At least once Germany publicly denied any intention to murder inmates. An October 12 1944 letter talks of Germany's "press denial" of rumored intentions to murder Birkenau inmates. This letter has never been released to the public by the U.S. government.
It is almost certain that in 1943, and in particular after the U.S. War Refugee Board started work in January 1944, there was a continual exchange of top-level telegrams between the U.S. and Germany through Swiss and Irish consulates discussing mass-murder rumors and the safety of camp inmates.
If these telegrams still exist in U.S. government storage they must be released to answer important questions.
Germany also guaranteed to the Allies that inmates of the Auschwitz area camps would be evacuated before the Soviet Army advance.
As discussed in the January 20 telegram from the US Consul in Switzerland, 2 Jewish women who had been Birkenau inmates from July to October 1944, described the following evacuations to German camps:
1. September 1944 - "sizeable convoys" left Birkenau, each with "3,000 to
"The natural mortality rate in all such work camps is high, due mainly to under-nourishment, unhygenic conditions, and especially to exposure from lack of sufficient clothing."
These newly released letters are further proof the Allies attempted to verify mass-murder rumors in every possible way, including communicating with the German government. In the end their decisions not to bomb Birkenau proves they could not confirm any of the extermination rumors.
So together with air photo evidence, Allied decisions not to bomb Birkenau were based on German murder denials and evacuation guarantees supported by eye-witness accounts from previous inmates.
INCOMING TELEGRAM - DEPARTMENT OF STATE
As reported in Legation's 6818 October 12 Germans issued press denial of any intention to exterminate inmates of Tuwiecim and Birkenau following contrary report brought out by Polish circles in London that time.
I have never been able to receive reliable confirmation of reports circulated that orders have gone out to SS controlling Jewish camps to kill all internees who cannot be evacuated in front of Allied advance.
(8 more paragraphs talk about Birkenau September and October, 1944 evacuations)
From: STETTINIUS acting for Department of State and War Refugee Board, Washington, D.C.
Reference Department's 192 of January 13, Irish Department of External Affairs, confirms that it inquired of German authorities concerning the rumor that Germans intended to liquidate the inmates at camps Oswiecim, Hoss, and Birkenau, and that the Germans replied that the rumor that it is their intention to exterminate the Jews in these camps is pure invention devoid of all foundation and that if the camps were to be abandoned their inmates would be evacuated.
Please request Swiss Political Department to inform German Government that the above reply of German authorities to Ireland has been noted by the Government of the United States, and that this Government accordingly expects that Jewish and other survivors of these and other concentration, detention, and labor camps in Germany and German-controlled territory will be kept alive by German authorities.
In view of the nearness of Oswiecim and Birkenau to the front, it is urgent that the above communication reach German authorities with the greatest possible speed.
Allies believed Germans were helping inmates, not murdering them!
If Germans were mass-murdering inmates they would not have answered Allied questions and not have evacuated inmates.
But Germans publicly denied murdering inmates and the Allies confirmed the Germans safely evacuated inmates after Allied requests.
After careful study the Allies confirmed the Germans were helping the inmates, not murdering them, and so bombing of Birkenau and other camps was never ordered.
Reference: Letters on file at Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.