Magazine article The Christian Century

Letter: U.S. Knew of Jewish Deaths in 1944

Magazine article The Christian Century

Letter: U.S. Knew of Jewish Deaths in 1944

Article excerpt

A recently released letter from the U.S. secretary of state in 1944 to the Vatican warned Germany that Nazi officials would be prosecuted after the end of World War II for their roles in the deaths of millions of Jews in the Holocaust. The October 12, 1944, letter from Secretary of State Cordell Hull was sent to the U.S. representative at the Vatican, who was to forward it to German officials at the Vatican, according to the Reuters news agency.

The World Jewish Congress released the letter on October 26, the same day that a group of Catholic and Jewish scholars asked for greater access to Vatican archives to find out what, if anything, wartime Pope Pius XII knew about the Holocaust. Jewish groups oppose the proposed canonization of Pius XII because they feel he did too little to help the Jews. Vatican officials maintain, however, that Pius XII worked behind the scenes to safeguard as many Jews as he could.

Hull's letter to the Germans raises questions as to how much the U.S. knew about the Holocaust, and whether more could have been done to save the 6 million Jews who were killed. …

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