New book: Pius XII co-operated in plots against Hitler

Wartime Pope Pius XII co-operated in plots against Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, a new book claims.

“Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler” by intelligence specialist Mark Riebling details actions by Pius to stop Hitler.

The author wrote that Pius cooperated in a variety of plots, initiated by patriotic, anti-Nazi Germans, to assassinate Hitler and replace the National Socialist regime with a government that would make peace with the West.

The Nazis were deeply disturbed by the election of Pius XII in 1939, given Eugenio Pacelli’s history.

The Nazis commissioned an assessment of the situation from Albert Hartl, a former Catholic priest, who warned that the Catholic Church would prove a serious threat to the Third Reich.

“The Catholic Church fundamentally claims for itself the right to depose heads of state,” Hartl wrote, “and down to the present time it has also achieved this claim several times.”

This statement seemed to embolden disaffected German officers who were seeking assistance to overthrow Hitler.

In 1938, several high-ranking German officers began turning against Hitler, for fear he would lead the country into a devastating war.

After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the German military conspirators sought to reach out to their adversaries, especially the British, to seek aid in overthrowing Hitler.

In order to do this, they needed a person who could serve as an intermediary and vouch for their integrity, and so they approached Pius XII, who was highly regarded in Britain.

They asked the pope’s top assistants to ask Pius one critical question: Would he be willing to contact the British government and receive guarantees that it would back the German Resistance if Hitler was overthrown?

Pius XII replied that he was willing do so, declaring, “The German Opposition must be heard”.

In subsequent efforts to overthrow Hitler, anti-Nazi officers received crucial moral and logistical support from Pius XII, as well as from his closest aides, the book seeks to show.


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