Speech Condemning Massacre of the Jews

Speech Condemning Massacre of the Jews  (1942) 
by Cyril Garbett

The Speech Condemning Massacre of the Jews was delivered in the House of Lords on December 9, 1942, by Cyril Garbett, Archbishop of York. It was made during a debate on providing relief to areas of continental Europe once they were liberated from Nazi control.[1]

My Lords, I shall detain your Lordships for two or three minutes only and I hope that the brevity of my speech may be regarded as an extenuating circumstance if I stretch to the utmost the elasticity of discussion which we so happily enjoy in this House. I agree with all that has been said by the two noble Lords [2] who have spoken on the matter of making plans for bringing relief to the subjugated countries as soon as they are released from the yoke of the tyrant. I trust also that we shall bring hope to them at once by stating the plans we have and the action we propose to take. There is, however, a preliminary question which has to be solved. There is a doubt as to how many people in these countries will survive, and if the war goes on there seems to be the possibility that one nation, at any rate, may be exterminated. We know that there are multitudes of people who are starving in Greece, but in Poland there is taking place one of the most appalling outrages that the whole history of the world has ever seen.

We are watching the deliberate and cold-blooded massacre of a nation. It is doubtful how many people will survive the treatment which they are now receiving. The Times told us only last week that the extermination of all the Jews in that country had been decided upon and will be carried out ruthlessly. It is horrible to think that these things are now happening. Men, women and children are being ruthlessly put to death by massacre, by poison gas, by electrocution and by being sent long journeys to unknown destinations in bitterly cold weather without food and without drink; and dead children are being cast from the open trucks on to the side of the railway. It is really impossible to know what can be done when we are dealing with monsters of iniquity of this type who are ordering this cruelty, but I do venture to express the hope that the Government, who of course have in their possession fuller facts than we have, will do everything in their power. I would urge them to say repeatedly and solemnly that when the hour of deliverance comes retribution will be dealt out not only on the cold-blooded, cowardly brutes who are ordering these massacres, but also on the thousands of underlings who appear to be joyfully and gladly carrying out these crimes. I am certain that any action His Majesty's Government and the Governments of the Allied Nations can take in this matter will receive the warm and enthusiastic support of the whole of the nation. [1]

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