Author finds new evidence that Pius XII saved Jews

New evidence that Venerable Pius XII saved Jews from the Holocaust has been unearthed by a British author who was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before.

A report in The Guardian newspaper says Vatican insiders believe this new evidence will restore the late pope’s reputation by revealing “the part that he played in saving lives and opposing Nazism”.

The author, Gordon Thomas, is a Protestant. His new book, The Pope’s Jews, to be published in March, details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe’s convents and monasteries.

The pope oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects.

Priests were instructed to issue baptismal certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy. More than 4000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.

More than 2000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome.

During and immediately after the war, The Guardian reports, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders — such as Jerusalem’s chief rabbi in 1944 — said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates “are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour”.

The pope’s image turned sour in the 1960s, thanks to Soviet antagonism towards the Vatican and a German play by Rolf Hochhuth, The Deputy.

The Guardian said the Vatican is so excited by The Pope’s Jews that it is supporting a feature documentary film being planned by a British producer who has bought the rights to it.


The Guardian


Image: The Guardian

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