Tous les articles
Nous contacter

Informations, documents,

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII, Pave The Way


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



For clarification

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 Apsotlic Nuncio

10 December 1929- Pacelli Leaves Germany for Rome soon to be name 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 declare 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.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Table of Contents

6 - Why Did Pave the Way Foundation Inititate This Controversial Proj ect?

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





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






This book
is dedicated to
the love of my lif e
for over 40 years,
my wif e Meredith,
whose encouragement,
and blind faith,
has enabled the change
in our lives
where together,
we would try
to make a difference
in the world.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII







Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:29 PM Page 5



253 West 35th Street- 15th Floor

New York, NY 10001-1907

Tel +212.629.0046 • +516.432.7560 • Fax+516.432.7561

Mailing address

47 Farrell Street Long Beach, NY 11561- 2603 Direct Dial Italy +39 06 97625261 Direct Dial Israel + 972 39 786419

Pave the Way Foundation is proud to offer this compilation of information dealing with the actions of the

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 documents and 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.






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.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






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.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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

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 Robert Fonti

David S. Hauser, P.D.E. Karen Hershberg, Researcher Richard I. Kandel, CPA Gary Melius, Oheka

Doyle Mills, Digital Lightwave Barbara Kane O'Neill Frank MacKay

Jacob Parker, Ben's Best

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Dir NY Board of Rabbis Norman Weisfeld, Chairman, Maimonides Research Institute


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 Karen Hadley

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.

Lewis Okin

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


Linda Simpson, Administrative Director Lauren Feldman, Youth Services



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII












Sunil Thomas, Advisor in India

PTWF Australia

Fr. Michael Kulka

PTWF Canada

Fr. Murray Watson, Advisor in Canada

PTWF France

Dott Costantino Fiore

PTWF Germany

Michael Heseman CSC

PTWF Greece

Gloria Clementoni

PTWF India

Sunil Thomas

PTWF Israel

Sam Philipe, Advisor in Israel

Fr. Angelo Ison OFM, Advisor in Israel

PTWF Italy

Stefano Cerniato

Rolando Clementoni, KCSG

Avv. Daniele Costi

Dott. Alessandro Frontoni

Jerzy Kluger

Dott. Giancarlo Lombardi de Calice Fr. Bernard O'Connor

Fr. Hugh Ryan

H.E. Archbishop Alberto Tricarico

PTWF Mexico

Cecelia Levine, Special Advisor in Texas & Mexico

PTWF Poland

Beata Czekaj

PTWF Serbia

Rabbi Yitshak Asiel

HRH Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia H.E. Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro Aleksandar Simic

PTWF South America

Count Sebastian Zoltowski, Advisor in Argentina





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






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 donate infant 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.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











·       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

Pius XII



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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.


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.





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






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.”



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Placard at Yad Vashem

“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 with the 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.


• 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).


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Courtes y 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 -S emitism 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]




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






“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.]


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











From the History News Network;

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 1917-1 943.

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 Bolchevism. Pacelli was in Munich in 1919 during the short-lived



What Are We to Make of Pope Pius XII? (continued)

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.”


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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”.





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






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.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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 as imperious 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 ( 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.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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,




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Document on Jewish Children Tells a Different Story - continued

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

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


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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 1 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 with-held 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



Did Pius XII Kidnap Jewish Children? continued

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 Tardinis 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 Melloni'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


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Tornielli, the respected Vatican correspondent for the Milan newspaper 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 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 Mclloni, 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.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Document 1: Original Vatican directives dealing with how J ewish children must be returned to their families.



Courtes y of William Doino, Jr.

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII

Courtes y of William Doino, Jr.


Document 2: An explanation of the French mistranslated document which started the controversy.




Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:30 PM Page 33
















































“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































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.”

Rabbi David Dalin The Myth of Hitler's Pope







































Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






The Vatican and

Eugenio Pacelli's

Opinion of the Nazis

(National Socialists)


Examples of German

Propaganda Against the

Catholic Church and

Eugenio Pacelli

(Pope Pius XII)



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Vatican condemns National Socialism at every opportunity.



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.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






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-S emitism into Italy.



Courtes y of Michael Hesemann




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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.




“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.”




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII

Courtes y of Michael Hesemann


Documents indicating the German Bishops ordered the excommunication of members of the Hitler party, Nazis (National Socialist) as early as 1930.




Courtes y of Daniele Costi


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII


Vatican Newspaper article of October 11, 1930 reports the excommunication orders issued by the German Bishops for anyone who joins the “Hitler Party.”


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.”



Courtes y of Michael Hesemann




Some quotes

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..



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











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 J ews 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.



Examples of some the statements from Pius XII about National Socialism and the Nazis - continued

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.”


Courtes y of Professor Ronald Rychlak


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Regime Facista, October 1942

“The Church's obstruction of the practical solution of the Jewish problem constitutes a crime against the New Europe.”

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 extinction.”

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.”


Courtes y of Professor Ronald Rychlak








Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII








Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII

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.

Courtes y of Professor Ronald Rychlak



Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:32 PM Page 45

Courtes y of Professor Ronald Rychlak



Nazi Propaganda Against Pius XII - continued


“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


“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)


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII













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)

“The triumph of the Jews” (Christianity!) (“Der Stürmer”, Nr. 34, 1934)

“We killed him, we mocked him, but his Church still likes us.”


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII


Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:32 PM Page 47



“The Jews are the chosen people, Halleluja - Salvation comes from the Jews, Halleluja”

(“Der Stürmer” Nr. 49, 1936)

Nazi Propaganda Against Pius XII - continued


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.

(“Der Stürmer”)


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII



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:






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.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:34 PM Page 51

Confidential OSS Documents:

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 durng WWII)

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII




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.


Detail of the Hitler plan

Germany intended to kill Eugenio Pacelli under the guise of an invitation to protect him.

Article of how the future Pope Paul VI while in the secretary of State talked the German Ambassador to prevent the plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII .


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:37 PM Page 53

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.

Italian news article of the recently discovered map of the invasion plan of the Vatican by General Karl Wolff.

Many of the documents displayed in this book can be found on our website,

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII




Catholic electoral statistics in the 1932 election of Hitler as Chancellor. Adolph Hitler was opposed by the German Catholics.

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.

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII

Courtes y 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.



“In the constant battle against the Church of Rome, it is necessary that the National Socialist movement be

vigilant, so as to preserve unaltered the inheritance of its ideas. We must, therefore, always keep in mind, with all clarity and a secure instinct, the National Socialist concepts of strength, beauty, joy, solidarity, national unity and socialism, in terms of their value and meaning, in order to preserve them from every clerical attempt at false interpretation. Our ‘joy' has nothing in common with the Catholic Christian ‘blessedness', and our socialism is precisely in direct contrast with the Catholic caritas [charity]. There is no need to emphasize that national unity and solidarity must be constantly reinforced and protected against Catholic universalism.”





“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 September 1938



Eugenio Pacelli spoke to Sr. Pas calina about Hitler in 1929 – four years before Hitler came to power: she stated:

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.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII












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 anti­Semitism, 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.”





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII








Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:38 PM Page 58

“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 predecessor.”

–Berlin Morgenpost

“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.”

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII


The “evident mouthpiece of the Jews,” like the Vatican, had “joined the cause of the Allies.”

Courtes y of

Professor Ronald Rychlak



Papal encyclical from Pope Pius XI and written by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, Secretary of State.

Finally, Mit brennender S orge (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:


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).



Nazi Comments About the Pope



“If the Catholic clergy can thus ignore negotiations, then we in turn are forced to cons ider 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

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.'


“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

“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


Courtes y of Professor Ronald Rychlak



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Eichmann's Diary Reveals Church's Assistance to Jews

Pius XII Opposed Deportations Imposed in Occupied Rome


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.'”





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Eichmann's Diary Reveals Church's Assistance to Jews

Pius XII Opposed Deportations Imposed in Occupied Rome - continued

“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.



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.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII












Internal Nazi (National Socialist) report of the arrest of the Dutch J ews where only the Roman Catholic Church protested.


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.

Coutesty of Michael Hesemann




September 6, 1943, Pope Pius XII called the cardinals together for a secret meeting to discuss, what he believed to be, the imminent invasion of the Vatican, where he would be kidnapped. Pius XII told the cardinals to be prepared to leave immediately for a neutral country (probably Portugal). He said he placed a letter of resignation in his desk, and that the cardinals were to elect a new pope and form a government in exile.

The documents below are from the Acts of the Holy See.




This document is the hand written note, from the

This document from the section the Letters of Montini, spell out how the Vatican building were to be protected.

Cardinal Secretary of State, ordering the commander of the Swiss Guard not to use fire power to resist an

invading force.



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Hitler Ordered Destruction Of Vatican and Kidnapping Of Pius XII Culture/Society  Source: EWTN

In Revenge for Papal Assistance to Jews, Says Book

RIMINI, Italy, ( Adolf Hitler once ordered his SS troops to level the Vatican with “blood and fire” and kidnap Pope Pius XII, a new book says.

In “Pius XII, Pope of the Jews,” Italian historian Andrea Tornielli reveals that Hitler ordered the destruction of the Vatican and the deportation of Pius XII to Liechtenstein in 1943, in reprisal for the Pontiff´s reported assistance to Jews and for the Church's opposition to the Nazi regime.

In his work, which has just gone on sale in Italy, Tornielli explains that the “Führer” was livid after the signing of the armistice between the Badoglio government and the Allies on Sept. 8, 1943, and ordered the SS to destroy the Holy See with “blood and fire.”

Hitler's plan did not materialize, however, thanks to General Karl Wolff, then SS commander in Italy, who succeeded in dissuading the Nazi dictator from this course of action.

Former Italian Minister Giulio Andreotti defended the validity of Tornielli's thesis last week when he addressed the meeting of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation. The meeting ended Saturday in this northern coastal city.

Andreotti supported Pius XII and rejected the criticisms leveled against the Pontiff at the end of World War II, accusing him of passivity in face of the Holocaust. “The hostility against Pope Pacelli was not due to his weakness against Nazism, but to his rejection of Communism,” Andreotti said.

Tornielli's arguments had already been noted in recent years by historians and scholars,
who quoted testimonies and documents from the time of the Nazi occupation of Rome.

Among Pius XII's defenders is Antonio Gaspari, author of “The Jews, Pius XII, and the Black Legend,” which offers testimonies of Jews in Rome who were saved from the Nazi­Fascist persecution thanks to the help of men and women of the Church, as requested by Pius XII himself.

Pius XII's process of beatification is under way, though it is opposed by some Jews and leaders of the right in the Israeli government.

Eugenio Pacelli, Pius XII, died Oct. 9, 1958, in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, after a 19-year pontificate.

Pius XII's actions helped save 800,000 Jewish lives, either directly or indirectly, according to Jewish researcher Pinchas Lapide.

Far from affinity with Hitler, as claimed by Rolf Hochhuth in his play “The Vicar,” Pius XII was actively involved in the German resistance's plans to remove the tyrant, as revealed in the British Foreign Office documents on the so-called Schwarze Kapelle, which involved Admiral Canaris, Count Von Stauffenberg and other German personalities opposed to the Führer.





Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII







2 days after Kristallnacht, leading Nazi (National Socialist)

newspaper arranges for mass demonstrations against World Jewry and it's Black (Catholic Church) and Red (Bolshevics) allies.



Courtes y of Michael Hesemann




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Examples of

Vatican and Pacelli's

Actions to Save Jews

and to Condemn

National Socialism,

Hitler and the

Nazi Regime



Pope Pius XII policies and actions result in the establishment of the Jewish state.

1917 documents confirm a meeting with Nachum Sokolow, President of the World Zionist Organization, where Sokolow asked Pacelli to intercede to help the Jews of Palestine. The Jews were afraid that they would be massacred by the Ottoman Turks. Pacelli interceded successfully with the German Government, which guaranteed the safety o the Jews of Palestine.

This February 15, 1925 Sokolow again meets with Pacelli to discuss a Jewish homeland in Palestine. First confirms the 1917 meeting and Pacelli is enthusiastic about the requests and recommended Nachum Sokolow to Cardinal Secretary of State Gasparri to meet with Pope Benedict XV.




In November 1947, in U.N. voted for the partitioning of Palestine, 11 states were against and 33 in favor. Of the 33 in favor, 17 were Catholic countries who asked Pope Pius XII what they should do and he stated that he did not object to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

The new article (right) discusses Israel's desire for diplomatic recognition by Spain and Pope Pius XII encourages Spain to recognize Israel.

soon they will have Jewish state, three years before the birth of the state of Israel..



Courtesy of Michael Hesemann



Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII










soon they will have Jewish state, three years before the birth of the state of Israel..

The highlighted section of this Jerusalem post article dated October 10,, 1958,,

Dr.. Mendes,,Orthodox Jewish friend of Pacelli,, recalls that in 1945 Pope Pius XII tells a group of Jewish survivors that


April 4, 1933 Cardinal Pacelli intervenes for Jews seeking Vatican assistance to combat anti-Semitic actions in Germany.

This letter was written by Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli to Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Germany, in 1933–just a few months after Hitler seized power. Also, a number of authors, forced to acknowledge this intervention, have claimed that nothing much came of this, but as a result of Pacelli's written instructions to Orsenigo, several German bishops made public statements clearly understood as a defense of persecuted Jews.





April 4, 1933

Most reverend Excellency,

Highly-placed Israelites have addressed themselves to the Holy Father to invoke his intervention against the danger of anti-Semitic excesses in Germany.

And since it is in the tradition of the Holy See to exercise its universal mission of peace and charity towards all men, irrespective of their social condition or their religion, interposing also, where necessary, its benevolent offices, the Holy Father tasks your most reverend Excel­lency to discern whether, and how, it may be possible to intervene in the manner desired.

I willingly take advantage of our correspondence to reaffirm my sentiments of distinct and sincere esteem of your most Reverend Excellency Servant

To your most reverend Excellency Monsignor Cesare Orsigno Apostolic Nuncio Berlin


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Eugenio Pacelli and the Zionists

New discoveries in the Vatican Secret Archives confirm that the man who became Pope. Pius XII intervened in favour of the Jewish settlers in Palestine.

© 2009 by Michael Hesemann CSC

No Pope of the 20th century, with the exemption of John Paul II and maybe Pius XI, so openly showed his love for the Jewish people as Pius XII. This makes it even more incomprehensible that no historical evidence but just a stage play was enough to change and even pervert the public image of this great pontiff. Suddenly he became “The Deputy”, “the Pope who remained silent” or even “Hitler's Pope”, with authors like John Cornwell or Daniel Jonah Goldhagen calling him a latent or even open anti-semite. The only reason is that during World War II and the Holocaust, Pius XII considered it wiser to act than to speak out. He preferred to save as many J ews as possible quietly rather than worsen their situation through loud but useless protests. He tried to avoid anything which would endanger the efficiency of the only institution which was able and willing to help the persecuted Jews in the times of the Shoa, the Catholic Church. His apparent silence, his feigned neutrality became the perfect cover for the biggest help- and rescue campaign in history, when more than 850.000 Jews were protected from the certain death in the Nazi gas chambers.

But who wants to understand the man Eugenio Pacelli must look further back into his past. Already in his adolescence he had a Jewish school friend, whose parents invited him to join their weekly Shabat-celebrations, discussed their faith with him and borrowed him the works of impor­tant Jewish philosophers, which he read with enthusiasm. After he studied Theology and Canon Law and underwent his Ordination, Pacelli accepted a job in the Secretary of State of the Holy See. He made a rapid career and was promoted Undersecretary of the “Congregation for Extraor­dinary Ecclesiastical Affairs”, the Papal “State Department”, in 1911. In this position, in May 1917 he came in contact with the Zionist movement.


Nahum Sokolov, author, journalist and board member of the Zionist World Congress, came to Rome to gain support for the plan of a Jewish state in Palestine. That Pope Benedict XV. (1914- 22) had vehemently condemned Antisemitism a year before was seen as a good omen. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri sent him to Msgr. Pacelli who received him in a friendly mood and took the time to listen to him with patience and great personal interest. Later, in his report to the Executive Committee of the Zionists, Sokolov praised the heartfelt openness he experienced during his meeting with the Monsignore. And he admitted that he was completely surprised, when Pacelli asked him in the most friendly way if he would not like to present his issue to the Pope. Sokolov would have never dreamt that this would be possible for a Jew. But then, on May 6 1917, he was received for 45 minutes – longer than many heads of states – by Benedict XV.

“I don't tend towards credulity or exagerrations”, Sokolov assured on May 12 in his report to the Zionists Executive Committee, “and still I can't avoid to stress that this revealed an extraordinary amount of friendship: to grant a Jew and representative of Zionism with such a promptness a private audience which took so long and was of such a warmth and took place with all assurance


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











of sympathy, both for the Jews in general and for Zionism in special, proves that we don't need to expect any obstacles which can't be overcome from the side of the Vatican.”

In a completely informal way the Pope asked Sokolov to explain him the program of Zionism just to assure him that “is a wonderful idea” and “providential. God willed it.” Also in the question of the Christian sanctuaries in Palestine, the Pope had “No doubts that a satisfactorily agreement will be reached”. When Sokolov obviously reached the fulfillment of his wildest dreams, Benedikt XV released him by repeating several times, as a confirmation, the words: “Yes, I believe we will be good neighbors.”

Only a week after this encounter, in the Sixtine Chapel, Eugenio Pacelli was ordained as an Archbishop by Benedict XV. Another week later he already sat in a train on the way to his new destination, Germany. The Pope had made him his new Nuntius in Munich, the only Nuntiature

in Germany. His first mission was to present a Papal Peace Plan to the government of the Imperial Reich in Berlin, to end the senseless slaughter of World War I – unfortunately without any success.

About another and this time successful intervention of the new Nuntius Pacelli during that time, the Israeli historian and diplomat Pinchas Lapide wrote in his book “The Last Three Popes and the Jews” (1967). In the Zionist Archive in Jerusalem, Lapide had located a copy of an official letter, sent by Pacelli as Nuntius in Munich to the Bavarian Secretary of State, Otto Ritter von Dandl, on November 16, 1917: “The undersigned Apostolic Nuntius has the honour to inform Your Excellency that the Israelite Congregations of Switzerland asked the Holy Father to appeal for the protection of the sites and the Jewish population of Jerusalem. His Eminence, the Cardinal Secretary of State had ordered the undersigned to act accordingly and with all care and to draw this subject to the attention of the Imperial Government. The Undersigned requests from Your Excellency to enforce the realization of this purpose with everything in your capacity. In advance gratefully, signing with the assurance of my highest appreciation... Eugenio Pacelli, Archbishop of Sardes, Apostolic Nuntius.”


The Jews had all reason to be worried. The Ottoman Empire – modern-day Turkey – was an ally of the Reich and England had instigated the Arabian rebellion to force it into a two-frontline war. The Turks suspected the Jews to collaborate with the British. After the Turkish genocide against the Armenians, who were believed to be on the side of the Russians, they could expect the worst.

In April 1915, the Turkish Secretary of War, Enver Pasha, ordered the Deportation of great parts of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire into the Syrian desert. What was officially declared a strategically necessary “evacuation” of a politically unreliable minority turned out to be the first great genocide of the 20th century. The Young Turk movement, which had taken over political power, intended to transform the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire into a national state according to the Panturkish ideology, which left no room for the Christian Armenians. Genocide

became the final solution of this minority problem. Its executive became the Commander-in-Chief and Gouverneur of Syria, General Cemal Pasha. In total, the number of victims exceed 1.5 Million. Some became victims of the Turkish massacres, most were forced into the Syrian desert where they died of thirst, starvation, exhaust or diseases.



Eugenio Pacelli and the Zionists - continued

In 1917, Cemal Pasha turned brutally against the Jewish-Zionist settlements in Palestine. After Jewish settlers in Jaffa were accused of collaboration with the British, the Ottoman Gouverneur ordered their deportation. Ober 8000 Jews were expelled from their houses without the permission to take any of their belongings or even food. In front of their eyes, their houses were looted by the Turks. Outside the Jewish Quarters, two Jews were hanged as a warning for all who dared to resist the looters. Eyewitnesses reported about the excessive cruelty of the soldiers. Later, dozens of Jews were found dead in the dunes of Jaffa. By the end of March 1917, the “Reuters” news agency reported that “masses of Jews” were expelled “to share the fate of the Armenians”. A Report of the Zionist Office in Copenhagen ends with the warning that after the threats of Cermal Pasha the Jews of Palestine could indeed expect the same treatment as the Armenians – being sent into the desert to die of thirst, starvation and epidemics.

On May 7, 1917, the German Member of Parliament Oskar Cohn brought the antijewish violence in Palestine on the agenda of the Reichstag in Berlin. Only one day later, Deputy Secretary Arthur Zimmermann of the State Department played the matter down. He called the order to evacuate Jaffa a mere “protective measure”. Furthermore, the Government of the Reich had no interest to get involved into affairs which were solely in the responsibility of the Turkish Forces. Obviously, it did intend to bother Germany's Ottoman ally. This makes the intervention of the Apostolic Nuntius, quoted by Pinchas Lapide, even more significant.

Unfortunately, at least as far as I know, no other historian ever tried to investigate and verify it. Cornwell & Co. completely ignore the incident, since it does not fit into their claim of Pacelli being an Antisemite. The majority of the defensors of Pius XII either just quote Lapide or concen­trate on his position towards National Socialism. Instead, the Pacelli-debunkers simply question Lapides credibility. Without any reason, still, since he backs all his quotes with perfect citations, as this one, too. The quoted document, Lapide states, can be found on “Microfilm K 179 90 293 in the Zionist Central Archive, Jerusalem”.


I trust Lapide, but still prefer to verify. I soon had the opportunity, when in November 2008, I was granted permission to do research in the Vatican Secret Archive. After I wrote a biography on Pius XII, “The Pope who defied Hitler”, I wanted to learn more about Pacellis position towards the Jews and his dealings with Antisemitism and National Socialism. The verification of the incident quoted by Lapides had a prominent position on my wish list.

After I introduced myself to the Prefect of the “Archivio Secreto”, Bishop Sergio Pagano, my work in the “Sala Studio”, the study room of the Archive, begun. The complete inventory of the Vatican Secret Archive – at least until 1939 – are catalogized. If you want to study one of the files, you first have to go through these voluminous catalogues, before one of the friendly coworkers gets the file for you. In one of these catalogues, which carefully lists the inventory of the “Archive of the Nuntiature Munich/Bavaria” I found the promising entry: “Guerra Europ., Palestina # 1. Pop. Giudaica e della Citta Santa della Palestina” – “World War I, Palestine # 1, Jewish Population and those of the Holy City of Palestine”. After I wrote down the file title and number (Arch. Nunz.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Monaco d.b. 385; Fasc. 2: Pos. XIII), I asked for it. I was not disappointed. Indeed it contained not only Pacellis handwritten draft for the letter quoted by Lapide, I also learned more about the back­ground of this intervention.

On November 15, 1917 at 4.30 PM the Papal Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Gasparri, sent an encoded message to the Nuntius Pacelli in Munich, which was received and decoded it on the next morning at 7.30 AM. It stated: “The Israelite Community of Switzerland asked the Holy Father to commit himself to the protection of the sites and the Jewish population of Jerusalem. He asks Your Excellency through us, to influence the German government accordingly in the name of the Holy Father. Card. Gasparri”.

The decision to delegate this difficile affair to Pacelli was wise indeed. It was more than question- able if an intervention by the Pope himself would had any impact in Constantinople. Only Ger­many as their most important ally was able to stop the Turks from performing a massacre. That Pacelli always had an open ear for Jewish affairs he had already demonstrated when he met the Zionist leader Sokolov.

Indeed, Pacelli immediately acted. Still, it was a rather difficile affair. At that time, no diplomatic relationship existed between the Emperor's Germany and the Holy See. The only Nuntiature on

German soil was the one in Munich, the capital of the still semi-independent Kingdom of Bavaria. Any diplomatic approach had to go through the Bavarian government. Therefore, Pacelli presented his case on November 16, 1917 to the Royal Bavarian Secretary of State, Sir Otto Ritter von Dandl, and urgently requested an intervention of the Imperial State Department.


This time, other than half a year before, the Berlin State Department acted. Eleven days later, on November 27, 1917, we find the following note in their file “Jews in Turkey”. According to the

reply they received from Constantinople, “there is no reason to fear that the Turkish authorities in Palestine order measures against the Jewish population. We learned from the Turkish side that the Holy City and all sites which are subject of Christian and Jewish veneration are spared and re­spected as far as the military necessities by all means allow.”

Consequently, the German government declared two days later: “According to the available infor­mation from the Turkish side, care was already taken for the protection of the the holy sites of Jerusalem which are also subject of veneration by the Muslims and also for the population. Of course this includes the Jews, who don't have to fear any exemptions.”

Eventually, Ritter von Dendl reported to the Apostolic Nuntius on December 8, 1917: “Your Excel­lency allow me to reply to your precious note of the 16th of last month and to inform you that I did not miss to bring the request of the Israelite Communities of Switzerland regarding the protection of the sites and the Jewish population of Jerusalem to the attention of the State Department in Berlin. With regard to this, I received the reply that according to the information received, there was no reason to worry that the Turkish authorities apply any measures against the Jewish population.”




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Eugenio Pacelli and the Zionists - continued

Only three days later, on December 11, 1917, the British Forces under command of General Allenby conquered Jerusalem. The Jews of Palestine could indeed feel relieved.

According to Pinchas Lapide, the intervention of the Nuntius Pacelli contributed to “save the Jews of Jerusalem as well as the holy sites from an almost certain doom.” It was even more significant, since at that time the Turkish troops in Palestine were under command of a German General, Erich von Falkenhayn. About him, his biographer Holger Afflerbach stated: “An inhuman excess against the Jews in Palestine was only prevented through Falkenhayns conduct, which has a special signifi­cance in respect to the German history of the 20th century.” Since von Falkenhays was a man who strictly followed orders, it is reasonable to assume that his “conduct” was ordered from Berlin.

Indeed, Pinchas Lapide quotes a letter written by Dr. Jacob Thon, at that time leader of the Zionist Office in Jerusalem, in December 1917: “It was an special stroke of good fortune that in the last critical days General von Falkenhayn had the command. Cemal Pasha in this case – as he announced often enough – would have expelled the whole population and turned the country into ruins. We and the whole population, Christians as well as Muslims, must remember P.(acelli) with deep gratitude, since he saved the civil population from doom when he prevented the planned evacuation of this area.”

Nine years later, in December 1926, in Berlin the “Deutsches Komitee Pro Palästina zur Förderung der jüdischen Palästina-Siedlung” (German Committee Pro Palestine to Support the Jewish Settle­ment in Palestine) was founded. Among the founding members were Albert Einstein, the President of the Reichstag (Speaker of the House) Paul Loebe, the Cologne major (and post WWII-Chancel­lor) Konrad Adenauer and the novelist and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann. The question arose if it is opportune for prominent Catholics to join this initiative. During the vehement discussion of the Balfour Declaration at the League of Nations the idea of a Jewish state was controversial in Catholic circles. The socialist ideas of some Zionists led to irritations in the Vatican, and its organ, the “Osservatore Romano”, on June 1st, 1922, called for “the protection of the holy sites against Jewish bolshevism”. At that time, the Holy See had already established diplomatic relations to the first German democracy, The Weimar Republic, and Pacelli resided as the first Apostolic Nuntius in Berlin. As Pinchas Lapide stresses, he “represented during that period the position of Pro Palestine”. He explicitly refused the Zionism-skepticism of leading Vatican circles and instead not only pleaded in favour of the Jewish settlements but even encouraged prominent German Catholics to join the Initiative supporting them. Even Pacellis closest friend, the Reichstag-member and Catholic Prelate Dr. Ludwig Kaas, became a Board member of this Committee.


How deep was his sympathy for the Zionists is revealed in the memoirs of the German Zionist Kurt Blumenfeld. In his autobiography “Living the Jewish Question” (1962), he describes how Nahum Sokolov, who was indepted to Pacelli for his Papal audience in 1917, visited Berlin in 1926. Sokolov at this point served as the President of all Zionist Congresses. When he planned a new initiative at the League of Nations, he remembered the former Undersecretary of the Papal State Department. His plan was to ask Pacelli for an instruction to the representative of the Holy See at


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











the League of Nations in Geneve. But when Blumenfeld called the Nuntiature to set up an appointment, he learned that Pacelli was severely ill, stayed in the Hedwig Hospital in Berlin and was momentarily not available. Only when he eventually mentioned the name “Sokolov”, he was called back: His Excellency, the Nuntius, would be delighted to see Mr. Sokolov for five minutes.

Together Blumenfeld and Sokolov drove to the hospital. At the front desk, the doctor-in-charge welcomed them but insisted: “Mr. Sokolov alone and just for five minutes”. Blumenfeld walked in the hospital library and started to read a book. After one-and-a-half hours Sokolov returned. “It was obvious how interesting and uplifting the conversation with the Nuntius was, a discussion of historical questions, Jewish as well as Catholic”, Blumenfeld remembered.

Once again, the man who became Pope Pius XII proved to be a friend who always had an open ear for the affairs and problems of Jews.

* Michael Hesemann is a German hi stori an and author. In 2008,

his book “The Pope Who Defied Hitler. The Truth About Pius XII” was published in Germany, an Italian translation will follow soon.




Many of the documents displayed in this book can be found on our website, under the page: Investigating the Papacy of Pope Pius XII.



Pope Pius_Round4d.qxd:Layout 1 1/4/10 4:39 PM Page 76

New York Times 1939 article revealing the lifesaving efforts of the Vatican to save the “Non-Aryan” Catholic Jews.

Vatican policy was to hire Jews who were fired due to Italian racial laws, December 4, 1942.

This article appeared in a American Catholic Magazine The Commonweal.

Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII


Document reporting on religious

conditions in Germany 1937.


Taken from Sir Martin Gilbert's book The Righteous June 27, 1943 the following broadcast from Vatican Radio was made:


1940 New York Times article indicating how Cardinal Verdier worked to help the Jews, like Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII


While Apostolic Nuncio to Ger­many in WWI, Archbishop Pacelli interceded in order to save a Jewish man who was jailed for anti-Semitic reasons.


Pope Pius XII personally intercedes to stop the deportation of the Hungarian Jews at the exact moment of their greatest

danger. This resulted in saving tens of thousands of Jewish lives.



Telegram in French from Pius XII to Hungary's Regent, Miklos Horthy, protesting the deportation of Jews. The Pope pleaded with Horthy to use his office so that “many unfortunate people may be spared further afflictions and sorrows.”

J en Levai, the leading scholar of the Jewish extermination in Hungary observed that it was a particularly regrettable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did

more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII











Note: Please see the personal testimony of Juraj Adam, a Jewish man saved by the Nuncio and later
worked to rescue as many Jews as possible by direct orders from the nunciature, on following pages.

Transcript of the video interview with

Juraj Adam

00: 12:41:17

Today, when I started to talk to the Pope I told him sincerely that, I turned 85 years last January, but the most overwhelming moment and the biggest joy in my life is that I have had the possibility to speak with him today. And I'm also thankful for being invited here and having that opportunity.

00: 13:17:21

During the fascist regime my father was a well known man. He was a Chief of Commerce Agriculture and Industry Chamber, and he died unexpectedly in 1933 after the first catastrophic speeches of Adolf Hitler. My mother became widow and I was 10 years old at the moment. I had one year younger sister Alzbeta.


In that period, it was not allowed to talk about the fascist regime yet. The town we lived in was

Komarno, situated close to Danube and between Vienna and Budapest. During that period Komarno was part of Czechoslovakia.


In 1938 as a consequence of the agreement between Ribbentrop and Ciano, the German and Italian Foreign Ministers, this town and other parts of the territory again became part of Hungary. Hungary lost these territories with the Treaty of Triaton in 1920. This means that, I lived on the Hungarian territory from 1938 to 1945.



And this was the fascist regime I experienced. I completed my diploma at the Benedictine High School in Komarno in 1941. The Benedictine High School was well known for its excellent education in Hungarian language.


On the 1 9th of March in 1944 the most difficult period began, when the fascist army occupied the Hungarian territory (Operation Margarethe). Komarno, the town where I lived, was occupied as well. Until then, Hungary used to be a country for refugees of already occupied neighbouring countries between the years 1941 and 1944. Before the German occupation in 1944, Poles and people from other neighbouring countries used to come to Hungary where they still could find a normal life and were not persecuted.


But on the 19th of March in 1944, the catastrophic situation started with the arrival of the

German army in Komarno and the rest of the country. My mother and my sister continued to live in Komarno and my sister at that moment was about to complete her diploma at the Benedictine High School as well.



Transcript of the video interview with

J uraj Adam - continued


On the 5th of April in 1944, when Jews were ordered to wear signs identifying themselves, I escaped at night from Komarno across the Danube Bridge into Budapest. I used to study at the Faculty of Law at the Peter Pasman University in Budapest from 1941 until the German occupation. Even though I was Jewish, I was allowed to study there because of my outstanding grades and the

‘numerus clausus' for Jewish students introduced by the University. So I spent 6 semesters there.


I escaped from Komarno and returned to Budapest where I used to have a private residence and I wasn't known as Jewish, since I managed to obtain some false identity documents. Living in Budapest was still not a problem during that period.


Starting from the 15th of October in 1944 everything changed, when the President Horthy broadcasted his speech and announced the withdrawal of the Hungarian army from the war. Therefore Hungary was no longer the fascists' ally. The German response to the speech was an immediate occupation of Budapest and the rest of the country.


On the 2nd of July in 1944, the first Anglo-American air attack of Budapest took place. In that moment some good friends helped me to stay at the student's hall where I was hiding. * (Noted later 00:23 This students' hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church and I couldn't live there because of my religion. For that reason my friends helped me to hide there). The air attack was terrible and I remember a well known Catholic church at the Bakacz Square which was attacked by mistake by the Anglo-American air army. After the attack, during which I was hiding under the bad, I was shocked and realized that I cannot hide anymore at the students' hall. A couple of good friends accompanied me to the city centre and we saw destroyed city and injured people. *(Noted later 00:23 My friends were not Jewish but they didn't want to leave me alone. We used to study together at the Benedictine High School and they took care of me during this situation).



That night, I did not know where to go. *Here, Juraj explained details on students' hall and school mates from the High School.


It could be around 10 pm when my friends suggested that I go back to the students' hall with them. Even if it was dangerous they thought I didn't have another alternative. But I didn't want to take any risks by going back with them. While still in the city centre I noticed the sign of the Apostolic Nunciature. I didn't know much about them but I knew they could give asylum for people escaping from the fascists. So I had an idea and that night I rang doorbell to the Apostolic Nunciature.


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII












When the guardian saw me and realized he did not know me, he tried to close the gate but I managed to enter the building. I sat down close to the entrance and said I'm not going to leave. After maybe ten minutes the doorbell rang again and the guardian went to open the door to the

Vatican diplomat Gennaro Verolino. When he entered the gate and saw me, he just passed by and asked the guardian about me and my late entry.


The guardian explained to Gennaro Verolino my situation that I don't know where to go and that my mother and sister have been killed. To my big surprise, the guardian returned to me and told me to follow him and he took me to the office of Gennaro Verolino. I noticed the amount of food and fruits at his desk and he invited me to eat and drink before we talked.


When I finished eating we talked and meantime the guardian was asked to prepare a room for me

for that night. I felt already much better after dinner and I was very glad for the small visitors' room they prepared for me where I could rest and calm down.


The next day at around 11 am they brought me a breakfast and told me that Apostolic Nuncio

Angelo Rotta returned from the summer estate. Angelo Rotta was about 70 years old and he was a supervisor of Gennaro Verolino. Gennaro took me to Angelo Rotta's office where we talked and

they told me that this situation is quite unusual because normally I couldn't stay there. I don't know if it was because of my honesty or hopelessness, but they decided that I could stay with them for another two days.



I told them that for now this was the only place I could stay in, but they promised they will look for another safe place for me. They contacted the Vatican secretary of state who later approved my stay at the Apostolic Nunciature, which is Vatican territory.


So I was allowed to live at the Apostolic Nunciature. After some time, Gennaro Verolino invited me to his office where, on my big surprise, he gave me an identity document, issued by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This document stated that I was an employee of the Vatican Apostolic Nunciature. From that moment I officially became an employee of the Apostolic Nunciature.




Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII






Transcript of the video interview with

J uraj Adam - continued


The early morning after the broadcast of President Horthy, on the 16th of October 1944, I saw the presidential car parked in the front of the Apostolic Nunciature. The driver asked to be received by Angelo Rotta. I saw the president's family getting out of the car and Horthy's daughter in law explained me that, the President made some arrangements with Angelo Rotta. That arrangement ensured the political asylum for Horthy's family when necessary. I told them that Angelo Rotta was not in the office but I made the office of Verolino available for them.


At that moment, the guardian, a few sisters and I were the only present employees in the Apostolic Nunciature building. After some time the door bell rang again and the German officer Edmund Veesenmayer was standing at the gate. I knew him only from the newspapers, because he was a delegate of President Horthy when Hungary was still in war as Hitler's ally.


He asked to speak to Angelo Rotta or Gennaro Verolino, but I explained to him that they were not able to return from the summer estate the evening before, because of the unrest on the streets relating to President Horthy's broadcast.


I told officer Edmund Veesenmayer that if he wished to talk to them both, he could have helped them to come back to Budapest. He explained he has been sent by President Horthy to accompany his family members, which I received earlier, to the presidential castle. I told him that it's impossible because they have asked for political asylum and they don't want to leave the Apostolic Nunciature.



I had a feeling he was not telling the truth and that the President is surely not asking him to take his family out of Apostolic Nunciature. He asked me who I was, and I said to myself, if he's dishonest I will do the same. I told him that I'm the vice Secretary of Apostolic Nunciature. After that he left with his armed guards. The Horthy's family members were worried, since they listened to our conversation at the gate, but I managed to calm them down.


Later that morning both Verolino and Rotta returned and Horthy's daughter in law told them what happened before their arrival. Verolino appreciated the way I dealt with the situation.


President Horthy's family remained with us, but later the German officials tried to make a deal with them. They suggested that if they left the Apostolic Nunciature, they could join President Horthy and leave the country together. Otherwise he will be deported to Germany without them


Examining the Papacy of Pope Pius XII