Library Documents on Pius XII and the Holocaust

Author: EWTN


Cornwell’s Pope: A Nasty Caricature of a Noble and Saintly Man - ZENIT
Against John Cornwell's book: "Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII," a point by point rebuttal is provided by Dr. Peter Gumpel, S.J., one of the most respected authorities on the Catholic Church and the Second World War and postulator of the cause for beatification of Pius XII.

Did Pius XII Remain Silent? – Fr William Saunders
In spite of Hitler’s reprisals against the Church, the Pope did speak out against persecution of the Jews, and acted in secret, to deliver as many as possible from the Nazis.

Difficult Relations Between Church and Nazism - ZENIT
On 4 May 2000, the Pontifical Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum" in Rome held a Congress on "The Martyrs of Eastern Europe and Nazism." Among the speakers was Fr. Peter Gumpel, a prestigious historian and official postulator of the Society of Jesus, who addressed the topic of the relations between the Catholic Church and Nazism.

Eichmann’s Diary Reveals Church’s Assistance to Jews - ZENIT
Adolf Eichmann’s diaries, executed in 1962 for "crimes against the Jewish people and against humanity," show that the Pope "vigorously protested the arrest of Jews, requesting the interruption of such action."

Historical Truth of Pius XII’s Work - ZENIT
Sister Margaret Marchione’s book, Pius XII: Architect of Peace, looks at the Holocaust, and praises Pius XII’s work in support of the persecuted. The author, who is internationally known for her numerous publications on historic figures, maintains that this Pontiff was one of the most invaluable protectors of the Jews in countries dominated by National Socialism, whose atrocities he condemned.

Jewish Recognition of Pope Pius XII’s Support - ZENIT
Reports that "a document has been discovered in Israel that not only confirms Pius XII's role in defense of persecuted Jews, but reveals that world leaders of the Jewish communities at the time were very aware of his action, to the point that after the war they came to Rome and gave the Catholic Church a very generous donation."

Jewish-Catholic Commission to Study World War II - ZENIT
Six scholars, three Catholic and three Jewish, will form a joint team to study the 11 volumes of Vatican documents relating to the Second World War. In particular, the Commission will analyze the Catholic Church’s relation with the Jews during those very complex years of world history.

New Studies Document Pius XII’s Opposition to Nazism – ZENIT
A new book, "Fascism, the Church, and the Catholic Movement in Italy: 1922-1943," by Russian historian Evghenija Tokareva, sheds further light on Pius XII’s response to Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Pius XII and the Holocaust - The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Compilation of articles, including two by Robert A. Graham, S.J., "How to Manufacture a Legend," on the alleged silence of Pius XII, and "Pius XII’s Defense of Jews and Others," written with full access to the Vatican Archives; also "A Question of Judgment: Pius XII and the Jews," by Joseph Lichten, then director of International Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Pius XII and the Jews - National Association of Catholic Families
In response to the question, why Pius XII did not speak out more forcefully against Hitler, historian Fr Dermot Fenlon of the Birmingham Oratory looks at the facts and sets the record straight.

Pius XII Rehabilitated by Jewish Historian – ZENIT
Newly revealed documents show Nazis regarded the Pope as an enemy because of his assistance to Jews.

Pius XII: the Martyrdom of Silence - Dr Emilia Paola Pacelli
Dr Pacelli gives testimony to the Pope's suffering in silence rather than give occasion to the Nazis to worsen their atrocities.

Pius XII’s 1941 Letter Protested Treatment of Jews - ZENIT
Russian historian Evghenjia Tokareva, author of the first Russian monograph on "Fascism, the Church, and the Catholic Movement in Italy (1922-1943)," said that in "January 1941, Pius XII was ready to address a letter to Germany, with a strong protest for the arrest and deportation of 40,000 Jews, but he burnt it, explaining that the protests he expressed before caused very harsh reprisals."

Pius XII’s Cause of Beatification Progresses –ZENIT
In spite of campaign launched against Pius XII, his cause of beatification "is proceeding rapidly," according to Fr. Peter Gumpel, relator of the cause.

Saviour of the Jews – Michael O’Carroll C.S.Sp.
Raises the question of why Pius XII continues to be charged with doing nothing to save the Jews, when the evidence to the contrary is so accessible and compelling.

The Myth in the Light of the Archives – Peirre Blet, S.J.
Accusers of Pius XII are referred to the Archives of the Vatican Secretariat of State, accessible since 1964, where files record the day by day, sometimes hour by hour, activity of the Pope and his offices.

World Press Unmasks Fallacies in Book Defaming Pius XII – ZENIT
In a follow-up interview, Dr Peter Gumpel responds to questions on the Cornwell book against Pius XII.

Most of Rome's Jews Were Saved From Hitler's Final Solution - LOR
In an interview, given to the German Catholic News Agency (KNA) on 7 November 2000, by Mr Nikolaus Kunkel, a German army officer testifies to Pius XII’s actions to save Roman Jews during the Second  World War.

The Good Samaritan: Jewish Praise For Pope Pius XII - Dimitri Cavalli
This article brings together a considerable amount of previously scattered evidence for how
Jews during Pius's lifetime viewed his conduct. It also raises the question, Were the Jews who praised and thanked Pius after the war all mistaken or insincere, or are the attacks on Pius today unfair?

Rabbi defends Pius XII against criticisms - Rabbi David G. Dalin
In an article appearing in the February 26, 2001 edition of The Weekly Standard, a political weekly edited by conservative commentators William Kristol and Fred Barnes, Rabbi David G. Dalin persuasively addresses the criticisms of Pope Pius XII in recent books which argue he did little to oppose the Holocaust during World War II. 

Review of Pierre Blet's Book - Konrad Repgen
In this article, a professor emeritus of the University of Bonn reviews the book by Fr Pierre Blet, S.J., Papst Pius XII und der Zweite Weltkrieg. Aus den Akten de Vatikans ("Pius XII and the Second World War, according to the Archives of the Vatican").

Pius XII Saved More Jews Than Schindler - LOR
In an interview conducted by L'Osservatore Romano (5 September 2001), historian Rabbi David Dalin defends Pope Pius XII against revisionist historians, who charge him with not doing enough to defend the Jews against Nazi persecution.

For Berlin, Pius XII Was a Subversive - ZENIT
In opposition to continuing charges that Pius XII was unjustifiably silent in the face of Nazism,
Protestant pastor Francois de Beaulieu revealed to the French weekly "Reforme" his experience in 1942 as a radio operator secretly spreading Pope Pius's famous Christmas radio message against Nazism. 

The Commission That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Dimitri Cavalli
Suspension of the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission was announced on 23 July 2001. Mr. Cavalli examines what went wrong with the Commission, formed to evaluate Vatican documents on Pope Pius XII's actions during the Holocaust.

A "Righteous Gentile" Defends Pius XII - ZENIT
A piece on Pope Pius XII by University of Mississippi law professor Ron Rychlak. The author of "Hitler, the War and the Pope," Rychlak counters the charge that the Pope was not involved in Catholic efforts to save the Jews by producing an eyewitness, Tibor Baranski, executive secretary of the Jewish Protection Movement of the Holy See in Hungary during World War II, and honored by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile. 

Pius XII's Directive Helped Save 800 Jews - ZENIT
Newly found evidence shows that Pius XII helped spare the lives of 800 Jews in the Italian cities of Livorno, Lucca and Pisa, when he asked various Church groups to help preserve them from Nazi persecution in 1943 and 1944.

Vatican Told Nuncio to Forgo Praise of Hitler - ZENIT
The recently opened Vatican-archives material relating to the interwar era continues to refute the theses that accuse Popes Pius XI and Pius XII of acquiescence to Adolf Hitler. In an interview published by the newspaper Il Giornale, professor Matteo Luigi Napolitano, who teaches church-state relations at the University of Urbino, Italy, described the Holy See's position vis-à-vis the Nazi regime.

On Hitler, the Holy See and the Jews - ZENIT
An interview with historian Father Giovanni Sale about the findings published in his book, Hitler, la Santa Sede e gli Ebrei, in which he analyzed the relations between The Vatican and the Third Reich during 1933-1945.

Pius XII's Aid to Jews Stirred Protests - ZENIT
Documentation from the Vatican Secret Archives has revealed that Pope Pius XII's wartime assistance to Jews was so great that it stirred protests in some Catholic circles. In order to understand better these discoveries, ZENIT (4 July 2004) interviewed Father Peter Gumpel, a historian and expert on the matter.

Pius XII as a Righteous Gentile - ZENIT
Despite what some modern critics say, Pope Pius XII launched a multifaceted response to the Nazi campaign against the Jews. So says Ronald Rychlak, an adviser to the Holy See's delegation to the United Nations, and University of Mississippi law professor. Rychlak shared with ZENIT some of the information he has amassed in defense of Pius XII and the Church, and how Catholics can respond to detractors.

Pius XII's Massive Crusade - ZENIT
As the 50th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius XII approaches, errors regarding his life and involvement with the Holocaust continue to persist, says historian Sister Margherita Marchione. Sister Marchione described for ZENIT the Pope's tireless efforts to save Jews and reunite prisoners of war with their families.

The Holy See and the Jewish Question - ZENIT
The publication of a new book has renewed the debate about Pope Pius XII's process of beatification. La Santa Sede e la questione ebraica (1933-1945) (The Holy See and the Jewish Question (1933-1945)) is written by Alessandro Duce, professor of history of international relations at the University of Parma, and published by Studium. To have a broader idea of the question, ZENIT interviewed Duce.

The Encyclical that Infuriated Hitler - ZENIT
On Palm Sunday of 1937, Pope Pius XI's encyclical "Mit Brennender Sorge" was read in all the parishes of Germany. It was arguably the Holy See's harshest criticism ever of a political regime, according to Jesuit Father Peter Gumpel. And Pius XII, then Secretary of State, helped to write it.

More Testimonies Defend Pius XII
Many past testimonies support Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's announcement that Pope Pius XII signed a letter in 1943 asking religious institutes to open their doors to persecuted Jews. That wartime letter undercuts the theory that bishops, religious and many Catholics who risked their lives to save Jews from extermination did so without the Pope's knowledge.

Cardinal Bertone on Pius XII
At the presentation of a book by Andrea Tornielli, "Pio XII: Un Uomo Sul Trono di Pietro" (Pius XII: A Man on the Throne of Peter), Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone addressed the "black legend," that Pius the XII had kept silent in the face of Nazi atrocities against the Jews.

History Will Render Justice to Pope Pius XII
Fifty years after Pius XII's death, the black legend of "Hitler's Pope" is still vividly present in the newspapers. Paolo Mieli, an authoritative historian and editor-in-chief of an important Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, discusses it here in an interview with Giovanni Maria Vian, editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano, and with the author of this article.

The Multifaceted and Fruitful Magisterium of Pius XII - Pope Benedict XVI - 
On 8 November 2008, the Holy Father met with participants at a congress on "The Heritage of the Magisterium of Pius XII and the Second Vatican Council" promoted by the Pontifical Lateran University and the Pontifical Gregorian University. The Pope observed that the present narrow focus on Pius XII's response to Nazi Germany has missed the depth of a great historical-theological figure.

Hitler's Pope? A Judgment Historically Unsustainable - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, on 6 November 2008, opened in Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Congress "the Inheritance of the Magisterium of Pius XII", organized on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Eugenio Pacelli. In his speech, the Cardinal recalled the heroism of Pius XII in the face of great difficulties.

Group Gives New Proof of Pius XII's Help for Jews - ZENIT
Recently uncovered documents show gestures of friendship and protection that Pius XII showed to Jews before, during and after World War II. The discoveries were made by the German historian and advisor, Michael Hesemann, who found a number of documents in the Vatican Secret Archives that certified Pope Pacelli's numerous interventions in favor of Jews.

Clarifying the Nature and Significance of Eugenio Pacelli's Pontificate - Giovanni Maria Vian
The Editor-in-Chief of L'Osservatore Romano recapitulates the emergence of the "Black Legend" about Pius XII in the years following World War II, with an outline of the new historiographical consensus on the importance of his pontificate.

New Evidence Says Pius XII Helped Jews - ZENIT
A foundation that promotes interreligious dialogue announced that it has more than 2,300 pages of original documents illustrating Pope Pius XII's efforts to help Jews in the face of Nazism. Gary Krupp, president of the New York-based Pave the Way Foundation, affirmed this in a statement to ZENIT, stating also that the documents from the years 1940-1945 will be made available to the public for research.

Note Concerning Decree on the Heroic Virtues of Pius XII - Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, offered a statement to Vatican Radio 23 December 2009, in response to Benedict XVI's declaration on 19 December, recognizing the heroic virtue of Pius XII. Fr Lombardi said that Pope Pius XII has been declared "venerable" because he is a model for Christian life, not because of the historical decisions he made.

Priest Gives Proof of Pius XII's Aid to Jews - ZENIT
Jesús Colina of ZENIT reports the testimony, in favor of Pope Pius XII's support of efforts to save Jews from the Nazis, of Father Giancarlo Centioni, 97, who served as a military chaplain for the National Security Volunteer Militia in Rome from 1940 to 1945.

Dishonesty and Misinformation - Bernard-Henri Levy
As this article shows, the mass media have misinformed the public regarding the actions and attitudes of two Popes, Benedict XVI and Pius XII, toward the Jewish people.

Why the Nazis Feared Pius XII - Dimitri Cavalli
Pope Pius XII continues to be charged with not speaking often or loudly enough against the Nazi persecution of the Jews. As this article indicates, the Nazis heard the Pope's messages loud and clear.

Confidential Audience in 1942 with Pius XII - Paolo Dezza
On 28 June 1964 "L'Osservatore della Domenica" published the account by Fr Paolo Dezza, SJ — Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University from 1941-1951 — of a highly confidential Audience granted to him by Pope Pius XII. This is a translation of his article, which was written in Italian.

Pius XII Advised by German Anti-Nazi Resistance - Roberto Pertici 
Documents confirm that the German anti-Nazi resistance advised Pius XII not to intervene directly against Hitler, lest secret attempts by German Catholics to replace Nazism with a democratic government be undermined.

How a Strategy of Silence Saved Thousands of Jews - ZENIT
New findings have revealed documents and testimony, which clearly show that on Oct. 16, 1943, it was the intentional lack of a public denunciation by Pope Pius XII against the arrest of the Roman Jews, which saved their lives and enabled their rescue.

Personal Memories of Pius XII - ZENIT
In this ZENIT interview, Sister Margherita Marchione, of the community of Religious Teachers Filippini, recalls her experience of Pius XII, and relates her findings as one of the world's principle biographers of the World War II Pope.

Pius XII's Efforts to Save Jewish Culture Revealed - ZENIT
The Pave the Way Foundation reports that important documents have been discovered in the Vatican Secret Archives which reveal that Pius XII worked to protect not only the Jewish people from the Nazi terror, but their synagogues, cultural centers and everything that pertained to their faith.

Scholars Decry Distortion of Pius XII Quotation - ZENIT
The latest attempt to discredit Pope Pius XII is based on a manufactured quote that distorts his words, assert two authors. Ronald Rychlak, author of "Hitler, the War, and the Pope," stated this in an article written with William Doino, Jr., contributor to "The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII." ZENIT summarizes the content of this article.

Prelate Who Saved Some 10,000 Jews Dead at 98 - ZENIT
An archbishop who saved some 10,000 Jews during the Second World War in collaboration with Pope Pius XII died on 20 December 2010. He was 98. Archbishop Giovanni Ferrofino, former apostolic nuncio to Ecuador and Haiti, “was perhaps the greatest living eye witness to Pius XII’s life-saving efforts on behalf of Jews interviewed by" the Pave the Way Foundation.

Allies Urged Pope Pius XII - ZENIT
The United States and Great Britain discouraged Pope Pius XII from speaking out against Nazi brutality, warning the Pope that a public protest could have grave consequences. The Allies' recommendation is reported in a document unearthed recently by the New York-based Pave the Way Foundation, founded by an American Jew, Gary Krupp.

Documents Reveal Pius XII Saved 11,000 Roman Jews - Jesús Colina
The direct action of Pope Pius XII saved the lives of more than 11,000 Jews in Rome during the Second World War, according to documentation recently discovered by historians and made public by the Pave the Way Foundation.

Mission in Croatia on Behalf of Pius XII - Giovanni Preziosi 
While the Second World War was blazing on the European continent, Benedictine abott, Monsignor Giuseppe Ramiro Marcone, was sent, in the summer of 1941, by the Holy See to the Croatian episcopate, as an Apostolic Visitor, to look after the Catholic interests in that country. As a result of this mission, the lives of many Jews, headed for Auschwitz, were saved.

Jewish Families Hidden by Pius XII - Giovanni Preziosi
The following extracts, translated from an article published in the Italian daily of L'Osservatore Romano on 11 May 2011, show the solicitude of Pope Pacelli for the Jews, as recorded in the Journal of the House of Villa Lante.

Documents: Pius XII Favored a Jewish Homeland in Palestine - ZENIT
Pave the Way Foundation, an organization researching the history of Pius XII's relationship with the Jews says that a series of documents recently uncovered show a pattern of direct actions by Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope) that culminated in the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

Yad Vashem Changes Reference to Pius XII - ZENIT
This ZENIT article reports that Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, in Jerusalem, has removed the plaque criticizing Pius XII for lack of concern for the Jews suffering Nazi atrocities. The new text recognizes his personal involvement in rescue efforts to save the Jews.

The Truth About Pope Pius XII - Eward Pentin
General Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Romanian intelligence chief who defected to the United States in 1978, holds secrets that even today would make establishment figures uncomfortable, most notably in Russia. But it’s his sensational claims of a Soviet plot to frame Pius XII for which he is best known. Edward Pentin reports for ZENIT on the Black Legend calling Pius XII "Hitler's Pope."

Pius XII Altered in History - Maurizio Fontana
This article reports on the change in the caption under the picture of Pius XII at the Yad Vashem museum in Israel, which had "described the Pope's approach to the extermination of the Jews as ambiguous." Now in light of recent discoveries, the caption acknowledges that the Pope's reaction to the Holocaust is "a matter of controversy among scholars."

The Pope's Dollars Against Hitler - Luca M.Possati
A study by Patricia M. McGoldrick published in "The Historical Journal" on Holy See finances during World War II brings to light Documents from the British National Archives, which reveal how Pius XII's financial strategy was a weapon against Nazism.

A Brave Helmsman - L'Osservatore Romano
The debate concerning Pius XII is alive in North America, as illustrated by the powerful biography by Canadian historian Robert Ventresca. The associate professor at King's University College, Western Ontario, recently published his book Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII at Harvard University Press.

The Soviet Smear That Lingers Today - Ronald J. Rychlak
The Butler, Snow Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law reveals to ZENIT the origin of the campaign to discredit Pope Pius XII regarding the Nazi persecution of the Jews. In 1963, the play, The Deputy, which charged the Pope with complicity with the Nazis, was a Soviet bloc intelligence operation to undermine the Catholic Church.

What Pius XII Learned from the Armenian Genocide
Pius XII is still accused of failing to do enough to help the Jews during World War II. He is criticized for being silent. But well-known German historian Michael Hesemann says the Pope's decision to be guarded in protest was a result of what he'd learned some years before, when while working in the Vatican Secretariat of State and as nuncio, he was privy to the Vatican's information on the Armenian genocide and its attempts to stop it.

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