The Pope encouraging assassination? I greatly doubt this. It would be against Catholic doctrine. In any case, after Hitler’s alleged suicide, Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz replaced Hitler as leader.
I highly recommend you read the book, Ed.
Actually, assassination is not against Catholic doctrine, if it is considered “tyrannicide”, but has to meet certain very strict guidelines.
As the author of the book described the deliberative process that guided Pope Pius:
Church teaching stated the conditions under which citizens could kill tyrants. Catholic doctrine permitted capital punishment; and though a priest himself could not shed blood, a Christian knight could wield the sword of justice at the bidding of a priest. Accordingly, over the centuries, Catholic theologians had developed a nuanced doctrine of tyrannicide, covering virtually every conceivable context. They divided tyrants into two classes: usurpers, who seized power illegally, and oppressors, who used power unjustly. Hitler, who held office legally but ruled unjustly, had become an oppressor. He therefore fell into the class of evildoers whom— as Aquinas and some Jesuit theologians argued— citizens could assassinate.
But Catholic ethics strictly limited political violence. The tyrant’s executioners must have good grounds for believing his death would actually improve conditions and would not cause a bloody civil war. The tyrant himself must not merely stand revealed as the primary instigator of unjust policies; his assassins must have sufficient reason to believe that those unjust policies would end with the tyrant’s life. If another tyrant would likely continue those polices, the assassins had no moral basis to act. Finally, the assassins must have exhausted all peaceful means for removing the tyrant.
The plot against Hitler seemed to meet these terms. First, the conspirators intended to secure an honorable peace under a strong but anti-Nazi government, so that Hitler’s removal would not mean chaos or more Nazism under Göring or Himmler. Second, Hitler could only be removed by violence, because he had abolished the democratic process through which he claimed power. As Josef Müller reported Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg saying, “We National Socialists have created this State; we are going to hold on to this State; and we shall never let go of this State.” Finally, and most fundamentally, Müller’s intelligence indicated not only that Nazi policies were wicked, but that Hitler himself directed those policies.
The wickedness of the policies was plain from Müller’s dossier on Poland. As a Vatican priest later summarized this evidence, “Hundreds of priests were arrested and shot by the Germans during the first month, while Catholic intellectuals, clerics or laity were arrested and sent to concentration camp Oranienburg near Berlin. . . . The basis of this program was the elimination of the intellectual elite and the traditional influence of the clergy.” Müller recalled the dossier as including proof also of “the systematic extermination of the Jews,” such as “movies, photos, reports, e.g. of naked Jewish men, women and children, packed in trenches they had to dig themselves, machine-gunned like sardines in a can; and, in one photo, a police officer shooting a child clamped between his knees.”
Riebling, Mark (2015-09-29). Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler (Kindle Locations 1386-1408). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
Riebling’s sources for the above summary are Bride, “Tyrannicide, Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, vol. 15 (1950), 2011; Lewy, “Secret Papal Brief on Tyrannicide,” Church History 26, no. 4 (1957); Mariana, De rege et regis institutione, Lib. I, c. vi; Pastor, History of the Popes, 26: 27– 28; Rance, “L’Arret contra Suarez (26 June 1614),” Revue des Questions Historiques 37 (1885): 603– 606; Suarez, Defensio fidei Catholieae et Apostolicae adversus Anglieanae seetae errores, Lib. VI, c. iv, secs. 14– 18.