“There are perhaps 3 million Jews who are alive today because of his secret but direct intervention ”
[p. 8 ci-dessous].
On peut estimer à 3 millions le nombre de Juifs qui sont en vie aujourd’hui [fin 1990] grâce à l’intervention directe, mais secrète [de Pie XII]
[Pour avoir une idée de l'amateurisme affligeant du document ci-après, rédigé par l'association Pave The Way (PTW), sous l'inspiration de son fondateur, Gary Krupp, il suffit de survoler les 288 pages que contient sa version pdf en ligne sur le site de PTW. Il ne faut pas une heure au lecteur avisé, et moins encore au spécialiste - surtout s'il est historien - pour constater qu'il s'agit là d'un dossier de presse, touffu et disparate, et surtout désespérément apologétique et partisan, dont le but est de réfuter toute critique de l'Eglise du temps de guerre et de son pontife. J'ai retranscrit péniblement plus d'une soixantaine de pages du document original qui en compte plus de 300, pour faire un contre-feu – hélas bien dérisoire – à l'énorme force de frappe médiatique mise en œuvre depuis des années par cet homme juif, couvert d'honneurs par le Vatican, et qui - pour des raisons dont j'ignore tout - ne s'est pas seulement fixé pour but de réhabiliter et de glorifier la mémoire de Pie XII, mais ambitionne de convaincre Yad Vashem d'honorer ce pape du titre de « Juste des nations » ! Que le lecteur juge ! (Menahem Macina).]
Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII
Published by Pave the Way Publishing, LLC
To order additional copies please call +516.432.7560 or
Compiled and edited by Gary L. Krupp
Designed by The Ivy League of Artists, Inc. Ivy Mindlin-Epstein
© 2009 Pave the Way Foundation, Inc
Pope Pius XII was the name taken by Eugenio Pacelli when he was elected pope March 2, 1939.
The term Holy See refers to the worldwide Catholic Church or the See of Rome or the jurisdiction of the pope.
The term Nuncio refers to a particular Ambassador from the Holy See (Vatican) to a particular country.
Nunciature is the term used to describe the embassy.
Vatican refers the Vatican City State.
Within the text of this book, we refer to the 12 volumes of the Acts of the Holy See during World War II. These are a compilation of documents specifically identifying documents from the closed section of the Vatican Secret Archives 1939–1958.
Time line of important dates:
25 May 1917 – Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli arrives in Germany as Apostolic Nuncio.
10 December 1929 – Pacelli Leaves Germany for Rome soon to be named Vatican Secretary of State under Pope Pius XI.
1 September 1939 – The Second World War begins in Europe with Invasion of Poland 3 September England and France declares war on Germany.
7 May 1945 – The Second World War ends in Europe
9 October 1958 – Pope Pius XII dies in Castelgandolfo
20 February 1963 – the fictitious play The Deputy is first performed.
Table of Contents
6 – Why Did Pave the Way Foundation Initiate This Controversial Project?
14 – Current Calumnies and Statements About Pius XII
34 – The Vatican and Eugenio Pacelli’s Opinion of the Nazis (National Socialists) and Examples of German Propaganda Against the Catholic Church and Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII)
65 – Examples of Vatican and Pacelli’s Actions to Save Jews and to Condemn National Socialism, Hitler and the Nazi Regime
140 – Examples of Jewish Praise of Pius XII
175 – What Caused the Change in International Sentiment of the Actions of Pius XII?
191 – Important Articles Revealing the History of Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII)
247 – Pertinent News Articles from Palestine Post (Jerusalem Post) and The New York Times
265 – Pave the Way Foundation Speech to Pope Benedict XVI and the Papal Response
270 – Acknowledgements
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Pave the Way Foundation is proud to offer this compilation of information dealing with the actions of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII.
In furtherance of our mission, closing the gap in tolerance, education and the practical relations between religions, we identified the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII as an obstacle to understanding. We undertook a project to seek out factual information, gathering genuine documentsand conducting interviews with eyewitnesses. We hope to bring to light the true history of the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII and those who suffered under Nazi tyranny.
We began our quest for information with no bias, no pre-conceived ideas. What we found is irrefutable, for anyone simply who would just view the evidence without prejudice. We found that a campaign of misinformation was begun in 1963 and eventually resulted in friction and negativity that has impacted over one billion people to this day. In this book, we present our findings for review by historians and lay people alike. We are not historians or academics by profession. Therefore we ask the reader’s forgiveness and understanding for any departure from the accepted format for this type of work. We simply researched and identified this material and we now attempt to present this information fairly and accurately.
Over one thousand books in multiple languages have been written on this subject without any resolution. It is for this reason that Pave the Way Foundation recognized this “academic log jam” and decided to make as much information available to the everyday person to judge the true history.
Regrettably, the archival historian simply does not accept eye witness testimony. While this may normally be sound practice, in this case, ignoring the testimony of those who were there, who directly witnessed the actions taking place, can lead to a major distortion of facts. Eye witness testimony is invaluable in sustaining discovered documents and fine tuning historical conclusions. Operating at the time of unthinkable Nazi oppression, many directives were verbal. Others were encrypted, and many had to be destroyed. We believe that we have been able to provide a well balanced blending of documents, news reports and testimony in order to accomplish our mission.
We gratefully acknowledge the work of many dedicated individuals who have devoted decades of intense research to identify many documents and witnesses in order to correct the misinformation. This effort would not have been possible without the input and contributions of these dedicated people who we gratefully acknowledge in this book.
We conclude that this effort is a good first step, which we are certain will be thoroughly supported when the cataloging process of the Vatican Archives for the war years has been completed and open for scholarly review.
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Why did Pave the Way Foundation initiate this controversial project?
The answer to this question lies in a series of events that moved our foundation to decide to confront this controversial subject and break the 46 – year old academic “log jam”.
My wife, Meredith, and I were having lunch with the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco in 2006. The Nuncio asked if we could intercede to address a very disturbing problem. He said the Holocaust Memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem had placed a very hurtful and historically incorrect placard of remarks next to its portrait of Pope Pius XII.
Honestly, I grew up hating Pius XII, believing him to be an anti-Semite and a Nazi collaborator. So my wife and I shrugged off this request and felt we did not want to get involved. But then providence intervened.
Upon our return to New York we received a phone call from our friend and board member, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik. Joe asked if we would help a Jewish author and former Washington Post correspondent, Dan Kurzman, gain access in the Vatican for his research on a book he was writing on Pope Pius XII. I told him that the mission of PTWF is to remove obstacles between the faiths and that I did not want to involve us in any activity that would negatively impact Catholic-Jewish relations. He asked us to meet with Mr. Kurzman anyway and we agreed to at least hear what he had to say.
On April 7, 2006 we met with Dan. He told us that he was writing a book about the secret plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII, to kill the Curia and to seize the Vatican. I asked him how could it be possible that a collaborator and ally of Hitler, Pius XII, would be the target of such a plan. He explained that the exact opposite was true.
Dan said his information was based on his research and a long interview with SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS, General Karl Freidrich Otto Wolff who had served as Chief of Personal Staff to the Reichsführer-SS (Heinrich Himmler) and SS Liaison Officer to Hitler. He had interviewed General Karl Wolff just after his release from prison in 1974.
This information about Pius XII was stunning. We are talking about the person who has been called “Hitler’s Pope”. This is the person about whom so many damning books have been written regarding his silence and cold-hearted lack of concern with Jewish suffering during World War II. This was what Meredith and I were taught. We hated to even hear his name.
With this snippet of information I became very curious and called my friend Oded Ben Hur, then Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See. I asked him if he had ever heard of this kidnapping plot. He hadn’t, but stated that it would be a huge story if it were true.
Then I called a close friend (name withheld) and historian at Yad Vashem and was told “Well, we heard something about this but it only shows that Pacelli (Pius) was simply too frightened to act.” Somehow, through twisted logic, this assumption further supported their firm belief that the Pope supported Hitler. Something was dreadfully wrong here.
I then received a telephone call from the Vatican’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore. He told me that he thought I should meet with Sister Margherita Marchione in New Jersey.
Meredith and I drove to Sister Margehrita’s community in Morristown, NJ. We met with this engaging then 82-year-old nun who has written over 15 books in defense of Pope Pius XII. Through this meeting, my eyes were opened to a reality that was literally shocking. My emotions went from shock to anger. We discovered that we have been deceived by those whom we trusted for historical accuracy, the scholars and historians.
Throughout human existence, man has sought retribution from his fellow man and fueled hatred based on historical beliefs. Historical accuracy is an awesome responsibility, literally over life and death. The world’s historians have a sacred and moral responsibility to be absolutely accurate. How is it possible that these historians, whom we trust to “get it right,” could have gotten this so wrong?
As we delved further into the history of this papacy and the secret works of Pacelli, examining real documents and recording eyewitness testimony, we came to the conclusion that this subject had been totally mishandled.
How did this happen and who was to blame? It started with the fictitious play by Rolf Hochhuth called The Deputy. Then a flurry of books had been written supporting negative theories of this papacy and era. We later discovered absolute proof that this play and its impact was a well-crafted plan called “Seat Twelve” hatched and implemented by the KGB against the Catholic Church. When defenders came to re-establish the good name of Pacelli, literally no one read these books, and so this “black legend” has lasted since 1963 and to us it appeared that this was an “academic logjam” would never be resolved.
The negativity was further fueled by one nagging question: Why won’t the Vatican open the archives of the war years and the papacy of Pope Pius XII? What are they hiding? We are now prepared to state when the archive cataloging is complete, that many who support these and unsupported claims, will simply say that the Vatican destroyed the damning documents.
In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI ordered the early opening of the archives of Pope Pius XI. Why? Because the Vatican had finally completed the cataloging and now scholars and historians could come and study at least 65% of Pacelli’s life as Nuncio to Germany and as Secretary of State under Pius XI, his predecessor. To my shock I learned that literally none of the critics or institutions had bothered to come to the open archives to try to get to the truth, the lack of which has impacted the relations of over one billion Catholics and Jews.
As we moved our investigation further, Monsignor Robert Sarno, of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, suggested that I meet with Father Peter Gumpel, Relator (High Judge) to the Cause of Pius XII and Father Paolo Molinari, Postulator to the Cause. I had the most incredible revealing first meeting with Fr. Peter.
He recommended that I contact William Doino, Dimitri Cavalli and Professor Ronald Rychlak for more help.
After contacting these scholarly individuals and learning of their extraordinary personal research, I personally became committed to righting this terrible wrong.
After almost two years of private research, I made a case to the Board of Directors at Pave the Way Foundation and was given the “ok” to take on this project.
Not all board members were happy with this decision, but they agreed with the project, since we are simply retrieving documents and testimonies that could only help the legitimate historians. We did this with the full knowledge that we were opening a beehive of resentment, anger and painfully proving that the long held beliefs of most Catholics and Jews was simply wrong. Yet we knew that, in the furtherance of the mission of Pave the Way Foundation, we had no choice. PTWF’s goal and mission is to move to eliminate obstacles between the faiths, and this obstacle impacts over one billion people.
After personally flying to France to interview Msgr. Giovanni Ferrofino and to London to interview Sir Martin Gilbert and many others, we were convinced that we were 100% correct in our assessment of Pacelli’s secret actions to save more Jews than all of the world’s political and religious leaders of the period combined. There are perhaps 3 million Jews who are alive today because of his secret but direct intervention.
Personally, as a Jewish man, I was determined to make this history right, especially considering how Eugenio Pacelli had been treated after his death by the very people he acted in so many ways to save. This we consider a Jewish responsibility, not an attempt to defend the Roman Catholic Church.
In Judaism, one of the most important obligations is that of charity. According to Maimonides, one of the highest levels of charity is “anonymous”, where the recipient never became aware of who helped him. In the case of Pacelli, his anonymous charity is the very tool his critics have used to strip him of any credit for the acknowledged acts he ordered by so many nuncios and priests who were actually following verbal chain of command papal instructions. Those critics allowed and encouraged every negative accusation against Pacelli to endure. This is a “Shonda,” a Jewish shame, which I am determined to correct.
On June 18, 2008, we brought many Jewish Holocaust survivors to the Vatican. We met these wonderful people through the work of Vincent Marmorale and Elizabeth Nicolosi who were studying the lifesaving actions
of the Italian people during the war. All of these survivors wanted very much to thank the Pope personally for the individual actions taken by the Catholic Church in saving their lives during the war years. At that meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, we announced a three-day symposium planned for September 15-17, 2008, to be held in Rome. At that event, Pave the Way would make public its findings and provide a public forum for the defenders of Pacelli to make their case, based on documented facts and painstaking research, against his critics.
We sent invitations to all of the legitimate critics of Pope Pius XII and to the important Holocaust Centers in Jerusalem, Washington and New York, asking them to attend the symposium. We offered to set up teleconferencing if they did not wish to or could not physically attend. Finally we suggested that questions be sent in advance of the symposium to pose to the experts.
The official position of the Holocaust Memorials is that they will wait for the Vatican Archives of the war years to open before rendering a decision on Pius XII. If this is the case, why then has none of the institutions or critics come to Rome to study the archives that have already been opened prior to the war years? Although presentation of evidence and the reliance on witness testimony in the presence of a jury of one’s peers is the fundamental basis of establishing guilt or innocence universally, this simply seems unacceptable by archival historians when analyzing historical events.
One by one, the critics declined our invitation to try to confront these allegations by inspecting genuine documents and hearing from eyewitnesses. We even offered to pay for their travel to Rome.
In the end, the critics said they would not attend because it was not a “scholarly investigation” and accused us of having a “one-sided symposium.” They also did not like the idea of such a presentation of historical evidence in front of “everyday” people.
Nonetheless, on September 15 we convened our symposium. We were honored to have as panelists Jesuit Historian Father Peter Gumpel, Professor Ronald Rychlak, William Doino, Sister Margherita Marchione, Dan Kurzman, Andrea Tornielli, Dr. Eugene Fisher, Father Dennis McManus and George Blumenthal.
For three days, we poured over hundreds of documents and listened to eyewitness testimonies and comments from various experts. At the end of the symposium we videotaped interviews with many of the attendees. One
hundred percent of the attendees changed their minds about the negative opinions they had held of Pius XII.
On September 18, 2009, our delegation of 80 participants traveled to the summer residence of the Pope Benedict XVI, where I delivered a statement to His Holiness on our findings and a promise to continue to search out documents and seek the truth. Pope Benedict XVI then made a statement to us, which was a dynamic public defense of his predecessor. News of this event traveled around the world and opened this historical “infection” to the light of public scrutiny.
Since garnering international attention to this debate, multiple filmmakers have become interested in these events, some even beginning work on documentaries and movies based on the facts we presented. We have also posted documents that we have discovered on our website in order to educate as many people as possible.
We are proud to have begun this process, which we believe will begin a healing of the malevolence and anger between the faiths.
We are also proud to have the support of a wonderful Jewish friend, Sir Martin Gilbert, one of the most respected historians on the subject of World War II and the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Martin has advised us that the most respected judicial investigative process at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is their Department of the Righteous. If we wish all of our findings to come to light, we need to apply to this section in the course of our work. We then decided that we must initiate a case for Eugenio Pacelli to be recognized as “Righteous Among Nations”.
On September 16, 2009, we presented the draft copy of our second edition of our book of documents representing over 4000 pages of documents to H.H. Pope Benedict XVI and to H. Em Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State and we announced our intention of open the case for Righteous Among Nations in the interest of advancing this judicial review of our materials.
In the following pages we have provided images of the first documents discovered to date. You are free to use and disseminate them as you wish. Please feel free to comment on this material and forward any information
you may personally have to our office. E-mail information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your attention.
Pave the Way Foundation
Elliot M. Hershberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Gary L. Krupp, KC*SG OStJ, Founder/President
Meredith S. Krupp, Founder/Director
Harry M. Epstein, Treasurer
Angelica Berrie, Chairperson – Russell Berrie Foundation
Stanley Browne, Marstan, Inc
Daniel Buttafouco, Esq.
Br. Austin David Carroll, FSC, Ph.D.
William Cox Esq., Herlands, Randolph & Cox, LLP
John Dibari, President – CEO Datacom Technology Group
John R. Drexel IV
David S. Hauser, P.D.E.
Karen Hershberg, Researcher
Richard I. Kandel, CPA
Gary Melius, Oheka
Doyle Mills, Digital Lightwave
Barbara Kane O’Neill
Jacob Parker, Ben’s Best
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Dir NY Board of Rabbis
Norman Weisfeld, Chairman, Maimonides Research Institute
Linda Simpson, Administrative DirectorLauren Feldman, Youth Services
Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Center for Interreligious Understanding
Rabbi Benjamin Blech, Yeshiva University
Justice Stephen A. Bucaria, New York State Supreme Court
Bishop Ignatius Catanello, Aux. Bishop Diocese of Brooklyn
Mamdouh I. Farid, Ph.D, Muslim Chaplin Hofstra University
Mgsr Anthony Frontiero, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Linda Harkavy, MD
Rabbi Bennett Hermann, Temple Emanu-El Long Beach
Sheikh Syed Agha Jafri, Universal Muslim Association of America
Pastor Roger Johns, Senior Pastor United Methodist Church
Rabbi Abraham Kiss
Pastor Harald Kuehne, Pastor, Emer. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Fr. Hector LaChapelle, Pastor, St. Brendan the Navigator Church
Msgr. James Lisante, Pastor, St.Thomas the Apostle Church
Joseph Nocella Jr., Esq.
Hon. C. Raymond Radian, Surrogate of Nassau County (ret)
Darlene Slamen, The Dental Studio Inc.
Rabbi Dr. Barry Dov Schwartz, Temple B’nai Shalom
Pandit Ramnarine Tiwari, Maha Shiva Mandir
Fr. Joakim Valasiadis, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Sunil Thomas, Advisor in India
Fr. Michael Kulka
Fr. Murray Watson, Advisor in Canada
Dott Costantino Fiore
Michael Heseman CSC
Sam Philipe, Advisor in Israel
Fr. Angelo Ison OFM, Advisor in Israel
Rolando Clementoni, KCSG
Avv. Daniele Costi
Dott. Alessandro Frontoni
Dott. Giancarlo Lombardi de Calice
Fr. Bernard O’Connor
Fr. Hugh Ryan
H.E. Archbishop Alberto Tricarico
Cecelia Levine, Special Advisor in Texas & Mexico
Rabbi Yitshak Asiel
HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia
H.E. Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro
PTWF South America
Count Sebastian Zoltowski, Advisor in Argentina
About Pave the Way Foundation
Pave the Way Foundation is dedicated to achieving peace by bridging the gap in tolerance and understanding, between religions through cultural, technological and intellectual exchanges. We strive to eliminate the use of religion as a tool which, historically has been used, by some, to achieve personal agendas and to cause conflicts.
Through our projects, and our concrete gestures of good will, using our trusted relationship between the faiths Pave the Way identifies non- theological obstacles between the faiths and works to eliminate them.
We hope to pave the way towards global understanding to end the malevolent use of religion.
A few of the accomplishments and projects past present and future of Pave the Way Foundation.
• On January 18, 2005, organized the largest Jewish audience in history, simply to thank Pope John Paul II for his enormous gestures to improve Catholic-Jewish relations. Sadly, this was to be his last important audience.
• Arranged a historical mission of scholars to the Vatican Library to view original manuscripts of Moses Maimonides.
• Initiated and historic, first-ever exhibit of manuscripts of Maimonides and others from the Vatican Library to the State of Israel – fall 2005.
• Identified the availability and donor, enabling the Vatican Library to acquire the Bodmer Papyrus for worldwide study.
• Improved Judeo-Christian tourism to Israel by working to eliminate travel restrictions, benefiting all in the region.
• Serves as lead organization in the quest for finalization of legal and economic relations between Israel and the Holy See.
• On Septebmer 6, 2006, initiated and sponsored an exhibit on the Life of Pope John Paul II and the Jewish people at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.
• Enabled major technology acquisitions for hospitals in Europe and the Middle East to enhance medical care for the sick and the poor.
• Arranged a gift to digitize the Vatican and Franciscan manuscript collections for availability on the internet.
• Initiated “Project Baby’” encouraging Christian, Jewish and Moslem institutions to donateinfant supplies to needy mothers in the Middle East. Each religion’s donations go to recipients of other religions.
• Organizing an international congress of the laity and secular on religious abuses in every faith.
• Building and erecting monument to symbolize the reconciliation efforts of Pope John Paul II, spreading a message of religious reconciliation.
• Acting as a non-sectarian go-between for Eastern and Orthodox churches to eliminate obstacles and misunderstandings between them.
• Initiated an independent investigation of the papacy of Pius XII to shed light on all aspects of this controversial period in Vatican history.
• Sponsoring an international symposium on the papacy of Pope Pius XII to educate and inform and bring together all concerned parties to discuss their historical differences.
• Identifying and working to eliminate non-theological, governmental obstacles to improved relations between the religions in the Holy Land.
• Working with the Palestinian WASATIA Forum to help establish a new party for those who want peace in the region and to build a transparent, honest government for the Palestinian people.
• Sponsored interfaith conferences to foster mutual understanding and develop a practical plan of action to strengthen inter-religious relations.
• Initiated the invitation for Israel to attend the annual Rimini Meeting, helping to increase Catholic tourism to the region.
• Sponsored concerts in the United States and Europe in order to strengthen ties between the faiths.
• Co-sponsored a monument in Israel with the Philippine Government to recognize its efforts to aid the persecuted peoples of World War II.
• Assisted the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem to achieve full recognition by the Israeli government.
• Worked with Israeli airport security personnel to teach about the religious sensitivities of visiting pilgrims, thus enhancing tourism to the region.
• Co-sponsor of Catholic- Jewish Emerging Leaders Working Group Plenum at Castel Gandolfo summer 2009.
• Facilitated cultural digitization project at the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican.
Current Calumnies and Statements About
What are some of the commonly held beliefs
about Pope Pius XII today?
The following statements represent the current thinking endorsed by many institutions, authors and lecturers. We hope to be able to shed light on the true facts based on newspaper accounts, actual statements and eye witness testimony:
1. Pacelli was anti-Semitic or at least shared an anti-Judaic worldview.
2. Pacelli associated Jews with godlessness and Bolshevism.
3. Pacelli was obsessed with atheistic Communism, and his fanatic anti-Communism blinded him toward the evils of Nazism.
4. Pacelli’s primary concern throughout his ecclesiastical career was to protect the institution of the Catholic Church; human suffering, especially Jewish suffering, took a back seat.
5. Pacelli did not believe that the Church had an obligation to protect and care for non-Catholics.
6. Pacelli provided no leadership to Catholics during the War; he failed to teach them their moral and Christian obligations.
7. Pius was a moral coward who was afraid to act against the Nazis.
8. Pius was foolishly reckless in some endeavors.
9. Pacelli was a “control freak” who could not delegate anything.
10. Pacelli let his housekeeper virtually run the Vatican.
11. Pacelli met with Hitler (and may have provided him with money) in the 1920s.
12. Pacelli is to be condemned for signing an agreement (the Concordat) with Nazi Germany in 1933.
Examples of Some Statements
About Pius XII
This article was originally published in the January 7, 2005 edition of The Forward.
Daniel Goldhagen, author:
Pius XII was an “anti-Semitic pope… “one of the most rampant
would-be kidnappers of modern times. The pope’s and the
church’s policy was, in effect, to kidnap Jewish children, perhaps
by the thousands. Its plain purpose was to implement a plan
that would cruelly victimize the Jews a second time by depriving
these bodily and spiritually wounded survivors of the Nazi hell of
their own children.”
Pius XII: Collaborator and Kidnapper Posted: January 13, 2005
Rabbi SHMULEY BOTEACH said: “Pius ordered the mass
kidnapping of hundreds of thousands of Jewish children…”
Jack Chick, infamous for his anti-Catholic comic books, tells us in Smokescreens:
“Pope Pius XII should have stood before the judges in Nuremberg. His war crimes were worthy of death.”
Author Dave Hunt writes,
“The Vatican had no excuse for its Nazi partnership or for its continued commendation of Hitler on the one hand and its thunderous silence regarding the Jewish question on the other hand… [The popes] continued in the alliance with Hitler until the end of the war, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in payments from the Nazi government to the Vatican.”
Placard at Yad Vashem [Photo]
“Pius XII’s reaction to the murder of the Jews during the holocaust is a matter of controversy. In 1933 when he was secretary of the Vatican State
he was active in obtaining a Concordat with the German Regime to
preserve the Churches rights in Germany even if this meant recognizing the
Nazi racist Regime. When he was elected Pope in 1939 he shelved a letter
against racism and anti-Semitism that his predecessor had prepared. Even
when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican the pope did
not protest either verbally or in writing. In December 1942, he abstained from joining the allied declaration condemning the extermination of the Jews. When the Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz the Pope did not intervene. The Pope maintained his neutral position throughout the war withthe exception of appealing to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia toward its end. His silence and absence of guidelines obliged churchmen throughout
Europe to decide on their own how to react.”
Comments follow the statements displayed beside the Yad Vashem photo of Pope Pius XII
The Pius material at Yad Vashem has been on display since 2005 next to a photograph of Pope Pius XII. The caption consists of a series of statements, 82 words in all, describing the Pope’s alleged attitude toward Hitler, Nazism and the Jews caught in the Holocaust. In an interview with John Allen, Dr. Eugene Fisher, long-time representative on Catholic-Jewish matters for the U.S. bishops, called this Yad Vashem caption “inexcusable.” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League – himself often at odds with the Holy See – found Yad Vashem’s statement “too judgmental, too conclusory” based on what is presently known.
Below we give the statement (in italics) followed by a very brief critique (in bold print)
“Pius XII’s reaction to the murder of the Jews during the holocaust is a matter of controversy.” [Controversy among historians is normal. It is an inevitable part of describing past events and personalities. But the controversy about Pius has to a large degree been generated by those who ignore his endless efforts over many years to help Jewish victims of Hitler.]
“In 1933 when he was secretary of the Vatican State he was active in obtaining a Concordat with the German Regime to preserve the Churches rights in Germany even if this meant recognizing the Nazi racist Regime…”. [Pacelli negotiated the Concordat, under instructions from Pius XI, in order to provide the Church a legal basis on which to resist the Nazis' human rights violations, and to try to avert Hitler's planned destruction of the Catholic Church. Pius XI had sought a concordat with Germany since the 1920's. He obtained concordats with many other nations during his pontificate. In no way did the Concordat lessen the Church's fierce condemnation of Nazi racial and anti-Semitic doctrines, as Pacelli himself explained in the L'Osservatore Romano (July 26-27, 1933). Concordat were not usually sought with countries on good terms with the Vatican, but with nations at odds with the Church. Protecting the Church under a ruthless totalitarian regime, via the Concordat, meant that the Church could assist persecuted peoples ; and in fact the little freedom that the Concordat left the clergy and hierarchy was widely used to save as many persecuted Jews as could be saved. The placard also says nothing of the Haavara agreement, which was a concordat signed August, 1933 by the Jews of Palestine with Germany one month before the Vatican agreement. In 1935 it was endorsed by the World Zionist Conference in 1935.]
[Pictures] Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
The Concordat was based on Canon Law and did not amount to recognition of the political regime of the new Germany, still less to the principles of Hitlerism. It was not an agreement with Hitler, but the German state. (July 26-27, 1933 – within one week of the signing).
In August, 1933, one month before the Vatican concordat was ratified, Germany and Palestinian Jews signed the Haavara agreement. It was endorsed by the World Zionist Conference in 1935. Pius XII’s efforts to secure this very agreement, specifying benevolent treatment of Jews is criticized today at Yad Vashem.
“When he was elected Pope in 1939 he shelved a letter against racism and anti-Semitism that his predecessor had prepared…”. [There was no “letter or encyclical,” there were only various drafts, which Pius XI never read because he was on his death bed. The drafts, which did not reflect the thinking of either Pius XI or Cardinal Pacelli, were produced by a committee, full of misstatements and misconceptions about Jews and their relationship to society. There is no evidence that Pius XII ever saw these drafts. He did, however, write his own encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, stressing the unity of Jews and Christians. Newspapers around the world recognized its condemnation of Nazism.]
“Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican the pope did not protest either verbally or in writing…”. [As Robert M. W. Kempner, former prosecutor at Nuremburg testified, Pius issued scores of protests – both public and private – in his first encyclical and Christmas addresses, in meetings with German representatives, in letters to bishops, in L'Osservatore Romano, through Vatican Radio and in many audiences. These statements and diplomatic interventions continued even when the Nazis entered Rome]
“In December 1942, he abstained from joining the allied declaration
condemning the extermination of the Jews…” [Pius did not join with the Allies because it was essentially a declaration of war. Sir Martin Gilbert concluded that had he signed this condemnation the pope's participation would have meant the loss of Vatican neutrality and he would have joined with the Allies. (Breach of Vatican neutrality would have allowed Nazis to then enter hundreds of the ecclesiastical institutions hiding Jews and would have condemned the thousands of refugees and their Catholic care-givers to death). Nonetheless, Pius shortly thereafter issued his own condemnation, in his famous 1942 Christmas address, condemning mass murder on account of race, and provoking the Nazis to denounce him as “the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals.”]
“When the Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz the Pope did not intervene…..” [As soon as he learned about the Rome roundup, on October 16, 1943, Pius XII issued two forceful protests — one through Cardinal Maglione, his Secretary of State; the other, via his assistants, to German General Stahel — doing everything possible to stop it. According to the leading authority on the matter, Jewish historian Michael Tagliacozzo — the Pope's efforts did succeed in bringing the round-up to an unexpected end, around 2 p.m. on the day it commenced. Sir Martin Gilbert stated that through Pius XII's efforts, to hide Jews in Rome, almost all of an estimated 7000 were hidden. The secret diaries of Adolf Eichmann, released in 2000, reveal how the Vatican's actions infuriated the Nazis and obstructed their plans, saving many Jewish lives] “The Pope maintained his neutral position throughout the war with the exception of appealing to the rulers of Hungary and Slovakia toward its end…“. [Pius XII was in regular contact with the anti-Nazi resistance, and he approved a plot to overthrow Hitler before the German invasion of France. Sir Martin Gilbert said that the pope intervened at the exact moment when their deportation from Hungary and Slovakia was so critical. The Pope also intervened in Slovakia in 1942, not near the end of the war; moreover, Hitler himself so hated Pius that he wanted to kidnap, deport and possibly even murder him. Pius XII protested war crimes in all Nazi-occupied lands, from the very outset of the War, not just later.]
“His silence and absence of guidelines obliged churchmen throughout Europe to decide on their own how to react… [Many bishops, priests, nuns and lay people worked heroically to save Jews and others in danger, precisely because Pius XII, through written and oral directives, told them they should. This claim ignores a mountain of contemporary evidence, and amounts to an embarrassing act of historical revisionism.]
From the History News Network; hnn.us
What Are We to Make of Pope Pius XII?
By Paul O’Shea
Mr. O’Shea is an Australian historian and educator. His research has focused on Pope Pius XII and Catholic responses to the Holocaust. O’Shea is a founding member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He is the Senior Religious Education Coordinator at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield. He lives in Sydney. His latest book is: A Cross too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli, Politics and the Jews of Europe 1917-1943.
There have been few problems within contemporary Catholicism that arouse such passions as the subject of Eugenio Pacelli, known to history as Pope Pius XII (1876-1958). Pacelli has been the center of a storm since 1963. In that year Rolf Hochhuth’s play The Deputy opened in Germany. His scathing summation of Pacelli opened the way for a re-evaluation of the role of the man who had been widely credited with the saving of thousands of Jewish lives. The ‘saviour’ of Europe’s Jews was demonized for remaining silent and passive as the trains rolled east.
Within five years of his death, critical study of the man began in academic circles. It coincided with the first major studies of the Holocaust. Questions were raised over the role of the Pope and inconsistencies emerged between the received and popular histories and evidence discovered in archives, document centers and libraries. For the majority of these historians, research was limited to the war years. Few scholars, including Vatican historians, have researched the whole picture of the life of Eugenio Pacelli and fewer still have taken into account the formative years prior to his appointment in 1917 as Nuncio to Munich.
To understand Eugenio Pacelli and to attempt a judgment based on the historical data we must place the entire discourse firmly within a foundation study of Christian anti-Judaism and its intrinsically related mutation, antisemitism. The roots of the Holocaust lay deep in the soft underbelly of Christian culture. Auschwitz would not have been possible without the centuries of Christian cultural antithesis towards Judaism. The pseudo-science of racism grew out of the fractured Christian commonwealth. And while “scientific” biological racism openly repudiated revealed religion in its theory, many of its practitioners remained within the Church, apparently experiencing little difficulty in reconciling love of the Jewish Jesus with loathing of Jews.
Further, the relationship between the Vatican and the socio-political
movement of Modernism must be explored again along with the ever-present spectre of Bolshevism. Pacelli was in Munich in 1919 during the short-lived [Page 22] Bavarian Soviet. What he witnessed there left him with an indelible hatred of communism. The politics of the right may well have been reprehensible,but the politics of the left were nothing short of diabolical. Pacelli developed a life-long distrust of atheistic communism that evolved into veritable paranoia in his later life.
The litmus test of Pius XII’s vision of the Church came during the war years. He had shown himself an able and highly skilled diplomat who steered the Church through several decades of difficult territory as Nuncio in Germany and then as Secretary of State as testified to in the recently opened German archives of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. An ever-growing gulf yawned between the theology of the Church and the practical application of political realities. For Pacelli, the interests of the Church could never be compromised.
Of all the events that took place between 1939 and the end of the war, it was the Rome action of October 1943 that demonstrates most clearly the dreadful predicament of Pius XII and the Holocaust. The familiar pattern of extortion, exclusion, and evacuation and transport all happened virtually under Pius’ window. There is no way he could not have known what was happening. In fact, there is ample evidence to tell us he knew exactly what was happening. There is also ample evidence that points to the Pope being actively aware of, and actively involved in, encouraging and supporting rescue.
The Pope’s defenders claim that had he spoken out more precisely than he did, he would have caused greater suffering to the Jews and to Catholics. They weaken the Pope’s case by making next to no mention of ecclesiastical protests made by French Catholic bishops who preached publicly against anti-Jewish actions. In the same way, they gloss over the atrocities supported by Catholic regimes in Croatia and Slovakia. The Pope’s critics retort by saying that the fate of the Jews of Europe was more than well known by October 1943 – transported Jews never returned. As for worse treatment of Catholics, Pius knew from the reports of German bishops that there were few German
Catholics prepared to die for their faith, let alone stand up and die for the Jews. Catholics in the rest of Occupied Europe gave no indication of a willingness to die for the faith. The majority of Europe’s Jews could not rely on Europe’s Catholics for rescue or help – Pius knew this and suffered because of it. But was this sufficient reason for him to refrain from direct comment on the greatest killing in human history? The answer, as much as I can judge, is “no.” [Page 23]
The truth is stark. Pius did not speak out because at some point he made the choice not to. He believed he had done all he could. On an intellectual level, he sympathized with those who suffered. On an emotional level, he sympathized with fellow-Catholics maltreated for their faith – a faith he shared along with a worldview in common. But on an emotional level with Jews, I believe he felt distressed (sometimes to the point of tears) but he felt compelled to remain publicly neutral and discrete – not because he did not care about them, but rather they could not be allowed to distract him and the official Church from the strategies of Catholic preservation, which included supporting the rescue of Jews, and international politics. Did this excuse him from the Christian moral duty to help his Jewish neighbor? The answer must be “no.”
Jews were outside Pacelli’s vision of the Church. They had a place in the Christian dispensation, but a marginal one that bordered between contempt and conversion. When faced with the “flesh and blood” reality of the Holocaust, the academic Pius XII was forced to make choices. Jews in danger, baptized or not, needed the help of Catholics – it was a moral imperative, but always a muted one. Jews would always be “lesser victims”
Response to previous article
Paul O’Shea, A Cross Too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli, Politics and the Jews of Europe, 1917-1943. New South Wales, Australia: Rosenberg, 2008. Paperback. 392 pages, $35.00.
Gerald Noel, Pius XII: The Hound of Hitler. London and New York: Continuum, 2008. 220 pages. Hardback. No price.
Reviewed by Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, retired Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Since disaffected Catholic journalist John Cornwell published his high rhetoric, low research attack on Pius XII, Hitler’s Pope, in 1999, some twenty books, pro and con, have been published on the subject of the Pope and the Holocaust. Only a few of these volumes can be said to be balanced accounts written for the educated lay reader. Paul O’Shea’s solid historical study, in the main, falls in that category, though it has its weaknesses.
O’Shea sets Pacelli, the man, the diplomat, and the pope, within the
context of the times that produced him and the time of great evil, World War II, in which he began his papacy. The former, O’Shea shows, did not well equip him for the latter, though virtually no one, including Roosevelt and Churchill, was able to rise above that tumultuous, insanely violent and almost infinitely complex time to understand, fully, what was happening to the Jews, much less devise a way to stop it. One of O’Shea’s weaknesses, from this reviewer’s point of view, is his presumption that Pius could and should have been able to do both.
But the book’s strengths are what should guide the reader to this book though, again, without accepting uncritically the author’s rather negative judgments on Pius. O’Shea quite rightly eschews the “black and white” approach of Cornwell and Goldhagen, author and Associate Professor at Harvard University, striving to do justice to the complexity of the numerous issues surrounding the central question of whether the Pope did all he could and whether, if he had done more, it would have made a difference. O’Shea to his credit affirms the many things Pius did to help the Jews and to encourage others to help them, while understandably maintaining the public posture of neutrality that allowed Catholics to work to save Jews. O’Shea rightly notes that Pius’ decision to allow Catholics to determine how they could best help Jews, since they would have to live with the consequences if the Nazis found out, is understandable. He feels, though, that a more forceful, less diplomatic statement at a crucial time, which he determines to be in the autumn of 1943, would have encouraged many more Catholics to risk their lives for their neighbors. Readers can make up their own minds on this.
The most serious flaw in this book is the author’s decision to cut off his considerations in 1943, with the roundup for deportation of over 1000 of the Jews of Rome. Scholars debate the intent and impact of Cardinal Maglione’s warning, in the name of Pius, to the Germans, that the pope would not want to have to go public denouncing the roundup. The Germans took this, O’Shea himself records, as a threat, and stopped the round-ups immediately, with the result that the large majority of Rome’s Jews were saved, though those already gathered for deportation were not. O’Shea feels the Pope should have gone public even though he had stopped the deportations and
provided for the Jews of Rome to hide (and so survive) in the Church’s convents and monasteries. He does not seem to be aware that food was brought to the sites hiding Jews by trucks owned and operated by the Holy See.
By arbitrarily stopping his study so long before the end of the war, O’Shea is not able to take into account in his judgment significant deeds such as the saving of tens of thousands of lives quite directly by the papal nuncios in, for example, Budapest and Istanbul. While we still await a definitive and fully balanced study of Pius and the Jews, this book is at least a worthy beginning toward that end.
Gerald Noel’s book is harder to categorize. He seeks not just to tell the story but to examine the psychology of Pacelli. At times, Pius is described asimperious harboring in secret a “Great Design” which create a “world theocracy” with the Pope as its dictator. At other times, however, he pope appears weak, neurotic and vacillating, easily manipulated by the nun who cared for him, Mother Pasquellina. Here, Noel relies much too heavily on the 1983 book, La Popessa, which most historians would take with a grain of salt. I counted some 236 references to this book, with several chapters being, in essence, simply summaries of it. It is also not helpful that Noel’s notes record almost 100 references to Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope. And I noted several historical errors that research could have avoided, such as when Fr. Charles Coughlin was effectively silenced by his bishop and the Holy See, which was a few years later than Noel records. I believe that scholars may profit discerningly from this book, which does push the envelope of received assumptions from different angles. But I would not recommend it for the general reader.
1946 Document on Jewish Children Tells a Different Story
Undercuts Tale That Vatican Tried to Keep Them From Their Families
ROME, JAN. 12, 2005 (Zenit.org).
The latest in a series of accusations about Pope Pius XII’s behavior vis-à-vis the Jews and Nazi persecution seems to have little basis in fact. The latest round began Dec. 28 when an Italian newspaper published passages of an alleged 1946 Vatican document that supposedly aimed to keep baptized Jewish children from being returned to their families. The text, as stated in Il Corriere della Sera by Alberto Melloni, director of the G. Dossetti Library of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Sciences of Bologna, was “a disposition of the Holy Office,” as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was formerly known. The document was said to be dated Oct. 20, 1946.
But after careful research, ZENIT discovered that the document, in fact, was not of the Holy Office and did not bear evidence of the reported date.
Nor did it state what the article in Il Corriere said it did. The document, whose original is in French, was written under the oversight of the then apostolic nuncio in Paris, Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII. It was meant to explain to the French clergy the instructions he had received from the Holy See, specifically, from the secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, Monsignor Domenico Tardini. In his newspaper article, Alberto Melloni did not quote the archive from which the document came. In fact, the document, in full, was published last Tuesday after being tracked down by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli of the Milan newspaper Il Giornale. Tornielli revealed that the original is kept in the Centre National des Archives de l’Église de France, archive of the secretariat of the French episcopate, position “7 CE 131.”
ZENIT obtained by fax a copy of the original and verified that the text has the seal of the apostolic nunciature of France – as opposed to what Il Corriere della Sera published, which attributed it to the Holy Office.
ZENIT also verified that the document is dated Oct. 23, 1946, three days later than that mentioned by Il Corriere, and that the terms of the Vatican proposal are very different from what the Italian newspaper had reported.
The original document contradicts Melloni’s version. It states, in fact, that the children should be returned to their original Jewish families.
Regarding “Jewish institutions,” which during those months were working in Paris and throughout Europe to transfer children to Palestine, the document states that each case must be examined individually.
ZENIT learned that the history of the document began in March 1946, when Isaac Herzog, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, addressed a letter to Pope Pius XII in which the former wrote: “The Jewish people very much remember with profound gratitude the help given by the Holy See to the people that suffered during the Nazi persecution. »
Profound thanks are given for the “thousands of children who were hidden in Catholic institutions,” and the rabbi requests that these children be returned to the Jewish people.
Herzog emphasized how Pius XII « has worked to banish anti-Semitism in many countries » and concluded with an invocation: “God willing, may history remember that when everything was dark for our people, His Holiness lit a light of hope for them.”
Pius XII took to heart the fate of these Jewish children and, in that same month of March, asked the Holy Office to study the case.
The Holy Office, after hearing from several consultors, prepared a document in response to the Pope’s request.
In August 1946, some French bishops and, specifically, Coadjutor Archbishop Emile Guerry of Cambrai and Cardinal Pierre Gerlier of Lyon, asked nuncio Roncalli for pointers as to how to resolve the situation of Jewish children saved from Nazi persecution.
Angelo Roncalli gathered all this material and, at the end of September, [Page 28] sent a letter to the Vatican Secretariat of State requesting instructions.
Roncalli was answered by Monsignor Tardini, secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, not in the way quoted by the article in Il Corriere, but rather in the way mentioned above.
Journalist Andrea Tornielli told ZENIT that the Church in France resolved the problem in the vast majority of cases by returning the children, whose lives it saved, to their surviving families.
During the war, priests and religious received orders from the Holy See and bishops not to baptize these children. Baptism requires the consent of the person receiving the sacrament or of the parents, if the recipient does not have the use of reason. This is revealed in documents quoted by www.vaticanfiles.net.
Telling eye witness testimony of an incident where Pope Pius XII decided many actions must be carried out in secret.
An eyewitness account by Sr Pascalina Lehnert, housekeeper to Pope Pius XII, recalling an incident between Pope Pius and his priest secretary, Fr. Leiber. It took place in the kitchen of the apostolic palace before and after a papal audience on August 2, 1942, following the arrest of Edith Stein in Holland. Pope Pius was shown the headlines of the daily paper that declared how the Nazis had accelerated the rounded of up 40,000 Jews in the lowlands in retaliation for the Dutch Catholic bishops’ statement condemning the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Upon seeing the headlines, the Pope immediately proposed burning his own similar text of a Nazi condemnation, a document, which he himself had prepared and had described as “much more critical than the Dutch statement” – but was begged by the priest secretary not to do so. The same secretary asked the Pope to save the document for a later delivery, but the Pope denied this request as well, saying that he was sure that the Nazis were going to invade the Vatican and if they found the document, they would certainly retaliate against Jews and Catholics accordingly. Pope Pius XII then asked the priest secretary this question: If the Nazis would kill 40,000 Jews for a statement by one episcopacy, then surely wouldn’t they kill 200,000 for a papal one? The Pope then burned his statement in the stove of the kitchen, ending the conversation.
– From commentaries on the contents of the Graham Notes.
Did Pius XII Kidnap Jewish Children?
The Vatican ordered the protectors of Jewish children not to return them to their parents. This is the belief today as written in the following quote from an article from June 16, 2009.
- Hillel Fendel from the article in
Arutz Sheva – Israel National News
June 16, 2009
“A letter from Pope Pius XII to his representative in Paris on November 20, 1946 shows that he ordered Jewish babies that were baptized during the Holocaust not to be returned to their parents….”.
The original of this myth and response.
– Rabbi David Dalin, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope
On March 31, 1946, the Palestine Post reported that Rabbi Herzog “told of his audience with the pope, who had received him on a Sunday early in March. Their conversation… was mainly on the subject of the 8,000 Jewish children in Poland, France, Belgium, and Holland who were [being] brought up in monasteries and by Christian families. He had the Vatican’s promise of help to bring those children back into the Jewish fold.’” The pope must have come through on his promise, because Rabbi Herzog “continued to praise his conduct toward the Jewish community throughout the pope’s life.”
The testimony of other Jewish leaders confirms this assumption. Or. Leon Kubowitzky of the World Jewish Congress said in 1965: “I can state now that I hardly know of a single case where Catholic institutions refused to return Jewish children.” More recently, French Jewish Holocaust historian and anti-Nazi attorney, Serge Klarsfeld, has emphatically stated that this new controversy over the fate of Jewish children hidden by Catholic families during the Holocaust is “a storm in a teacup,” because “almost none were withheld from their Jewish families afterward.” Klarsfeld, who has studied the fate of Jewish children during the Holocaust and has been involved in the prosecution of several Nazi war criminals who operated in France, said that most baptized “hidden children” probably went back to Judaism when they were reunited with relatives after the war. “They never stopped being Jews,” he said. “They simply had a paper in their pockets saying they had been baptized.” In fact, soon after his March 1946 meeting with Herzog, Pius instructed the Vatican’s Holy Congregation of the Holy Office to draw up guidelines on how the Church could best work with Jewish families and institutions that wanted to reclaim or adopt Jewish children still residing in [Page 30] Catholic homes. Basing his words on the Holy Office’s guidelines, one of Pius XII’s assistants, Monsignor Domenico Tardini, sent a memo dated September 28, 1946, in Italian to Nuncio Roncalli in France, explaining how French Church officials should deal with this issue.
In his article, Melloni quotes a French translation (by an unknown writer) of Tardini’s instructions. The French memo, dated October 23, 1946, mistranslates a key phrase about the claims that surviving Jewish relatives had on Jewish children under the Church’s care. Unlike the original Tardini document, which explicitly encourages French Catholic officials and laymen to return all rescued Jewish children, baptized or not, to their appropriate surviving relatives or to Jewish institutions, the French translation leaves “the impression that the Church should hold on to these children, especially if they were baptized, even if the surviving parents now came back to reclaim them.” The French translation directly contradicts Tardini’s original version of Pius XII’s instructions. Subsequent actions by both Pius XII and Roncalli, as well as by the French Catholic hierarchy, all “make clear that Pius’s post-war policy was to support reuniting Jewish children with their surviving relatives, as quickly and humanely as possible.”
Why this contradiction? Because it turns out that the French memo an alleged “papal document” – is not authentic. Alberto Mclloni’s article, as Ronald J. Rychlak has pointed out,” was based on a bad translation (perhaps an intentional fraud).” The memo is a “fabricated” document, definitely “not from the Vatican.”
This purported papal document “was not signed, not on the Vatican
letterhead, and Vatican officials immediately noted that the words used were not typical for directives from the Vatican.” Indeed the very fact that the letter was in French and not Italian is enough to show that it was not authentic “instruction from the pope to his nuncio.”
The credibility of Melloni’s sensational anti-Pius allegations, which were uncritically reported by the New York Times and other liberal media in the United States, has been categorically refuted by two of Italy’s preeminent authorities on Pius XII and his pontificate. They are Andrea [Page 31] Tornielli, the respected Vatican correspondent for the Milan newspaper II Giornale, and the diplomatic historian Matteo L. Napolitano. Tornielli and Napolitano co-authored the recent book Il Papa che salvo gli Ebrei (The Pope Who Saved the Jews).
Alberto Melloni did not identify the Church archive in France from which his alleged papal document came, but Tornielli found the original and authentic papal instructions in the Centre National des Archives de l’Eglise de France. In a front-page article in II Giornale, “Ecco il vero documento su Pio XII e i bimbi Ebrei,” Tornielli compared the original Vatican document to Melloni’s version and proved Melloni’s allegations against Pope Pius XII false. The amazing thing, notes one scholar who has read this authentic papal document, is that the instructions from Pius XII “arc almost exactly the opposite of Melloni’s account, which was so enthusiastically embraced by the papal critics. Nowhere do they suggest that Jewish children should be kept from their families – precisely the opposite!”
Similarly, in a separate article in II Giornale, Matteo Napolitano “severely chastises Melloni for rushing to judgment, and for rushing to publish an incomplete, totally misleading story based upon a dubious memo unrelated to Pius XII something that no serious historian would ever do.” For Melloni, a left wing critic of Pius XII and John Paul II, no evidence was too dubious to further the myth of Hitler’s pope. The liberal American media asked no questions. For example, The New York Times merely reiterated the unverified anti-Pius allegations. Much of the liberal media followed suit. The Jewish Forward, The New Republic, and National Public Radio produced editorials, articles, op-ed pieces, and broadcasts based on Melloni’s discredited article. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, writing in both The Jewish Forward and The New Republic, called for the Vatican to create and fund an independent international commission “to determine how many Jewish children the Church kidnapped across Europe and the precise role that Pius XII… played.”
Rather than thank the Catholic Church for saving the lives of Jewish children, the liberal media attacked the Church and Pope Pius XII, leaping to judge and condemn on the basis of a fraudulent memo.
Document 1: Original Vatican directives dealing with how Jewish children must be returned to their families. [With picture]
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
Document 2: An explanation of the French mistranslated document which started the controversy. [With picture]
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
Page 33 [Pictures]
“There was no campaign
at the very highest levels of the
Catholic Church to “kidnap”
Jewish children in 1945 and 1946.”
Conclusion from Professor Michael R. Marrus
from his 2007 article The Vatican and the Custody
of Jewish Child Survivors after the Holocaust
The Vatican and
Opinion of the Nazis
Examples of German
Propaganda Against the
Catholic Church and
(Pope Pius XII)
Vatican condemns National Socialism at every opportunity.
OF 44 PUBLIC SPEECHES PACELLI MADE IN GERMANY (1917-1929),
40 ATTACKED NATIONAL SOCIALISTIC DOCTRINES
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
Tablet Article, dated October 24, 1942, tells of how the Nazi Dept of Public Enlightenment produced 10,000,000 copies of a pamphlet (distributed in Europe and Latin America) condemning the Vatican’s intervention protesting The Nazi persecution of the Jews.
After meeting with Pope Pius XI, Pacelli writes by hand his disgust with the recently enacted Italian Racial laws. He says that he is so disturbed that the Italian government is importing German anti-Semitism into Italy.
Courtesy of Michael Hesemann
March 3, 1939, the after day Pacelli was elected pope, a Confidential U.S. Foreign Service letter was sent to Washington by a U.S. diplomat in Germany reporting the new pope’s views of National Socialism and of Hitler.
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
“His views while well known to me surprised me by their extremeness. He said that he opposed unalterably every compromise with National Socialism. He regarded Hitler not only as an untrustworthy scoundrel, but as a fundamentally wicked person.” “Hitler was incapable of moderation”
“He supported the German Bishops in their anti-Nazi stand. The risk of losing part of the Catholic youth in Germany, was not as great as the consequences to the Catholic Church in general around the world in surrendering to the Nazis.”
Documents indicating the German Bishops ordered the excommunication of members of the Hitler party, Nazis (National Socialist) as early as 1930.
Vatican Newspaper article of October 11, 1930 reports the excommunication orders issued by the German Bishops for anyone who joins the “Hitler Party.”
Courtesy of Daniele Costi
German Catholic Organizations published this article three weeks after Hitler came into power, January 1933. It was an appeal “A serious word in serious times.”
Courtesy of Michael Hesemann
“What happened in our country since last year is a national disaster […]How right those were who asked for the necessary guarantees for the future show the latest events. With deep concern we observe the errors introduced into our people. We call it a sin against German unity to call men traitors who shed blood for the Nation just because they voted against Hitler.
Examples of some the statements from Pius XII about
National Socialism and the Nazis
1921 “Just as [Bavarians] were seduced during the revolution […] into the extremes of Bolshevism, so now other non-Bavarian elements of entirely opposite persuasion have likewise thought to make Bavaria their base of operation.”
1923 (letter to Rome warning of): “Right-wing radicals” and “Followers of Hitler”
1935 (letter to Cardinal Carl Joseph Schulte): referring to the Nazis as “false prophets with the pride of Lucifer.”
1938 (repeating the words of Pope Pius XI): “Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the lofty thought which that fact expresses. It is a movement with which we Christians can have nothing to do. No, no, I say to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism […] Spiritually, we are all Semites.”
1941 (in the presence of Nazi officers): “You are a young Jew. I know what that means and I hope you will always be proud to be a Jew! [raised voice] My son, whether you are worthier than others only the Lord knows, but believe me, you are at least as worthy as every other human being that lives on our earth! And now, my Jewish friend, go with the protection of the Lord, and never forget, you must always be proud to be a Jew!”
1942 (radio address on the outrage of): “Hundreds of thousands who, through no fault of their own, and solely because of their nation or race, have been condemned to death or progressive extinction.”
1944 “For centuries, Jews have been unjustly treated and despised. It is time they were treated with justice and humanity. God wills it and the Church wills it. St. Paul tells us that the Jews are our brothers. They should also be welcomed as friends.”
1944 “As for those who have taken advantage of the war to commit real and proved crimes against the law common to all peoples, crimes for which supposed military necessity may have afforded a pretext but could never offer an excuse–no one, certainly will wish to disarm justice in their regard.”
1945 “To those who allowed themselves to be seduced by apostles of violence, who are now beginning to waken from their illusions, shocked to see where their servility has led them, there remains no way of salvation but to forswear once and for all the idolatry of absolute nationalism, the pride of race and blood, the lust for mastery in the possession of the world’s goods, and to turn resolutely to a spirit of sincere brotherhood, founded on the worship of the divine Father of all men.”
1945 “National Socialism really was […] the arrogant apostasy from Jesus Christ, the denial of His doctrine and of His work of redemption, the cult of violence, the idolatry of race and blood, the overthrow of human liberty and dignity.” He also referred to the satanic specter of Nazism.
1945 (to an audience of Jewish people) Pius referred to Nazism as one of: “those ideas which history will list among the most deplorable and dishonorable travesties of human thought and feeling.”
1945 This Church does not belong to one race or to one nation, but to all peoples.
1946 “We condemn all recourse to force and to violence, from wherever it may come, as also we have condemned on several occasions in the past the persecutions which a fanatical anti-Semitism unleashed against the Jewish people.”
Courtesy of Sister Margherita Marchione
In September 1942, Pius XII protested
against the Vichy government when it
began deportation of Jews from the
non-occupied parts of France.
Regime Facista, October 1942
“The Church’s obstruction of the practical solution
of the Jewish problem constitutes a crime against the
1942 Christmas message
“Hundreds of thousands who, through no fault of
their own, and solely because of their nation or race,
have been condemned to death or progressive
The American Bishops, Nov. 14, 1942
“We feel a deep sense of revulsion against the cruel
indignation heaped upon the Jews in conquered
countries… We cannot too strongly condemn the
in human treatment to which Jewish people have
been subjected in many countries.”
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
Nazi Propaganda Against Pius XII
All these cartoons show that the Catholic Church and especially Pacelli and the Vatican defended the Jews against the Nazi persecution and propaganda and was displayed to be an “instrument of the Jewish/Bolshevist conspiracy”!
Without an audible defense of the Jews from the side of the Church, such a counter-propaganda would have never been necessary.
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
“Let the Children” – “We shall not kill
Hitler, but we may and shall pray that the
good God takes this man from Earth soon.”
(SS Magazine “Das Schwarze Korps”,
21 May 1936)
Courtesy of Michael Hesemann
[Picture with Legend]
“Hard on hard – … and what happens when the ‘Osservatore’
defends the Jews” (on the door is written: “Racial Doctrine”) -
(“Das schwarze Korps,” 11. August 1938)
Homily: “Heavy stuff from the Reverend
today! When he uses to preach with love
about the Jews, you don’t believe with
how much hate he can curse about the
Nazis.” (“Der Stürmer”, Nr. 46, 1936)
[Picture avec Légende]
“The triumph of the Jews” (Christianity!)
(“Der Stürmer”, Nr. 34, 1934)
“We killed him, we mocked him, but his
Church still likes us.”
[Clichés et légendes]
“The Jews are the chosen people,
Halleluja – Salvation comes from
the Jews, Halleluja”
(“Der Stürmer” Nr. 49, 1936)
A cartoon of Pacelli:
“Hand in Hand. Some Bishop forgot, but
the Bible simply wrote: If the bad guys call
you, well, don’t follow them.”
(“Der Stürmer” Nr. 2, 1939 – one month
before his election as Pope!)
“The Jews are our doom” – “Priests and
bad Priests – A letter of an old SA-Man”
Cartoon: “In the Sign of Judah” Pacelli
holding a parchment “Inquisition”,
standing on the Star of David, with the
sign of Communism in the background.
Subtitle: “What comes from Jews
corrupted the World, Cultures and
Peoples died from it.
The page one article in the February 1939 issue of Reader’s
Digest explained the situation in Germany for the Catholic
Church on the verge of World War II. Entitled Nazi
Scapegoat Number 2, it painted an ugly picture that too
many modern commentators have forgotten :
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
This is an internal Gestapo report of the now infamous
assassination attempt on Hitler’s life, wherein the report
specifically names Eugenio Pacelli as a co-conspirator to the
plan to kill Adolph Hitler. The Kaltenbrunner Report to
Adolf Hitler, dated November 29, 1944 describes the failed
July 20, 1944 plot in detail.
Courtesy of Michael Hesemann
[Photo avec Légende]
Reports the link of the
Pope’s involvement with
the attempt to kill Hitler
through Father Georg
Leiber 18 Aug 1944.
(OSS was the forefunner of
the CIA during WWII)
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
Dan Kurzman’s book recounting his personal interview with General Karl Wolff, commandant for Italy and deputy to Joseph Goebbels, just after the General’s release from prison. The book reveals the details of Hitler’s plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII, to kill all of the Cardinals and clergy and to seize the Vatican that he was ordered to prepare. Knowing that if this plan was ordered, the German army would be torn in half. Wolff did everything in his power to keep the Pope from provoking the Reich’s anger thus resulting in the execution of the order. The Pope effectively used this fear with both General Wolff and other Nazi diplomats and military in order to gain many objectives in his humanitarian efforts.
[Photos de coupures de journaux]
The affidavit of General Karl Wolff, German commander in Italy, testifying of the plan he was ordered to develop, by Hitler, to kidnap Pope Pius XII.
[Photos de documents dactylographiés]
Italian news article of the recently discovered map of the invasion plan of the Vatican by General Karl Wolff.
[Photos de documents]
Many of the documents displayed in this book can be found on our website,
Catholic electoral statistics in the 1932 election of Hitler as Chancellor. Adolph Hitler was opposed by the German Catholics.
[Clichés de cartes]
Left hand map: Indicates Catholic population of Germany who voted against the election of Hitler as Chancelor, 3-1.
Right hand map: Indicates the Protestant concentration who voted in favor of the election of Hitler as Chancelor.
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
L’Osservatore Romano article dated January 4, 1939 reports how the last major Catholic daily newspaper in Germany, called Germania, was forced to shut down at the end of 1938, because of pressure from the Nazi government, which considered it “anti-patriotic” for publicly presenting a Catholic perspective on politics and society.
[Photos de coupures de presse]
“Perhaps you will ask yourselves how
it is that a nation of sixty million
intelligent persons bows in servile
fear before a foreigner, and a fool in
the bargain, and before two scoundrels
like Goebbels and Goering …”
– Cardinal Mundelein
May 18, 1937
“Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham
is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is
incompatible with the lofty thought which that
fact expresses. It is a movement with which we
Christians can have nothing to do. No, no, I say
to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part
in anti-Semitism … Spiritually, we are all Semites.”
– Pope Pius XI
On one occasion I asked the Nuncio if he did not think that this man could have some good in him, and that just as Mussolini had benefited Italy, so also he [Hitler] could perhaps help the German people. The Nuncio shook his head and said: “I would be very, very much mistaken in thinking that all this could end well. This man is completely obsessed; all that is not of use to him, he destroys; all that he says and writes carries the mark of his egocentricity; this man is capable of trampling on corpses and eliminating all that obstructs him.
I cannot understand how many in Germany, even among the best people, do not understand and are not able to draw the lesson from what he writes and says …” When later on, one of the Hitlerites of that time came to Rome, he said to me: “How much moral misery; how much humiliation and how much shame we and the world would have been spared if at that time we had paid attention to Nuncio Pacelli!”
Pius XII never changed this judgment of Hitler.
[Cliché de la revue américaine The Virginia Quarterly Review, du printemps 1939]
Courtesy of William Doino, Jr.
Jacques Maritain, perhaps the leading Catholic philosopher of the era wrote an important and beautiful essay which was translated into English and published in the Virginia Quarterly Review by the spring of 1939. He wrote:
“Spiritually we are Semites – no stronger word has been uttered by a Christian against anti-Semitism, and this Christian was the successor to the Apostle Peter.” He continued: “Our time offers to homicidal demons unheard of feasts. Stalin has given them the kulaks; Hitler has given them the Jews. And each of them has given them the Christian […] Never before in the history of the world have the Jews been prosecuted in so universal a fashion; and never before has the persecution fallen, as it does today, upon Jews and Christians alike.”
[Photos de coupures de journaux accompagnées de légendes]
“The election of Cardinal Pacelli is
not accepted with favor in Germany
because he was always opposed to
Nazism and practically determined
the policies of the Vatican under his
“The Catholic Church… considers all men as brothers
and teaches them to love one another [...] This law
must be observed and respected in the case of the
children of Israel, as well as of all others [...] letter dated
February 9, 1916, from Cardinal Gasparri, then
Vatican Secretariat of State under Pope Benedict XV,
to the American Jewish Committee, on their concerns
about anti-Semitism in Poland.”
The “evident mouthpiece of the
Jews,” like the Vatican, had
“joined the cause of the Allies.”
Courtesy of Professor Ronald Rychlak
Papal encyclical from Pope Pius XI and written by Cardinal
Eugenio Pacelli, Secretary of State.
Finally, Mit brennender Sorge (With Burning Anxiety) was one of the strongest condemnations of any national regime that the Holy See ever published. Michael Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich, wrote the first draft of the encyclical by hand. Secretary of State Pacelli added sections and edited others. The result condemned not only the persecution of the Church in Germany, but also the neo-paganism of Nazi racial theories.
A shortened version of this encyclical was translated into English and published as follows during the war in a popular anthology of Catholic literature. That version was as follows:
TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE
Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community B however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things B whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence, Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the History of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival god by His side.
This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God’s sun shines on every human face, so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to his word. From the fullness of the Creators – right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.
None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are as a drop of a bucket @ (Isaiah XI, 15).
– POPE PIUS XI
Nazi Comments About the Pope
“I’ll go right into the
Vatican … Afterward, we can
say we’re sorry. We can easily
do that. We’ve got a war on.”
– Adolph Hitler -1943
Go bury the delusive hope
About His Holiness the Pope
For all he knows concerning Race
Would get a schoolboy in disgrace
Since he regards both Blacks and Whites
As children all with equal rights,
As Christians all (whate’er their hues),
They’re ‘spiritually’ nought but Jews.
The banner is at last unfurled
‘Chief Rabbi of the Christian World.’
“If the Catholic clergy can thus
ignore negotiations, then we in
turn are forced to consider the
Catholic full-blooded Jews as our
worst opponents and to take
measures to ship them off to the
East as quickly as possible.”
– Paul Joseph Goebbels
“Catholic believers carry away
but one impression from
attendance at divine services
and that is that the Catholic
Church rejects the institutions
of the Nationalist State.”
– Hermann Goering
Eichmann’s Diary Reveals Church’s Assistance to Jews
Pius XII Opposed Deportations Imposed in Occupied Rome
JERUSALEM, 1 MAR 2000 (ZENIT).
After guarding Adolf Eichmann’s diaries for almost 40 years, yesterday the Israeli government made them public. Eichmann, a Nazi SS lieutenant colonel, was executed in 1962 in Israel for “crimes against the Jewish people and against humanity.” Eichmann wrote these diaries during the months following his death sentence. They are especially chilling in their description of the way the Nazi regime came to the “Final Solution” against the Jews, and the way the extermination was implemented.
The pages are also very interesting in studying the Vatican’s position on the persecution of Jews. Some people accuse the Church of having done nothing in October, 1943, when the Nazis began to deport Jews from their “ghetto” in Rome. However, Eichmann wrote that the Vatican “vigorously protested the arrest of Jews, requesting the interruption of such action; to the contrary, the Pope would denounce it publicly.”
This is a confirmation of the thesis of those historians who have collected documents on the action undertaking by the Vatican to defend Jews during those dark years. It must be kept in mind that Rome was occupied, and that the Church was the only institution that had the courage to denounce the Nazi action.
In a chapter dedicated to Italy, Eichmann explains that “on October 6, 1943, ambassador Moelhausen sent a telegraphic message to Foreign Minister Ribbentrop in which he said that general Keppler, SS commander in Rome, had received a special order from Berlin: he had to arrest 8,000 Jews who were living in Rome to deport them to northern Italy, where they would be exterminated. General Stahel, commander of the German forces in Rome, explained to ambassador Moelhausen that, from his point of view, it would be better to use the Jews for fortification works. On October 9, however, Ribbentrop answered that the 8,000 Jews of Rome had to be deported to the Mathausen concentration camp. He emphasized that, in giving evidence under oath in the military prison of Gaeta on June 27, 1961, Kappler said that it was with that order that for the first time he heard the term ‘Final Solution.’”
« At that time, my office received the copy of a letter, that I immediately gave to my direct superiors, sent by the Catholic Church in Rome, in the person of Bishop Hudal, to the commander of the German forces in Rome, general Stahel. The Church was vigorously protesting the arrest of Jews of Italian citizenship, requesting that such actions be interrupted immediately throughout Rome and its surroundings. To the contrary, the Pope would denounce it publicly. The Curia was especially angry because these incidents were taking place practically under Vatican windows. But, precisely at that time, without paying any attention to the Church’s position, the Italian fascist government passed a law ordering the deportation of all Italian Jews to concentration camps, » Eichmann wrote in his diary.
« The objections given and the excessive delay in the steps necessary to complete the implementation of the operation, resulted in a great part of Italian Jews being able to hide and escape capture, » Eichmann wrote. A good number of them hid in convents or were helped by men and women of the Church.
[Suit une copie du tirage d'une page d'un communiqué de l'agence catholique de Presse Zenit, à Rome d'où sont extraits les paragraphes ci-dessus].
A segment from the diary of Adolf Eichmann’s diary where he justifies the excessive delays in the implementation of the operation to the Church’s intervention to hide them in Rome.
Internal Nazi (National Socialist) report of the arrest of the Dutch
Jews where only the Roman Catholic Church protested.
[Photos de documents avec les légendes suivantes]
July 31, 1942 the Archbishop of Utrecht
wrote a powerful denunciation of the
deportation of the Dutch Jews in his
homily to be read throughout Holland.
Heinrich Himmler’s reactions to his
remarks was to accelerate the arrests and
to arrest the converted Jews first.
Because of this virulent Nazi reaction to
the Archbishop’s condemnation, Pope
Pius XII burned his statement. He stated
that if 40,000 Jews were killed from the
remarks of an archbishop then surely
200,000 would be killed with the remarks
of a pope. His secretary Fr. Leiber asked
why he isn’t saving the statement for
later delivery. The pope responded that
he feared his speech fall into the hands
of the Nazis and result in more deaths.
At the right there is the Internal Nazi
report detailing the arrest of the Dutch
Jews where it states that only the
Roman Catholic Church protested.
Courtesy of Michael Hesemann