Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, on several occasions publicly referred to the failure of the United States to respond adequately to the plight of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.
At a reception honoring the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, on April 21, 1993, President Clinton said:
“We’ve gathered here to mark the opening of this Holocaust Museum. We do so to help ensure that the Holocaust will remain ever a sharp thorn in every national memory, but especially in the memory of the United States, which has such unique responsibilities at this moment in history. We do so to redeem in some small measure the deaths of millions whom our nations did not, or would not, or could not save….For those of us here today representing the nations of the West, we must live forever with this knowledge–even as our fragmentary awareness of crimes grew into indisputable facts, far too little was done. Before the war even started, doors to liberty were shut and even after the United States and the Allies attacked Germany, rail lines to the camps within miles of militarily significant targets were left undisturbed.”
Speaking at the annual dinner of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in 2005, Mr. Clinton the refusal of the Roosevelt administration to admit the passengers aboard the refugee ship St. Louis “one of the darkest chapters in United States history.”