruk, commander of Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) punitive unit; Yuri Bereza (in military uniform), leader of Dneipr (Dnepr) Battalion and MP-elect for the Ukrainian Rada; US Senator John McCain; Seymon Semyonchenko, the head of Donbass Battalion and MP-elect. They were given unprecedented access to the corridors of power, being hospitably received by IRI (International Republican Institute) and NDI (National Democratic Institute), the international branches of the two main American political parties under the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of the U.S. state.

This is not a mere historical academic exercise. Western complicity with Nazi Germany also finds a corollary in the present-day ongoing hostility from Washington, Britain and their NATO allies towards Moscow. The relentless build up of NATO offensive forces around Russia’s borders, the endless Russophobia in Western propagandistic news media, the economic blockade in the form of sanctions based on tenuous claims, are all deeply rooted in history.

The West’s Cold War towards Moscow preceded the Second World War, continued after the defeat of Nazi Germany and persists to this day regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Why? Because Russia is a perceived rival to Anglo-American capitalist hegemony, as is China or any other emerging power that undermines that desired unipolar hegemony.

American-British collusion with Nazi Germany finds its modern-day manifestation in NATO collusion with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and jihadist terror groups dispatched in proxy wars against Russian interests in Syria and elsewhere. The players may change over time, but the root pathology is American-British capitalism and its hegemonic addiction.

The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system.


*Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Finian Cunningham is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.

This article was originally published by Strategic Culture on May 4, 2017.

Endnote by TS:

European resistance organizations including Jewish organizations sent numerous reports to the Anglo-American governments during World War II, which were ignored. One heroic Pole, an officer in the resistance, went into the Auschwitz concentration camp to document the extent of Nazi barbarism; his in-depth report was sent to London. His courageous work has been profiled in a book published in that country and sold at the the Auschwitz bookstore. In that sense, this is not new information or analysis. Added to the above is the historical fact that the Anglo-American forces never bombed some of the most important German monopoly armament factories, such as Skoda in Czechoslovakia or Michelin in France (only bombed once, in contrast to several attacks by the Resistance), but did not spare Dresden and other non-military, civilian targets of a mass character. They pretended they didn’t know about the Holocaust in order to make excuses for why they didn’t target death-camp infrastructure, like railways. 

In 1941, the New York Times cautioned in a front-page article that European Jews desperately seeking American visas might be Nazi spies. 

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1 Comment

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One response to “The deep history of US and Britain’s never-ending Cold War on Russia

  1. There was a BBC2 doc on the Clydebank Blitz WW2 a couple of months ago. It was well known before, the UK Govt had fears of “Red Clydeside and revolution.” The Apprentices were in dispute over pay/conditions at the time. In this doc there was new info viz. a neighbour of mine…and I was not entirely surprised because they are Tories/Masons. One of their relations was a Govt spy/propagandist…an elitist scumbag who looked down his nose at working class people. All told, the Apprentices/shipbuilders had zero “plans to betray their own country in time of war” and there never was any fear of revolution…except in the mentally deranged minds of the ruling class. The “Final Solution” was right up their alley.

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