How "Hitler's Pope" saved at least 800,00 Jews from the Nazis


#1

Some say that His Holiness Pope Pius XII was Hitler’s Pope.

Judging by the fact that Hitler tried to assassinate him three times, I say that that Hitler did not approve of the fact that His Holiness saved the lives of at least 800,000 Jews by having them hidden in Catholic homes, monasteries, convents, friaries, churches and schools, and by issuing them fake baptismal certificates and passports. I doubt that he liked it when Pope Pius XII issued Summi Pontificatus, an encyclical against racism and totalitarianism, either.

You may be wondering why I am so passionate about defending Pope Pius XII’s reputation against slander. You may think that it is because I am a Catholic, and that I do not want people to think badly of the Catholic Church. While this is part of my reason, the main part is far more interesting: Without His Holiness’s heroic action, I would not exist. If my grandfather had not been hidden in the home of Catholics who were following the example of the Vicar of Christ, I would never have been born.

If you would like to learn more about relations between His Holiness Pope Pius XII and the Jews, please read The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis by Rabbi David G. Dalin, and “A Forest of Eight Hundred Thousand Trees” by RoseMary Johnson.


#2

#3

This is a great truth buried by hatred and bigotry.


#4

I am fascinated by the efforts of Pope Pius XII to save so many lives. I was taught all through high school that the Church did nothing during the war to stop the Holocaust. It was not until college history class that my professor set the record straight.


#5

:thumbsup: :smiley: Thank you for posting this!


#6

First of all, one has to be living in order to be defamed and to my knowledge the things against Pius XII were not said until after he died. Second of all, Hitler’s Pope would be libel not slander. Finally, even if her were alive Pius XII probably would be considered a public figure so as long as people have a good faith belief that Pius XII did these things and there is enough circumstantil evidence to form this good faith belief, then there is nothing problematic with wrting it and the person has a right to his opinion.

However, I do think it is good to counter these opinions with the truth just as you have done since Pius XII I’m sure did a lot of good and as far as I know was praised for his actions at first and it wasn’t until several years later that any of these issues came up.


#7

Yes, I think it started in 1963 or 1964; there was a German play titled “the Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth (I’m hoping I got his name right).


#8

Wow, I’m surprised that your college professor did set the record straight. Most profs since the 1960’s have had little good to say about Pius XII.

Yet until 1963, when the play “The Deputy” was produced, his reputation had been universally favorable. After the war, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem was so thankful to Pius XII for his efforts in saving Jews that he ultimately converted to Catholicism.

After 1963, there has been a constant stream of lies published about him.


#9

I am not familiar with this story – could you provide some details?

I am wondering if there is a possibility that you are thinking of the story about the Chief Rabbi of Rome (Israel Zolli) who converted to Catholicism in 1945 and became Eugenio Maria.

I have seen two conflicting accounts of Zolli’s conversion. Everyone agrees that Zolli took refuge in the Vatican from when the Germans entered Rome in September 1943 until when the Americans entered Rome in June 1944.

According to some Jewish accounts (such as this article in the Encyclopedia Judaica) Zolli converted because he was ostracized by his own community when the Americans liberated Rome in June 1944:

At the end of the hostilities he reappeared to assume his position as rabbi, but was rejected by the community because of his unworthy behavior at the time of the greatest danger.

On the other hand, according to his Catholic biographer:

In October 1944, [Zolli] had an extraordinary experience, which was to be decisive: on the holy day of Yom Kippur, he was in the synagogue in contemplation and suddenly, in a vision, Christ said to him: “You are here for the last time: from now on you will follow Me.” That was it. Zolli was profoundly moved.

My point is not to argue one way or another – just to mention that there is a dispute over the reasons for Zolli’s conversion.


#10

Someone Has Lied to You About Our Pope Pius XII


#11

He didn’t save them from the Nazis, he saved them from Germans or Nazi Germans. It’s definitely not enough to say “Nazi” because there’s no such nationality.
Germans try to get rid of the guilt by using the word “Nazi” so that after a few generations poeple won’t know which nationality was responsible for the outbreak of the WWII.
Please don’t take part in it.


#12

My neighbor lost 1/3 of her family in the camps of Nazi Germany, that your family was saved is a true blessing Saint_Gemma.

Like you, she is also a Catholic. She keeps alive her Jewish heritage by passing to her children her rich and beautiful history. I pray that you also do this. She refers to herself as a Completed Jew:thumbsup:

Again, your wonderful story needs to be shared how God worked through His Church and our Pope in saving your family. Many blessing to you and your family.:slight_smile:


#13

Actually Nazis were real people, just like Communists are real people. To say “Nazi” is to identify someone as a member of a certain German political party/regime.

I might add that most Germans alive today have had no part in the holocaust. It is unfortunate that so many did, indeed, tragic and criminal. There were, as we know, those who opposed Hitler and wanted nothing to do with the Nazis, like the young Joseph Ratzinger and his family.


#14

Sorry, you are of course, correct. I meant to refer to the chief rabbi of Rome, not Jerusalem.

I believe that there was also an editorial which ran in the NY Times during the war, praising Pius XII as a lone voice speaking out on behalf of the Jews.


#15

I can’t agree with this sentiment. It is misleading and potentially engenders racism. There were Nazis and fascists right across the “civilized” world at the time. Many fascist atrocities were committed by French and Slavic sympathizers. From a U.S. perspective Japan was ‘responsible for the outbreak of the WWII’

Many German refugees fled Germany in the late 30s. If anyone alive today bears the guilt of Hitler’s Final Solution it is today’s fascists such as the www.bnp.org.uk
not “Germans.”


#16

Here are a couple of accounts of Zolli’s conversion and the events which led up to it:

  1. here
    Excerpt:Zolli’s daughter, not a convert, asserted in defense of her father, “I don’t feel that my father’s conversion was a betrayal of the Jews. The fact that he could spend 40 years teaching Judaism proves the profound connection between the two religions.” Zolli himself said, “I continue to maintain unchanged all my love for the people of Israel; and in my sorrow for the lot that has befallen them, I shall never stop loving the Jews. I did not abandon the Jews by becoming a Catholic.”

  2. here


#17

Not all Nazis were German. In the case of my grandfather, he was saved from Hungarian Nazis. Not all Germans were Nazis, either – Oskar Schindler certainly was not!


#18

The New York Times editorial to which I referred above was published in the December 25, 1941 edition. Christmas Day.

“The voice of 'Plus Xll is a lonely voice in the .silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas… he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all… the Pope put himself *squarely against Hitlerism… he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace.”

Source: piusxii.hismercy.ca/index.html


#19

I have to say I was completely taken aback when he started talking about it, I nearly fell out of my chair! I think that it was news to the rest of the class as well.

Its quite sad to think that so many people don’t know the truth about him.


#20

People should only make serious charges if they have serious evidence.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.