Pope Pius XII was head of the Catholic Church from March 2, 1939 to Oct. 9, 1958, which means he was pontiff throughout the Second World War and the Holocaust. For decades, his actions to save the Jews — or lack thereof — have been the source of a much-researched and much-debated controversy. Now a New York Times bestselling book by historian David Kertzer — The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler — provides compelling new evidence on the topic from recently opened Vatican archives.
Quote: “It’s important to understand that [Italy’s] racial laws were enacted before the war, and were partly justified by comparing them to what the popes had done for centuries — avoid contamination by Jews. The Nazis used that same justification for years. It was Christians, not pagans, who murdered little Jews in the Shoah [Holocaust]. The pope had a responsibility to speak out.”
— Author David Kertzel in The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler
Learn more about Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust from on Wikipedia. ►
Watch “Vatican documents show secret back channel between Pope Pius XII and Adolf Hitler” [6:42]. ►
Read “Pope Pius XII, between holiness and Hitler” ►
Read ” Pope Francis puts Jews’ desperate wartime appeals to Pope Pius XII online ” ►
Photo: Vatican News
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