The Pope And der Fuhrer

A new storm erupts over Pius XII's conduct even before the Holocaust

The scene is the papal kitchen, 1942. Pope Pius XII is holding two closely written sheets. On them is his denunciation of the Nazi persecution of European Jews, to be published by evening. But word has just arrived that after Holland's bishops issued a similar statement from the pulpit, the Germans deported 40,000 Catholics of Jewish origin. If the Dutch protest cost 40,000 lives, Pius says, "my own could cost the lives of perhaps 200,000 Jews. I cannot take such a great responsibility. It is better to remain silent before the public and do in private all that is possible." He...

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