Christianity and the Middle East: Vatican Refutes Israeli ADL Allegations of Accepting Guilt for Holocaust

By Walz, L. Humphrey | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 1994 | Go to article overview

Christianity and the Middle East: Vatican Refutes Israeli ADL Allegations of Accepting Guilt for Holocaust


Walz, L. Humphrey, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Christianity and the Middle East: Vatican Refutes Israeli ADL Allegations Of Accepting Guilt for Holocaust

By the Reverend L. Humphrey Walz

On May 25, Rabbi David Rosen, head of the Anti-Defamation League's Jerusalem office, gave the Associated Press a sensational story. The next day it appeared in U.S. papers under such headlines as "Vatican to Take Holocaust Blame" and such subheads as "A mind-boggling draft says the church fostered centuries of anti-Semitism." On May 27, The New York Times published a corrective item headed "Vatican Disavows Suggestion of Church Guilt in Holocaust."

Meanwhile the story had helped strengthen in the public mind what Danny Rabinovitz had presented in the April 10 Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv) as major impressions Israel's "official historiography" aims to make. In a long feature on "Israel's Original Sin," he documented the Zionist determination to displace or distort any facts that detract from the concept of "Jews as eternal victims of Christianity and Islam" and Israel as "the only refuge" of the "saved remnants of the Holocaust."

It turns out that, as the Times notes, the draft which Rosen had described as "mind-boggling"--and which he said the Vatican had conveyed to Israel--had not been "approved by any ecclesiastical authority." It had actually been written by German lay theologian Hans Hermann Henrix of Aachen, who feels a strong personal sense of collective guilt. …

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