Pope Pius XII knew of Nazi Holocaust atrocities, letter suggests


A newly printed letter from the Vatican archives means that Global Conflict II-era Pope Pius XII used to be mindful hundreds of Jews have been being killed in gasoline chambers in occupied Poland, undercutting previous Vatican arguments justifying the pope’s wartime silence at the Holocaust.

Following many years of power from Jewish organizations and historians, the Vatican in 2020 opened its secret archives at the wartime pope, who headed the Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958. Pius XII has since grow to be some of the arguable pontiffs for now not publicly condemning the Nazis all over the battle, with critics dubbing him “Hitler’s Pope.” Others, together with the Vatican, have argued his international relations stored lives partly through combating a Nazi backlash.

A newly unveiled report has added gas to the controversy. It’s a German letter despatched through a German Jesuit member of the anti-Nazi resistance, Father Lother Koenig, and addressed to the pope’s depended on non-public secretary Rev. Robert Leiber. Within the letter dated Dec. 14, 1942, Koenig wrote that as much as 6,000 other people, “above all Poles and Jews,” have been loss of life on a daily basis in “SS-furnaces” on the Nazi-run Bełzec focus camp in what used to be then occupied Poland. Reported this week through Italian day-to-day Corriere Della Sera, the letter used to be came upon through Vatican archivist Giovanni Coco, who described it as additional proof of a drift of particular and detailed information on Nazi crimes to the Holy See.

From March to December 1942, about 450,000 Jews, most commonly from Poland, have been killed on the Belzec focus camp, in accordance to the web page of the museum and memorial in Belzec.

The pope who concept he may negotiate with Hitler

Within the years since Pius XII’s papacy ended, critics have scrutinized his motion, or intended inactivity, all over the battle. Holocaust survivors have lobbied to freeze his sainthood procedure.

When the thousands and thousands of pages within the Pius archives have been opened in 2020, Pope Francis mentioned the Church used to be “now not frightened of historical past” and that Pius’s papacy had “moments of grave difficulties, tormented choices of human and Christian prudence, that to a couple could seem as reticence,” consistent with PBS.

In his 2022 guide “The Pope at Conflict,” historian and anthropologist David Kertzer argued that Pius put the Catholic Church forward of ethical management, frightened that hostility towards Hitler may motive the international locations to wreck with the church. Pius XII had additionally first of all concept he may negotiate with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and mood Nazi hatred with international relations, the writer wrote. Whilst the pope acted moderately amid preliminary considerations that Axis powers would possibly in the end keep watch over Europe, Pius XII by no means modified his means at the same time as proof, and pleas for the Vatican to take a stand, fastened.

“As an ethical chief, Pius XII will have to be judged a failure,” the historian wrote.



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