"The United Nations are fighting to make a world in which
tyranny and aggression cannot exist; a world based upon freedom, equality,
and justice; a world in which all persons regardless of race, color, or
creed may live in peace, honor, and dignity.
In the meantime in most of Europe and in parts of Asia the systematic
torture and murder of civilians -- men, women, and children -- by the Nazis
and the Japanese continue unabated. In areas subjugated by the aggressors,
innocent Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, French, Greeks, Russians,
Chinese, Filipinos -- and many others -- are being starved or frozen to
death or murdered in cold blood in a campaign of savagery.
The slaughters of Warsaw, Lidice, Kharkov, and Nanking -- the brutal
torture and murder by the Japanese, not only of civilians but of our own
gallant American soldiers and fliers -- these are startling examples of
what goes on day by day, year in and year out, wherever the Nazis and the
Japs are in military control -- free to follow their barbaric purpose.
In one of the blackest crimes of all history -- begun by the Nazis in
the day of peace and multiplied by them a hundred times in time of war
-- the wholesale systematic murder of the Jews of Europe goes on unabated
every hour. As a result of the events of the last few days hundreds of
thousands of Jews, who while living under persecution have at least found
a haven from death in Hungary and the Balkans, are now threatened with
annihilation as Hitlerís forces descend more heavily upon these lands.
That these innocent people, who have already survived a decade of Hitlerís
fury, should perish on the very eve of triumph over the barbarism which
their persecution symbolizes would be a major tragedy.
It is therefore fitting that we should again proclaim our determination
that none who participate in these acts of savagery shall go unpunished.
The United Nations have made it clear that they will pursue
the guilty and deliver them up in order that justice be done. That warning
applies not only to the leaders but also to their functionaries and subordinates
in Germany and in the satellite countries. All who knowingly take part
in the deportation of Jews to their death in Poland or Norwegians and French
to their death in Germany are equally guilty with the executioner. All
who share the guilt shall share the punishment.
Hitler is committing these crimes against humanity in
the name of the German people. I ask every German and every man everywhere
under Nazi domination to show the world by his action that in his heart
he does not share these insane criminal desires. Let him hide these pursued
victims, help them to get over their borders, and do what he can to save
them from the Nazi hangman. I ask him also to keep watch, and to record
the evidence that will one day be used to convict the guilty.
In the meantime, and until the victory that is now assured
is won, the United States will persevere in its efforts to rescue the victims
of brutality of the Nazis and the Japs. Insofar as the necessity of military
operations permit, this government will use all means at its command to
aid the escape of all intended victims of the Nazi and Jap executioner
-- regardless of race or religion or color. We call upon the free peoples
of Europe and Asia temporarily to open their frontiers to all victims of
oppression. We shall find havens of refuge for them, and we shall find
the means for their maintenance and support until the tyrant is driven
from their homelands and they may return.
In the name of justice and humanity let all freedom-loving people rally
to this righteous undertaking."
Franklin D. Roosevelt - March 24, 1944