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Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican [Hardcover]

By Pierre Blet & Lawerence J. Johnson (Translator)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.31" Width: 6.32" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1999
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809105039  
EAN  9780809105038  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The first one-volume history, based on the Vatican archives, of Pope Pius Xll and his dealings with the contesting powers and with the Jews during World War ll.

Publishers Description
In 1964, Pope Paul VI ordered the Vatican diplomatic archives covering the period of World War II opened, and they were eventually published in 12 volumes. Blet taught history at the Pontificia Academia Ecclesiastica for 17 years, and here constructs from those records an account of what is widely perceived as Pius XII's silence at the time about the Nazi treatment of Jews. He concludes that Pius did much more privately than publicly to protect Jews and others threatened. It was first published as Pie XII et la Secunde Guerre Mondiale by Academique Perrin in 1997.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Pope Pius XII and the Churches involvement with Hitler and his Nazis  Jan 30, 2008
It comes to no surprise at the Catholic churches history of meddling in Politics at the hands of innocent people. It's own Members included. The Church is steeped in Blood Guilt for the roll it's played not only in the death of the millions during WW2 But over the century's as well. This book only brings it closer into our modern day. I highly recommend this book as an educational indictment of why this Church, is the leader in adulterated Bible Teachings. They are what the Scriptures called Wolves in sheep's clothing
revisiting truth  Apr 7, 2007
After so much bashing of the Pope's reaction/response/responsibility for the holocaust, most of it simply a front for anti-Catholic Romaphobia, this book is a welcome find. The text is based upon the Vatican archives, by someone who has spent many years working with the originals, of the role of the Pope in the time of the War, collected and written in response to Rolph Hochhuth's 1963 antipapal claims that he ignored the plight of the Jews.

The evidence demonstrates that Pope Pius did a great deal to influence European governments behind the scenes, and also attempted to rescue large numbers of Jews in Europe, but that his efforts went largely ignored or simply drowned in a sea of diplomatic storms. Hardly an acquiescence and clearly not a co-conspirator.
"What the Vatican Archives Really Say About Pope Pius XII"  Mar 7, 2001
What the Vatican Archives Really Say About Pope Pius XII

This is adapted from my review published in the New Oxford Review (February 2000).

The author working with three other Jesuit scholars conducted research in the Vatican archives and helped produce 11 volumes of documents with the French title, Actes et documents du Saint Siege relatifs a la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (Actes). In the introduction to his book, Father Blet observes that these 11 volumes have often "escaped the attention of many who speak and write about the Holy See during the war." Indeed, of 677 citations in John Cornwell's Hitler's Pope, only 21 cite the Actes. Blet's near-exclusive use of primary sources is very impressive, and it gives his arguments substantial credibility. The Actes along with published collections of diplomatic documents from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy provide a clear and balanced portrait of Pope Pius XII during World War II. Blet shows that the Vatican consistently opposed the persecutions and deportations of Jews in many Nazi-occupied and Axis countries. In Slovakia, which was headed by an anti-Semitic Catholic priest, the Vatican officially protested the anti-Jewish laws and deportations. Vatican Secretary of State Luigi Cardinal Maglione frequently instructed the Vatican's diplomatic representatives in Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Italy, and even Germany to intervene on behalf of endangered Jews. On October 30, 1941, Cardinal Maglione encouraged the papal nuncio in France to intervene with the Vichy regime in order to soften the application of the anti-Semitic laws. The nuncio's protest against the deportations of French Jews in August 1942 received international attention. Blet also refutes the myth that the Vatican did nothing to stop the arrests of Roman Jews in October 1943. As soon as Pius XII heard of the arrests, he had Cardinal Maglione make a strong protest with the German Ambassador. The Pope also ordered Bishop Alois Hudal, the rector of the German Catholic Church in Rome, to protest the arrests with the German Military Governor of Rome. Along with these protests, thousands of Jews found shelter in Catholic convents, monasteries, and the Vatican itself. In response to the deportations of Hungarian Jews in June 1944, the Pope personally addressed an open telegram to Hungarian Regent Nicholas Horthy, and urged him to spare "so many unfortunate people" from "further afflictions and sorrows." The Holy Father's intervention along with those of the Red Cross, the King of Sweden, and President Franklin Roosevelt brought a temporary halt to the deportations. When the deportations resumed in October, the papal nuncio in Hungary, acting on orders from Rome, continued to make protests.(Unfortunately, Blet omits other Vatican interventions on behalf of Jews in Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, and even Japan.) Important Jewish leaders and organizations such as Chief Rabbi Miroslav Freiberger of Zagreb, Croatia, Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Jerusalem, Chief Rabbi Alexander Shafran of Bucharest Romania, Chaim Barlas of the Jewish Agency, the World Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish Committee often expressed their gratitude to Pius XII. If the Pope did little or nothing to help the Jews and sympathized with the Nazis, then why did so many Jews in nearly every part of the world praise him on so many occasions? Along with helping Jews, the Vatican assisted prisoners of war and other civilians. In 1941 and 1942, the Vatican helped alleviate the famine in Greece during the Nazi occupation. As Father Blet writes, "The very mass of documents by itself stands as an eloquent testimony of the intensity of the care that the pope showed on behalf of the human problems that the war brought throughout the world." As for which side the Pope favored, Blet notes that in the early months of 1940, the Pope acted as an intermediary between a group of German generals who wanted to overthrow Adolf Hitler and the British government. Unfortunately, the conspiracy never went forward. Vatican critics such as Saul Friedlander and Guenther Lewy often explain the Pope's "silence" by suggesting that he saw the Nazis as a "bulwark" against the Soviet Union. In fact, Pius XII indirectly assisted the Soviet Union during the war. In response to diplomatic appeals made by President Franklin Roosevelt in the fall of 1941, Pius XII agreed that American Catholics could support the extension of the Lend-Lease program to the Soviets. While the Vatican always condemned Communism, the Pope had nothing but paternal sentiments for the Russian people. Along these lines, the extension of Lend-Lease to the Soviets could be morally justified because it helped the Russian people, who were the innocent victims of Nazi aggression. The Pope also rebuffed Fascist demands to publicly bless the invasion of the Soviet Union. Instead of embracing the Nazis, Pius XII strongly opposed their persecution of his Church in Germany and the occupied countries. In January 1940, he ordered Vatican Radio to broadcast Polish Cardinal August Hlond's reports on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Poland. These reports gave independent confirmation to media reports about Nazi atrocities, which were previously dismissed as Allied propaganda. Blet neglects to mention that these broadcasts also described atrocities against Jews. Unlike many historians and journalists, Blet discusses what Pius XII actually said in public, and how his statements were greeted by both sides. Throughout the war, the Pope insisted that an important condition for a "just and honorable peace " was the protection of all "ethnic minorities." In speech after speech, he also warned the occupying powers that they would face God's wrath if they failed to treat all civilians with justice, charity, and humanity. In his 1942 Christmas message, Pope Pius XII spoke of the "hundreds of thousands of people who, without any fault of their own and sometimes because of their nationality or race alone, have been doomed to death or to progressive extermination." Unlike most critics, who dismiss these words as vague, the Reich Central Security Office (R.H.S.A.) concluded that the Pope "virtually accuses the German people of injustice toward the Jews. . ." On June 2, 1943, Pius XII once again spoke of persons "because of their nationality or their race . . . destined, even without fault on their part, to the threat of extermination." Blet successfully demolishes the allegations against Pope Pius XII, showing that he did a lot to help the Jews, did speak out and opposed the Nazis in every possible way. At a time when attempts to derail Pope's forthcoming beatification are intensifying, both Catholics and non-Catholics can finally educate themselves about this controversy by consulting Father Blet's extraordinary book. When asked about his predecessor in 1998, Pope John Paul II referred reporters to Father Blet's work.

An exhaustive treatment of a controversial topic  Jan 20, 2001
This book presents the facts - and lots of them - straight from the Vatican Archives as it examines the role of Pius XII and the Vatican during World War II. What emerges is a picture that is wholly at odds with what the popular myths that have been foisted upon us by Catholic-bashers operating under a pretense of objectivity and phony moral outrage. Pius XII is shown to be the hero he truly was - a holy man of God, doing the best that could be expected incredibly difficult circumstances.
Heroic Charity  Sep 8, 2000
The book provides exhaustive documentation on the diplomatic work of Pius XII to save persecuted Jews and Christians during World War II. It especially shows how the nuncios in France, Hungary, and Turkey formed diplomatic coalitions to rescue thousands of persecuted Jews. Pius's diplomatic caution will not suit everyone, but it is indisputable that he saved thousands of Jewish lives by this means. This is a story of heroic charity with a good bit of cloak-and-dagger thrown in.

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