This Yahoo News story tells us...
JERUSALEM - President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel's Holocaust memorial Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing, the memorial's chairman said.Reasonable people can disagree on this matter (one of the most serious imaginable, I know), but this Wikipedia article concerning the question of the Allies bombing Auschwitz tells us…
Bush emerged from a tour of the Yad Vashem memorial calling it a "sobering reminder" that evil must be resisted, and praising victims for not losing their faith.
Wearing a yarmulke, Bush placed a red-white-and-blue wreath on a stone slab that covers ashes of Holocaust victims taken from six extermination camps. He also lit a torch memorializing the victims.
Bush was visibly moved as he toured the site, said Yad Vashem's chairman, Avner Shalev.
"Twice, I saw tears well up in his eyes," Shalev said.
At one point, Bush viewed aerial photos of the Auschwitz camp taken during the war by U.S. forces and called Rice over to discuss why the American government had decided against bombing the site (during World War II), Shalev said.
The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, did not see bombing as a solution, given that bombers were inaccurate and would also kill prisoners on the ground. The land war would have to be won first.The article also goes on to describe the bombing runs that took place in the vicinity of Auschwitz after the Allies took control of European airspace in March 1944, and "one bomb fell into the camp grounds (and the) Monowitz forced labor camp 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Auschwitz was bombed four times. On December 26, 1944, the U.S. 455th Bomb Squadron bombed Monowitz and targets near Birkenau (which was part of Auschwitz)."
Knowing what I know of this (and for whatever my opinion is worth here), I believe the only way to liberate the Nazi death camps was the manner in which it was accomplished by our forces through ground patrols. Bombing would have caused the Germans to evacuate and either leave their camp prisoners or kill all of them outright, though I realize that might have been preferable to some of the treatment they endured. And many of the prisoners required medical attention; how would they have received that while bombs destroyed everything in sight (and also consider the very real possibility of errant bombing that would have killed prisoners on top of those who had died already).
And on the other side of the argument, author Michael Berenbaum presents this.
As I said, reasonable people can disagree here, and this is a rare occasion where I will acknowledge that Bush could have been carried away by the intense emotional fervor of the moment. But his words indirectly cast blame on a generation of leadership that preceded him, betraying his cluelessness on the job once more.
Besides, maybe this would not have been a question had Dubya’s grandfather not cozied up to Fritz Thyssen, one of Uncle Adolf’s leading steel manufacturers, and the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border whose company used slave labor partly from Auschwitz (here).
Maybe that’s a reason why Dubya is so ignorant of history; it’s got too much dirt in it from his family.