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Michael Hesemann defended Pope Pius XII : The Vatican and the Holocaust

80 years Ago, in March 1939, was elected the Roman cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, a man to the Pope, as Pope Pius XII, like no other Catholic Church leader of the 20th century. Century, the interest of research and the Public excited. The focus is on the behavior of the Roman Pontiff is compared to Nazism and the Holocaust. In the year cycle of new books that condemn either the Pope's Silence, in spite of detailed knowledge of mass murder or the rescue of the Holy see for persecuted Jews highlight to appear.

Between these two poles is little room for differentiated, sober, moralizing, and Eulogies free viewing. Such a project would be currently held by the closed Files to the pontificate of Pius XII (1939-1958) at the Vatican secret archive to fail.

No new information

When a new book is announced on the Cover of the "first German publication of the controversial documents", may, readers inside and readers excited. Alone, a lot of New does not promote the work of the 1964-born historian, Michael Hesemann. Because the Pope has publicly condemned never clear the crimes of the national socialists, or even all of the murder, the actions involved Catholics excommunicated, but nevertheless, individual salvation tolerated actions, and has suggested, is well known. Rather, Hesemann has produced a written defence, the Pope Pius XII, "the most prominent of Fake-News-victims of the 20th century. Century“ transfigured.

The author, formerly with para-scientific writings entered into, and is not stingy with superlatives: At one point it is said that Pacelli was "the welfare of the Jews, the most weighted cardinal of the Roman Curia, and perhaps of the whole Church of his time". Other Pius will be declared XII, "Hitler's wirkmächtigstem opponent". Completely the hagiographic arch is covered with the write-up, Pius was the "greatest Schindler of his time", with the documents indicating in the footnote as a guarantee of man only an unnamed "fellow Historian". The questionable title may well Pius’ time, Oskar Schindler enjoyed themselves.

critics he takes seriously

These Exaggerations make it hard to take actually, well, in some Places even exciting book written seriously. For example, if the documents presented (by him already in 2010, discovered and published) in Latin written letter by the beginning of 1939 from the Vatican archives, in which the then cardinal Secretary of state Pacelli bishops around the world to assist in the immigration of an estimated 200 000 to Catholicism converted Jews from the German Reich asks. The action was however, largely unsuccessful.

Rolf Hochhuth wirkmächtiges Drama "The Deputy", he explains to a "plant from the propaganda kitchen of the KGB". Compared with other scientific monographs, such as the 2016 published work, "first Deputy" of the US-American historian David I. Kertzer (after all, with the Pulitzer prize) collects the documents of the accusation, "to be quite tendentious" has been written – and this applies to his own work. He mentioned a as a cry for help written letter from Edith Stein to Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) from the April, 1933, but that the later, who was murdered in Auschwitz author never received a concrete answer.

His crime was the Silence

Hesemann quoted extensively from the contemporary press, even from the Communist sheets, such as the French "L'humanité", however, always in favour of the Pope. A careful look into the leaf would have been enough, in order to enrich his one-sided picture of Pope Pius XII. In the newspaper, it was called after the death of the Pope in October 1958 in an obituary: "Unfortunately, he was silent to the crimes of Hitler fascism and to store the concentration." Similarly, Le Monde wrote: "He has condemned the Religion of the blood, the Hitlerism, not explicitly, emphatically and clearly."

The Foreword to the book has been written by Jesuit father Peter Gumpel, who has been trying for decades, in Rome, to bring the cause for the beatification of Pacelli-Pope to the success. With a apodiktischen statement ("It is beyond question that Pius XII has done much for the Jews, perhaps more than any other"), the direction of impact is clear. A lot of room for in-between shades don't stay there. And the Slogan, "Save – don't talk" on the book, appears grotesque when you look at the history of the persecution and murder of the European Jews, in particular, the Deportation of the Jews of Rome in October 1943, to Auschwitz.

More about

Oskar Schindler The list of realms

Claudia Keller

Michael Hesemann: the Pope and The Holocaust. Pius XII and the secret files in the Vatican. Langen-Müller, Stuttgart, 2018. 448 p., 28 €.

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