Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Will History Judge Pius XII a Protector of Jews?

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Will History Judge Pius XII a Protector of Jews?

Article excerpt

Although Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) left a considerable pastoral and theological legacy--one that many think laid significant groundwork for the Second Vatican Council--his place in history has been colored by the controversy over whether he could have done more to protest the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust.

The question of Pius's responsibility was first brought to public attention by the German playwright Rolf Hochhuth's 1963 play Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) that rebuked Pius for his silence during the Holocaust. Recently the controversy flared again when an Israeli member of the Anti-Defamation League charged that Pius ignored a 1942 letter from a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress testifying to the mass extermination of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.

Supporters of Pius have pointed to his general denunciations of genocide and his concern that making specific accusations against the Nazi regime would lead to retaliations against Jews and even against Catholics (as some argue happened in the Netherlands when Dutch bishops spoke out after the Nazi invasion of that country). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.