The Church and the Holocaust

I found a lot of material on the Church and its questionable role during the Holocaust. Although the Church did protect many hundreds of thousands of Jews and other victims of the War, the question still remains, what was their position, official and unofficial, to Hitler and the Fascist armies? Why couldn’t they at least have spoken out more? It might have saved the hundreds of thousands of Jews deported from Hungary. Over 423,000 Jews were deported by Hungarian Gendarmie and Army soldiers working hand in hand with Eichmann’s men in the spring of 1944 to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I am not ascribing guilt to any one member of the Church, but showing what wikipedia says about their alleged activities.

Three years later, in June 1938, the Pope ordered American Jesuit John La Farge to prepare an encyclical condemning antisemitism, racism and the persecution of Jews, which he did together with German Jesuit Gustav Gundlach and French Jesuit Gustave Desbuquois, resulting in the famous Humani Generis Unitas which was on Pius XI’s desk when he died, but was never promulgated by Pius XII.

The former Centre politician Von Papen, who was considered dangerous and disliked by the Nazis for his Catholicism, was later on sent to the German Embassy in Ankara.

Hudal’s very close relation to these prelates and to Pope Pius XI stopped immediately after the publication of his book in 1937, which was interpreted as contradicting Mit brennender Sorge and the 1933 Reichskonkordat.

Hudal wrote to the military governor of Rome, General Stahel, and urged him to suspend all actions against the Jews. The Germans suspended the actions “out of the consideration for the special character of Rome”.[33] According to another author, however, the idea of Hudal’s intervention came from the German ambassador himself, who asked the rector of the Anima to sign a letter to the military commander of Rome, General Reiner Stahel, requesting that the arrests be halted, otherwise the pope would take a position in public as being against the razzias and the German occupiers.[34] Ambassador Weizsäcker argued that he opted for this ruse because Hitler might have reacted against the Vatican and the pope if it had been the German embassy to convey the warning, instead of the Nazi friendly bishop.[35]

The Baron Otto Gustav von Wächter (born July 8, 1901 in Vienna, died August 14 or September 10, 1949, in Rome, Italy), was an Austrian lawyer and later German SS officer and National Socialist official. He was responsible for the persecution of Jews in Austria, and for mass murders in Poland and Ukraine where he worked as the governor of the Cracow and Galicia districts under the General Government. In spite of having escaped trial in Nuremberg, Wächter’s responsibilities for said crimes have since been fairly documented. (Hudal, wiki.)

Karlo Petranovic
Monsignor Karl Bayer, the Rome Director of Caritas International

While his official status was a minor one, Hudal clearly played a role in the rat line. In 1999, Italian researcher Matteo Sanfilippo revealed a letter drafted on 31 August 1948 by Bishop Hudal to Argentinian President Juan Perón, requesting 5,000 visas, 3,000 for German and 2,000 for Austrian “soldiers”.[52] In the letter, Hudal explained that these were not (Nazi) refugees, but anti-Communist fighters “whose wartime sacrifice” had saved Europe from Soviet domination.[14] According to Argentine researcher Uki Goñi, the documents he uncovered in 2003 show the Roman Catholic Church was also deeply involved in the secret network. “The Perón government authorized the arrival of the first Nazi collaborators [in Argentina], as a result of a meeting in March 1946 between Antonio Caggiano, a [newly elevated] Argentine cardinal, and Eugène Tisserant, a French cardinal attached to the Vatican”.[53]

Monsignor Carlo Petranovic

was a Croatian war criminal. First captain of the Ustaše and staff of the leader of the Ustaše in Ogulin, he helped after 1945 many war criminals escape after Argentina.Escape 1945
in 1945 he fled together with the remaining leaders of the Ustaše to Austria. Later, he sought refuge with Krunoslav Draganović in Italy. Yugoslavia filed a petition for the extradition to the British authorities in 1947. The application was not taken into account there. However, the British secret service noted that Petranovic “helps Croatian emigrants and in particular Ustaschen to flee to Argentina.”[3]
Escape for Nazi and Ustaše war criminals and collaborators
In Genoa the Monsignor had seats on ships overseas, especially to South America to allow the crossing NS and in particular Ustaše war criminals. When the escape he worked Franz Ruffinengo [4], the Croatian Caritas and Krunoslav Draganović with the Catholic Charities to Archbishop Giuseppe Siri and the Catholic charity Auxilium, which represented Petranovic, Reinhard Kopps, the Peronist Immigration Office of the DIAE.
Among the war criminals the churchman early 1947 helped escape to Argentina, “the group to Stjepan Hefer, mile Starčević and Vjekoslav Vrančić.” All three were wanted high-ranking Croatian war criminals.[5]
The allies attacked a mostly not in the Affairs of the clergy. But Petranovic seemed to represent an exception in this respect. His attempt to move the Commander of the Ustaše air force Vladimir Kren Buenos Aires failed at the last moment. Kren was arrested with another eight criminals sponsored by Petranovic on March 4, 1974, shortly before the departure of the ship. He had favoured the quick victory of the Nazis of the Yugoslav air force by collaboration with the Germans and the communication of secret data. Monsignor Petranovic advocated by the allies for the release of the detainees, but without success. Horseradish was one of the few looking for war criminals, which gave London of the Yugoslav jurisdiction. In 1948, he was executed in Yugoslavia. Despite Yugoslav requests for extradition, the crossing was does not prevent further 23 war criminals on same boat, which was to take also Kren to South America.The today known details of his involvement in the escape of war criminals were published in 2002 by the Argentine journalist Uki Goñi. [de.wikipedia]

The “pivotal words that remain one of the key flashpoints in the Holocaust-related controversy that continues to swirl around him” came near the end of the speech.[7] Pius XII stated:

“Humanity owes this vow to those hundreds of thousands who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline”[8] [also translated: “marked down for death or gradual extinction”][7]
Pius XII, however, did not address the perpetrators or victims by name.[9][10] Nor did he mention Jews or antisemitism.[10]

The Allies condemned the genocide of the Jews on December 17, 1942

Harold Tittmann, US Amb to Holy See
Tittmann pressured Pius XII in their diplomatic meetings to go further in his public statements, but privately wired the State Department that “taken as a whole, the message may be regarded as an arraignment of totalitarianism. Furthermore, the reference to the persecution of the Jews and mass deportations is unmistakeable”.[16]

Dr. Carl-Ludwig Diego von Bergen (1872 – October 7, 1944) was the ambassador to the Holy See from the Kingdom of Prussia (1915–1918), the Weimar Republic (1920–1933), and Nazi Germany (1933–1943), most notably during the negotiation of the Reichskonkordat and during World War II.

[His comments support Nazism:] From 1930 to 1943, by virtue of seniority, von Bergen was also the doyen of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. This office entitled him to speak at the funeral of Pope Pius XI in 1939, where he infamously urged the cardinals to elect a new pope who would work with the fascist governments of Europe to build “a new world upon the ruins of a past that in many things has no longer any reason to exist”.

He was replaced by Ernst von Weizsäcker.

Von Bergen also assured his superiors that the pope would not publicly condemn Nazi persecution and that “the pope’s heart, they tell me, is always on the side of the Axis”.

Germany named two new ministers to their embassy in Rome—Prince Otto Christian Archibald von Bismarck (d 24 December 1975)

Baron Johann von Plessen—Dr.jur. Johann Baron von Plessen, born Fiume 10 July 1890, Gesandter am Quirinal a.D., in 1955 living at Marutendorff, Kreis Rendsburg,The Baron died on 4 September 1961.

Phayer, Michael. 2008. Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34930-9.

Bernardino Nogara

Under Pius XI, Nogara made large investments in firms contrary to Catholic social teaching and made direct loans to Mussolini’s government prior to Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.[6][7] Under Pius XII, Nogara routinely invested in firms that profited from and enabled the war effort of the Axis powers during World War II. Though these investments were hidden from the Allies (with whom Nogara also transacted), through the use of holding companies and offshore banking centers, under Nogara “like water finding a downhill path, Vatican money found its way to the grisly side of the Holocaust”.[8]


Cesare Orsenigo

After the conclusion of the Reichskonkordat on July 20, 1933, Orsenigo urged German bishops to support the Nazi regime.[6] For example, anti-Nazi bishop Kaller Ermland complained that Orsenigo (who, Ermland assumed, spoke for the pope) “put the skids under me” by telling him to make amends with the Nazis.[6] Orsengio punished Bishop August von Galen, who continued to publicly criticize the Nazi’s euthanasia program, with a critical letter to Rome.[6]

Writing on May 8, 1933 about an earlier conversation with Hitler, Orsenigo opined that Hitler saw Christianity as essential to private life and the German state and that without the cooperation of the Nazis the German church could not hope to defeat liberalism, socialism, and Bolshevism.[7] Orsenigo reported that Hitler did not agree with the neo-pagan wing of the Nazi party, as represented in Alfred Rosenberg’s The Myth of the Twentieth Century.[7]
Following an April 4, 1933 transmission from Pope Pius XI to “look into whether and how it might be possible to become involved” in helping the victims of Nazi persecution, Orsenigo replied that any intervention would be seen as “a protest against that government’s law” and thus not be advisable.[8] Of the 95 documents from the Berlin nunciature in the Vatican Secret Archives from 1930 to 1938, only four contain references to Jews.[9]
On the orders of Pius XII, Orsenigo warmly and publicly congratulated Hitler on April 20, 1939, the Führer’s fiftieth birthday.[6] [my comment: And this was after Kristallnacht!]

Kurt Gerstein, whom Orsenigo refused to meet
Orsenigo as nuncio routinely refused to intervene on behalf of Jews and more often than not failed to forward to Rome reports descriptive or critical of the Holocaust.[6] A rare exception, was the Nazi plan to “resettle” Jews married to Christians, although Phayer argues that his concern was primarily with their Catholic spouses.[6] According to Phayer, “when the nuncio was directed by the Holy See to discuss incidents concerning Jewish victims with Nazi officials, he did so timidly and with embarrassment”.

In 1941, Orsenigo was contacted by Kurt Gerstein, a Protestant SS officer who had personally witnessed the extermination of Jews and wished to notify the Vatican.[15] Informed of the purpose of Gerstein’s visit, Orenigo refused to meet with him.[15] Gerstein’s message was eventually sent to the Vatican, by the auxiliary bishop of Berlin, not the nuncio’s office, where the information reached a “dead end”.[15]
Orsenigo’s primary priest-assistant was in fact a secret member of the Nazi party.[6] It is unknown whether Orsenigo himself was aware of his assistants party membership, however this fact was certainly known by Robert Leiber, a German Jesuit who served as one of Pius XII’s closest confidants and advisers during the war.[22]

Robert Leiber
According to Phayer, Leiber “sparked new life into Hudal’s plan” to set up a “ratline”—an escape route from Europe for fascists. Leiber wrote to the Austrian bishop around the time of Operation Barbarossa, telling bishop Hudal to “look at the [ratline] mission as a crusade”.[5] According to a history professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Leiber had no direct authority to correspond with Hudal as such, but “Leiber’s role as one of Pius XII’s closest confidantes allowed the German Jesuit to act as the pope’s intermediary and messenger”.[6] Hudal maintained contact with Leiber and other Vatican officials during and after the war.[7]
Despite (or because of) his historical training, Leiber destroyed all of his personal papers before his death, rather than leave them for posterity.[8] Leiber confided to van Room that he had destroyed his papers because he feared they “would cast Pius in an unfavorable light.”[9]
Leiber was in the confidence of German ambassador to the Vatican, Ernst von Weizsäcker (later tried at Nuremberg), who informed Leiber that the priest-assistant of Cesare Orsenigo was a member of the Nazi party.[10]

Further information: Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust
After the war, Leiber became actively involved in the debates over the legacy of Pius XII during the Holocaust, frequently writing and speaking publicly,[11] always as a “staunch defender” of Pius XII.[12] Leiber wrote an article, published on March 27, 1963 in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the main argument of which was that Pius XII had little, and generally unreliable information about the Holocaust.[13]


January 1933, former Chancellor Heinrich Brüning vigorously campaigned against the new government in the March elections. Later that month, he was a main advocate for rejecting the Hitler administration’s Enabling Act, calling it the “most monstrous resolution ever demanded of a parliament.” He nonetheless yielded to party discipline and voted in favour of the bill. Only the Social Democrats voted against the law. When Kaas was held up in Rome and resigned from his post as chairman of the Centre Party, Brüning was elected chairman on 6 May. However, Brüning yielded to increasing persecution by the National Socialist-controlled government by dissolving the Centre Party on 6 July.

from “Robert Leiber”
more recent study by [Holocaust historians] Dwork and Pelt concurs with Zuccotti, concluding: “Sam Waagenaar challenged Leiber. On the basis of our research, we find Waagenaar’s refutation convincing. Pope Pius XII did nothing. Many convents and monasteries helped—but not to the extent that Pius’s close associate Robert Leiber claimed”.[17] d’Arcy Osborne
He played a key part in a plot in 1940, which involved the Pope and certain German generals, to overthrow Hitler (See Owen Chadwick’s Britain and the Vatican During the Second World War, 1988, Cambridge University Paperback Library, p. 86 et seq.) A good guy.
Vittorio Cerruti [more?]

Aloisius Joseph Muench

According to Brown-Fleming, Muench’s sympathies in his writing matched his actions as one of the most active participants in the Vatican’s “postwar clemency campaign on behalf of convicted war criminals”.[14] In particular, he spoke against what he perceived to be the mistreatment of high-ranking prisoners such as Konstantin von Neurath, Erich Raeder, Karl Dönitz, Walther Funk, Baldur von Schirach, Albert Speer, and Rudolf Hess.[14][15] He wrote that their treatment was “another terrible blotch on our record for decent, humane treatment of war criminals”.[15] One World was cited by Josef Hering and other war criminals in their own writings.

[] Relationship with Jews
In at least four instances, Muench became involved in restitution disputes between Catholic Germans and Jews regarding property seized during the war; in each instance, Muench sided with the German Catholics, contacting highly placed German and American officials on their behalf.[16] Muench wrote in a September 1946 letter that “some of these gents exploit the fact that they were in concentration camps for their own benefit, although some were there because of an unsavory past”.[17] In one restitution case, where a distant relative of Muench had been sentenced by a military court to a fine of 2,000 marks and the return of his business to a Warsaw Jew, Muench wrote “a lot of hardship and injustice comes about because of [restitution resulting from] denazification”.[18]

Muench was also an *opponent of interreligious dialog efforts that included Jews, opposing the organization of chapters of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) and the International Conference of Christians and Jews (ICCJ), among others, in occupied Germany.[19] In a 1948 letter to Carl Zietlow, a Minnesotan Protestant pastor of the NCCJ, Muench described the organization as unneeded because: “regarding anti-Semitism” he had “found very little of it”.[19]

According to Phayer, for Muench as well as Pius XII, the “priority was not the survivors of the Holocaust, but the situation of the German Catholic refugees in Eastern Europe who had been driven from their homes at the end of the war. Incredibly, Bishop Muench actually felt that their lot was comparable to that of the Jews during the Holocaust”.[20]

**Clemency for war crimes

Cardinal Josef Frings, who worked with Muench for clemency.
Along with other German and American clerics, such as Johann Neuhausler, auxiliary bishop of Munich, Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne, Muench was “in close contact with occupation authorities, other religious leaders, and the convicted war criminals themselves” regarding the campaign for clemency for Nazi war criminals.[21]

In February 1950, Pius XII instructed Muench to write a letter in support of clemency for some convicted German war criminals to General Thomas Hardy, the head of the U.S. Army European Command, who had the final word on all clemency decisions; with his new appointment as papal regent, Muench was to speak as a direct representative of the pope.[22] In his diary, Muench made it clear that he viewed as “questionable” the sentences of war criminals who had not been directly involved in medical experimentation or other extreme acts at concentration camps or the deportation of people for slave labor.[23] Prior to this, Muench had frequently become involved in individual clemency cases, but took care not to attract undue attention or publicity to the Vatican.[24] As the Vatican urged Muench to press harder against the U.S. authorities, Muench wrote to Undersecretary Montini (future Pope Paul VI) warning him that Rome was on “dangerously thin ice”.[25]

According to Phayer, it was Muench’s discretion that “saved the Vatican from becoming publicly associated with former Nazis”.[26] Muench wrote: “I have not dared to advise the Holy See to intervene, especially if such intervention would eventually become public”.[27][28]

Muench often preferred to work behind the scenes; for example, a letter from one of Muench’s secretaries provided Father Franz Lovenstein the contact information he had requested “with the understanding, of course, that you are not to use his name in connection with any letters or briefs that will be sent to those gentlemen”.[29] For example, in the case of **Hans Eisle (former SS, convicted of medical experimentation on prisoners) there is some evidence that Muench’s intervention with General Clay in the summer of 1948 resulted in the commutation of Eisle’s execution (scheduled for June 1948) and Eisle’s eventual release in 1952.[20][30]

[] Nunciature (1951-1959)
Muench’s role as apostolic visitor was upgraded to nuncio when the Allied High Commission permitted the Federal Republic to form an independent foreign affairs ministry in March 1951.[31] On March 9, 1951, Pope Pius XII appointed Bishop Muench papal nuncio to Germany with the title of archbishop.[32] Muench viewed it as no small honor to hold the nunciature formerly occupied by Pius XII himself.[20][33] On March 12, Pius XII moved the nunciature from Eichstatt to Bad Godesberg, outside of Bonn.

Joseph Frings, Archb. of Cologne:
The persecution of the Jews was described by Frings as “himmelschreiendes Unrecht” (a crime that cries out to heaven).
Additionally, the involvement of the Franciscan Order in the United States and Rome with post war money laundering is chronicled along with a description of the Ustasha treasure convoy and the initial deposit of the funds at the Vatican in 1946.

Krunoslav Draganović – the Catholic priest and NDH supporter who helped orchestrate the “ratline” for Ustashe leaders like Pavelic to escape justice

A principal piece of evidence against the Vatican is the “Bigelow dispatch”, a October 16, 1946 dispatch from Emerson Bigelow in Rome to Harold Glasser, the director of monetary research for the U.S. Treasury Department.[4] Former OSS agent William Gowen has also given deposition as an expert witness that in 1946 Colonel Ivan Babić transported 10 truckloads of gold from Switzerland to the Pontifical College.[6]

Michael von Faulhaber

[Historian Saul ]Friedlander quotes Faulhaber:
In a letter addressed … to the Vatican’s secretary of state, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, Faulhaber wrote: We bishops are being asked why the Catholic Church, as often in its history, does not intervene on behalf of the Jews. This is not possible at this time because the struggle against the Jews would then, at the same time, become a struggle against the Catholics, and because the Jews can help themselves, as the sudden end of the boycott shows.[5]

In a letter to Pacelli in the early 1930s Faulhaber referred to the Nazi persecution of Jews as “unjust and painful”.[3]
In his sermons of Advent 1933 he defended the Old Testament against Nazi and anti-semitic readings, especially those advanced by Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg.[4] He admonished, “God always punishes the tormentors of his Chosen People, the Jews.”[4] During Krystalnacht, he loaned a truck to the chief rabbi of Munich in order to salvage items from his synagogue.[4] He was a major contributor to the only Papal encyclical ever written in German, Mit brennender Sorge, which sought to undercut the Nazi’s attempt to alter Christianity to support racism: “The culmination of Revelation in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is final, is binding forever. This revelation has no room for addenda made by human hand, still less for an ersatz or substitute religion based on arbitrary revelations, which some contemporary advocates wish to derive from the so-called myth of blood and race.”[4]

One historian praised Faulhaber as “one of the most fearless” German churchmen who in pastoral letters and sermons “denounced in no uncertain terms the treatment of Jews, the theories of German christians, and various actions of the Nazis” and that he noted the “debt of Christianity to the Jews”.[5]

The bishops of Austria, Hitler’s country of birth, but outside the control of Nazi repression at that time, publicly expressed their view of the Concordat, Nazism, and the situation in Germany in a letter of December 23, 1933: “The concordat recently concluded between the Holy See and Germany does not mean that the Catholic Church approves of the religious errors of Nazism. Everybody knows how tense is the situation between the Church and State in Germany. . . . The Catholic Church has never agreed with the three fundamental errors of Nazism, which are first, race madness, second, violent anti-Semitism, and third extreme nationalism.” The Austrian bishops still dared to write in this manner, as they were under the protection of Engelbert Dollfuss, who was an ally of the then still anti-Hitlerite Italian leader Benito Mussolini.

The Austrian bishops’ letter, the New York Times noted, “is regarded as a challenge to national-socialism not only in Austria but also in Germany.”[9]

After the war:
On June 20, 1945 Cardinal Faulhaber, together with the Lutheran regional bishop of Bavaria, Hans Meiser, issued a protest on behalf of imprisoned Nazi Party members and imprisoned members of the German Army. They protested against the Allied-Soviet treatment of other German civilians too. In their joint letter to the American military government in Munich both stated, that imprisonment on remand was an “avoidable harshness” that would make it difficult to re-educate the German people after World War II.

Faulhaber protested against atrocities and unclarified sudden death cases in POW prisons also. Faulhaber also spiritually and materially supported Brigitte Frank, the widow of former Reich Governor of Poland Hans Frank, who had lost her property during denazification. Hans Frank, [the Nazi Governor of Poland ]would convert to Catholicism just before his execution in 1946.

Karl Maria Splett
Splett was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kulm by Pope Pius XII on 6 December 1939. Polish historians accused Splett of being too close to the Nazi regime, they noted he had close relations to Nazi **Albert Forster (who praised Splett’s work for Germany).[4] Splett replaced Polish clergy with German one fait, introducing 200 German priests into Chełmno diocese where he took office from December 1939. Under his reign Polish priesthood was oppressed and prayers and masses under his direction praised Hitler.[4] He also issued a ban against use of Polish language in churches. When he banned confessions in Polish in May 1940 Vatican intervened and ordered that the ban be lifted.[4] Not only did Splett defend his ban, he argued it was to “protect” people making the confessions.[4] After this argument he tried to claim that confessions in Polish are used for “nationalistic means”.[4] Eventually Vatican accepted his explanation.[4] Besides banning Polish language, Splett ordered removal of Polish signs and names in graveyards from monuments and graves and in all churches under his jurisdiction.[4]
Despite officially banning the Polish language, Splett unofficially supported priests who continued to use Polish language.[5] He also supported some Polish refugees hidding from the Nazis, and provided financial aid to the famiies of priests arrested and killed by the Nazis.[5]

The principle movers were allegedly Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic, Fr. Dominik Mandic (d. 1973, Chicago) OFM, and the war criminal Ante Pavelić (dead)

Later District Court rulings (2006-2009)
On June 15, 2006, Judge Elizabeth Laporte of the Northern District of California denied without prejudice the plaintiff’s motion for jurisdictional discovery and granted in part the plaintiffs motion to provide materials pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[21] On December 27, 2007, Judge Maxine M. Chesney granted the Vatican Banks motion to dismiss the fourth amended complaint; this effectively ended the case against the Vatican Bank on the basis of **sovereign immunity.[22]

On April 14, 2009, Judge Chesney granted a plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a sixth amended complaint no later than May 1, 2009.[23] The sixth amendment complaint has been filed, naming the Franciscan Order as a defendant, but no longer the Vatican Bank.[5] On September 11, 2009, the District court dismissed the case against the Franciscans without prejudice on grounds of lack of federal jurisdiction and denied Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint on November 13, 2009. Plaintiffs have appealed this to the Ninth Circuit.

Complaint to European Central Bank (2010)

On July 1, 2010, the Plaintiffs submitted a request that the European Central Bank initiate an investigation of Vatican Bank money laundering and dealing in Nazi gold. They based this on Article 8 of The Monetary Agreement between the European Union and The Vatican City State which forbids Euro issuing entities from money laundering.[6]

Cardinal Eugene Tisserant

held a number of offices in the Roman Curia, among them: President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1938–1946), Prefect of the Congregation of Ceremonies (1951–1967, when it was divided into the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and that of Divine Worship), and Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church (1957–1971). After the outbreak of World War II, Pius XII refused to release Tisserant as the head of the Vatican Library, so that Tisserant could return to France to serve in the army.[1]

In the postwar years, according to an interpretation of certain documents, Tisserant worked with the Argentine Cardinal Antonio Caggiano to rescue beleaguered Nazis and collaborators from post-war Europe.[2]
On 13 January 1951, Tisserant was appointed Dean of the College of Cardinals, after three years service as Vice-Dean
source: Wikipedia
Italy embassy, to NDH (Croatia)
Raffaele Casertano, July 3, 1941 – July 12, 1943
Luigi Petrucci, July 12, 1943 – September 30, 1943)

Laszlo Bartok, April 18, 1941 – June 4, 1941
Franz von Marosy, June 4, 1941 – August 7, 1944
Arnold Van der Venne as of August 7, 1944

Abbot Giuseppe Ramiro Marcone, O.S.B. (1918.03.11 – 1952).

Cabas, Josip – December 24th 1980

Secretary Guiseppe Masucci
Count Maximilian Erwin Lobkowicz
also included in “Yugoslavia I” page

Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
Archbishop of Milan during WW2:

Before World War II
Schuster was an enthusiastic supporter of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, comparing it to the Crusades and viewing it as a potential source of converts.[2] On October 28, 1935, while celebrating mass in the Duomo di Milano, Schuster asked God to protect the Italian troops as “they open the door of Ethiopia to the Catholic faith and Roman civilisation”, and blessed the banners of the departing troops.

The ratline was organized in Milan.


Josef Burkel, Nazi Gau. of Vienna, d. 1944
Profited from Artworks stolen from the Jews.
Morley, Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust, 1939-1943.
wiki, public statements of Pope Pius XII on the Holocaust

Michael Phayer… acknowledging in his later work that historians (himself included) have been “too dismissive of the 1942 address” (of the Pope), although he agrees that “Pius never spoke out again.”

Harold Tittman, Jr. , American Ambassador to the Vatican. ” Pius XII refused requests to endorse the United Nation’s …declaration; one such request came from Harold Tittman”.
my editorial:

Althought the Church helped Jews, it said precious little against the Hitler regime during the ’30’s, when the madman could have been stopped. It also didn’t seem to be opposed to Mussolini’s long reign, when he clearly was on the war path.

Part of the problem with British-American books on the war and Holocaust is that they date the war’s beginning on Sept 1, 1939; omitting the fact that the Spanish Civil war saw Nazi-fascist intervention in the Civil war, the Spanish attempt to achieve democracy. The Catholic Church clearly supported Franco and the aristocracy, not the people. “A poor people can be guaranteed to stay religious”, may have been their consensus. “Hence why tolerate liberal democracy, which may only help the people improve their plight and status?” The Vatican has its own foreign policy, as we know. It joined the League of Nations in 1929, and hence it is a ‘state’.

We should date The Spanish Civil War (1936-9) as the real beginning of World War Two in Europe.

By ignoring British, French and American refusal to aid the Spanish Republic, the role of the Catholic Church in the war is unjustifiably diminished. There were widespread fears of Stalinist Bolshevism in Spain and throughout Europe, which seemed the worse of the two evils to many people — in the Church and across the world.

Since Rumania, Croatia (NDH), Hungary, and many other Eastern European countries have large Catholic populations, as did Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, then we must ask of the Pope -“At long last, have you no shame? What was your Eastern Policy before, during, and after the War?”

As the man said, “Good night and good luck.”


5 Responses to “The Church and the Holocaust”

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    […] For The Most Part The Belief In Jesus Has Greatly Improved Our World. Sadly There Have Been Many Militarized “Christians” Which Terrorized The World. Yet Realistically Dark And Evil Things Would Destroy The World If It Weren’t For Those Of The Light. Either Way, “Sin” Will Plague Planet Earth. There Is No Where We Can Go Where Sin Will Not Show Its “Ugly” Additionally you can look at this related post: […]

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  4. cweinblatt Says:

    Excellent blog and post! Thanks for opening the actions of the Church during the Holocaust to our eyes. Sadly, it seems that Church members did more to protect Jews than Church leadership. But then again, it was Church leadership that murdered millions of innocent Jews and Muslims during The Crusades and murdered more than a million Jews during the English Expulsion and The Spanish Inquisition.

    While nothing can be done to change actions that created, promoted, allowed or fostered genocide; the Church can today acknowledge past indiscretions and do their best to promote tolerance globally.

    Keep up the great work here!

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, Jacob’s Courage

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