Skip to comments.Hitler's Pope? (Book review of The Myth of Hitler's Pope)
Posted on 08/18/2006 6:56:57 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
AS A HISTORIAN OF THE HOLOCAUST, I frequently receive requests from Jewish educators, seeking support for grant applications for their Holocaust programs. Almost all these applications include a sentence about how the new program will inform students that the Pope, and the Vatican, "did nothing" during the Holocaust to help Jews.
The most recent such portrayal reached me while I was writing this review. It is part of a proposal to a major Jewish philanthropic organization, and contains the sentence: "Also discusses the role of the Vatican and the rabidly anti-Semitic Pope Pius XII, who were privy to information regarding the heinous crimes being committed against the Jews, and their indifferent response."
That the Pope and the Vatican were either silent bystanders, or even active collaborators in Hitler's diabolical plan -- and "rabidly anti-Semitic," as stated above -- has become something of a truism in Jewish educational circles, and a powerful, emotional assertion made by American-Jewish writers, lecturers, and educators.
David G. Dalin, professor of history and political science at Ave Maria University, Naples, Florida -- and an ordained rabbi -- demonstrates in his recent book, The Myth of Hitler's Pope, that this is a false and distorted portrayal. He also shows its long pedigree, starting more than 40 years ago, in 1963, with Rolf Hochhuth's play The Deputy. Although that play was fiction, it was widely regarded as based on fact in its strident assertion of the moral cowardice and silence of Eugenio Pacelli, who in 1939 became Pope as Pius XII.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Can't help thinking of the lyrics..."lunatic fringe, I know you're out there...."
It's nice to see a little accuracy, but it probably won't get a big play. Is some of this due to the RC Church helping Nazi's flee to So. America at the end of WWII?
A point I'd like to emphasize: the slander against Pope Pius XII began, not with Jews, but with apostate Catholics -- Cornwell and Carroll in particular. Their goal was to destroy the reputation and credibility of the Papacy in general, and of the Catholic Church as a whole.
You mean like the CIA did?
"You mean like the CIA did?"
It's obvious you can't have a conversation about your denomination. You are so defensive it's silly.
Maybe, but Hochhuth who was raised as a Protestant and later a Marxist came 35 years before either Cornwell or Carroll.
In the 1960's, ironically, Jews strenuously defended Pius XII after the release of Hochhuth's play. Pinchas Lapide and Jeno Levai immediately come to mind.
The people who pushed the idea that Pius was bad from the 1960's to the 1990's were almost entirely left-wingers (no matter what their supposed religious affiliation).
I just spoke to a student from Ave Maria university two nights ago. I gave a presentation on Pius XII and the Jews. The yound student, coincidentally, had taken a class with Dalin at AMU. She says he is obsessed with baseball, talks about it in class all the time. That was a surprise to me.
God works in mysterious ways!
Good for Martin Gilbert. I love his books! So intensely researched, and yet readable and emotionally involving.
The Catholic Church is NOT a denomination.
And yes, some Catholics did everything they could to help get former Nazi officer and their allies out of Europe and away from the Soviets and Allies.
The Church had nothing to do with it.
I don't belong to a "denomination".
I've watched you. You post negative comments about the Catholic Church on practically every thread concerning Catholicism. You aren't exactly a dispassionate, neutral observer.
And it's a fact that CIA operatives aided former Nazis.
You bet. I was just pointing out that the persecution by the RC Church began almost immediately after the persecution of Christians by Diocletian (sp). The point being, the RC Church has NO history of freedom of speech, free association and most importantly freedom of religion.
I call that an attack, and also a slander. I defend against attackers. Deal with it, friend.
Oh, and your claim that "the persecution by the RC Church began almost immediately after the persecution of Christians by Diocletian" is a bizarre one, since the Christians persecuted by Diocletian were Catholics, and Catholicism didn't become the state religion of Rome until a century after Diocletian.
But history is not obstacle for the trained anti-Catholic attacker. Never has been, never will be. It's sad that so-called "Christians" seem to base their "Christianity" almost entirely on attacks and slanders against other followers of Christ.
Now that tells you something!!
If that doesn't convince even the biggest skeptic that Pius XII was in big with Hitler, I don't know what will.
I don't belong to a "denomination".
Denomination n. (a) a unit of money (on a bank note/coin). (b) a religious sect; church.
Webster's Student Dictionary 1999 edition.
There were some priests and nuns who were Nazis. There were some priests and nuns who were communists. There are some priests and nuns who are radical liberals. Rotten apples in the barrel.
But the basic problem is with people who are above all German, American, French...before they are Catholic. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar but....
A denomination is something that is a smaller unit of something larger.
The Catholic Church comes from a person, Christ, not a thing. Protestant sects come from the Catholic Church and from each other. They are denominations. The Catholic Church is not.
"Denomination" is a word that comes out of the period before the Civil War when protestants influenced by evangeliists such as Finney began to minimize the specific doctrinal /liturgical differences between Baptists, Methodists ,Presbyterians, and speak of them as "nominal." But I suspect that many Baptists would also reject the notion of their being a sect.
It doesn't seem likely to get much beyond the pages of American Spectator. It's a review of a book published in 2005.
It's rather astonishing that Gilbert continues to get requests for support from 'educators' who seek to rely on fairy tales and further calumny.
Maybe that's why we call fairy tales enchanting. Perhaps these 'educators' have been enchanted.
It was the imperial government not the Church that pressured the heretics, But recall that its was the Catholic bishop Athanasius who is the most famous victim of imperial persecution between 330 and 395. The Donatists were a special case, because they had a great following among local terrorists hostile to imperial authority. St. Augustine as bishop tried persuasion for more than ten years before he concluded that only the rod would work.
"When did your church deal with the Montarist's, Novatianist's and Donatist's?"
Montanists = third century.
Novatians = third century. Novatus died within a few years after 250.
Donatists = early fourth century sect, particularly disruptive and violent were the Donatists called Circumcellions who attacked Catholics with clubs they nicknamed "Israels". The Romans got annoyed when Donatists sided with count Gildas in a revolt against the emperor. The Romans already had a rather dim view of them at that point. In a conference debate in 411 both Donatists and Catholics each put forward 284 bishops to debate which Church was the true Church. The man who decided the winner was the Roman official Marcellinus (if I remember correctly). He naturally voted for the obvious winner - the Catholics. The Donatists were officially suppressed by the Roman government and largely whipped out by the invading Vandals not too many years later.
Diocletian on the other hand reigned from 284-305. Novatus came BEFORE Dioceltian. The Montanists came WAY BEFORE Diocletian. The Donatists were violent and repressed by the government.
You don't need to be a church historian like me to get this stuff right. You just need to be able to read and count.
"It doesn't seem likely to get much beyond the pages of American Spectator. It's a review of a book published in 2005."
I didn't know that. The fact that it is not being reported is probably a result of bias. It's too bad, we should always strive for truth.
What evidence do you have that the Catholic Church helped Nazis escape to So. America after the war? If you want to make a charge like this, you must back it up if you expect to be taken seriously.
You forgot the Red Cross.
"What evidence do you have that the Catholic Church helped Nazis escape to So. America after the war?"
None, that was poorly worded. I should have said "the charge of". I have heard it mentioned, but never looked at any details.
Do you know any of these details, or are they spurious? I thought it probably was also worth looking at in light of the book review.
Apparently those skills are lacking in some of the Church's most vocal detractors.
A better question might be: how did the Roman Catholic Church deal with these groups?
The answer: verbal condemnation and sacramental excommunication.
BTW - It's "Montanists" - and the Montanists weren't even Christians at all, in the first place.
Why is it that the only time anti-semitism is ever brought up by the left is when they are trying to bash Catholics?
This is the power of drama, for good or evil.
This is why the Left took a nutty over "The Passion," and why orthodox Christians publicly denounced "The DaVinci Code." In the coming decades, the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene will be conventional wisdom, thanks to the DaVinci Code.
Did the Church had a policy of actively aiding Nazi war criminals after WWII?
How does that square with the fact that the Church's humanitarian aid for Jews was lauded by the NY Times, Albert Einstein and the chief Rabbi of Rome, who eventually converted to Catholicism, taking the pope's name as his baptismal name? (see below)
Or did the war criminals blend in with other refugees?
And/or were the criminals helped by individual fascist sympathizers within the Church?
I'm having a hard time googling anything that appears to be reliable.
"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks...
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
Time Magazine, 12/23/40
The charity and work of Pope Pius XII during World War II so impressed the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, that in 1944 he was open to the grace of God which led him into the Catholic faith. As his baptismal name, he took the same one Pius had, Eugenio, as his own. Later Israel Eugenio Zolli wrote a book entitled, Why I Became a Catholic.
"The voice of Pius XII 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."
The New York Times editorial
12/25/41 (Late Day edition, p. 24)
"This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent... Pope Pius expresses as passionately as any leader on our side the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were lifeless things."
The New York Times editorial
12/25/42 (Late Day edition, p. 16)
Ping! Per our FRmail discussion earlier this afternoon.
Montarist's? Is that a monetarian Montanist?
I'm not sure why you think denunciation and excommunication constitute "persecution". Last time I checked, your own Baptist church operates exactly that way with people it judges to be outside the pale.
Are you going to argue that Catholics don't have the right to decide who is and isn't a Catholic? That church discipline is a form of "persecution"? The NT won't back you up on that, I'm afraid.
And don't buy the foolishness that some Baptists promote that those guys were the "true Christians". The Montanists in particular believed that their leaders were prophets who could write new Scripture. That's closer to Mormonism than to any other Christian creed.
However, I wish to address another, much more fundamental issue. When will the enemies of religion stop using the Childen of Israel, the original Bible-banging Theocratic exterminators of pagans, as a club with which to attack "religion?" Do these idiots really believe that Joshua was a KKK member/Puritan witch burner/Spanish inquisitor? Do they think that the Jews suddenly popped out of nowhere two thousand years ago just as the Biblical religion allegedly morphed into chr*stianity, just in time to be persecuted by the heirs of the ancient Hebrew tradition? How ignorant, how deluded, can people be?
I am well aware of the tendency to identify all anti-Communism as inherently anti-Semitic (which would, of course, imply that Communism must itself be inherently "Semitic"). It has become routine to insist that all surviving Nazis in Europe went to work for the Free World after WWII (some of them in fact went to work for the Communists), but just recently an article was posted on FR that seemed to imply that Communist Arabs were unimplicated in Arab anti-Zionism (and what was Arafat, a "reactionary???"). Of course the notion that Judaism lies at the heart of the war against G-d is to completely sever modern Jews from their ancient Biblical ancestors--which, fittingly enough, is the exact same position of ant-Semitic "rightwingers" who proclaim their love for the Jewish G-d in between rants against G-d's people.
Then last night I noticed a post of an evolutionist's attack on the anti-evolutionism of Ann Coulter. This idiot demonstrated his "love of the Jewish People" and "loathing of chr*stianity" by explicitly attacking the Jewish G-d (under the name academics have reconstructed in place of the Tetragrammaton) and Seifer Berei'shit (that's the Book of Genesis, y'all) and then endorsing J*sus' sermon on the mount. This is philo-Judaism? This is anti-chr*stianism?
You know, when I was a little kid and our first grade teacher disobeyed the Supreme Court by providing Bible readings in class, those readings were more often than not about the Children of Israel. Meanwhile I noticed that Israel seemed to be always in the news. What a comfort it was to me that the ancient People of G-d were still around (I didn't even know at that time that they had been in exile for over nineteen hundred years and that modern Israel was a recent "artificial" creation). But even long after learning these things I still can't understand how anyone can look at the Jewish state in the Land of Israel and somehow separate them from those "awful, intolerant, bloodthirsty" Hebrews of the "old testament" period. Yet even the Jewish state in Israel is associated more with modernity, democracy, enlightenment, and "free thought" than it is with the commandment to exterminate eight nations of people from the face of the earth (you know, that's something only those awful chr*stians would do). What is the freaking matter with everyone else???
I am a Noachide because I acknowledge the ancient, unchanged and unchanging Jealous G-d of Israel, the same G-d whom such "admirers of the Jewish people" as Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, and today's liberals so despise. How could anyone make even a subconscious distinction between "modern Jews" and "ancient Israelites" in which the former become icons of the philosophy of Voltaire and the latter are attacked under cover of "anti-chr*stianism?"
The rest of the world may radically distinguish between "modern Jews" (good, sweet, harmless, tolerant, pluralistic, victims of "religious fanatics" everywhere) and "ancient Israelites" (violent bloodthirsty yobs who are the progenitors of rampaging medieval chr*stians), but I absolutely refuse to do so. Ever.
The rest of the world (which insists that one may love either the Jewish People or the Jewish G-d but never both) is in for a very unpleasant surprise in the near future.
Sorry but the Catholic Church doesn't go by the standards of Webster's Student Dictionary. We are not a denomination. Denominationalism started with the Protestant churches. So if you want to go by dictionary definitions:
Free Dictionary says about denominationalism: "denominationalism - the tendency, in Protestantism, to separate into religious denominations or to advocate such separations."
Catholics do not consider themselves to be from a denomination as several other Catholics here have told you. It is the One, Holy, Apostolic Church. O-N-E!
It doesn't seem that scholarly discussion is encouraged. It's perfectly okay to just toss out any claim without documentation to back up said claim. Unfortunately, when claims like this are made there are people that will take it seriously. Especially those thirsty for any dirt they can get their hands on against the Catholic Church.
So what? How does your church deal with heretics?
Please excuse my last post to you. I am going through these too fast and I saw wmfights name in your post and thought that is who I was replying to. Humble apologies for my stupid goof!
R U going to be teaching at Ave Maria FL ?
Hmmm. Have never heard of that. Does it originate with some of the same people spreading the lies about the Church turning her back on the Jews during WWII? It is likely that individual priests may have helped some Nazis escape from the Allies, just as individual priests helped the Nazis round up Jews in various places. They acted sinfully, but they did NOT represent the policy of the Church.
Our daughter is heading off to Ave Maria Univ. next week. I hope she gets to have a class with Rabbi Dalin, at some point.
The Catholic and Orthodox Church is The Church. Other western innovations are fragments or fragments of fragments that rebelled against God and His Church.
True but some of the stuff on the internet about Rabbi Israel Zolli is frightening. They are soooooo bitter. Even now.
Are you actually going to be able to back up your wild claims with facts this time?
...and I don't mean citation of some wacko snake handler website.
No. I wouldn't mind that job, but my connections there are of no benefit to me in getting a job there. I know a couple of professors there and two or three students. That's all.
If she takes history classes she should. He apparently teaches several intoduction classes. He is well liked too.
There were indeed a number of Nazis and Nazi allies smuggled out of occupied Europe by Catholics (some of whom were based in Rome).
Croatian priests helped smuggle out members of the Ustashe which dominated Croatia after the Nazis seized it in 1941. These Ustashe guys were often real slime, but to Croatians many of them were either viewed as flawed national heros (for liberating Croatia from Serbian control) or they were pitied for having lost everything at the end of the war. Some were smuggled to Spain, some to South America if I am not mistaken. Even those in the Vatican who believed the men to be criminals didn't want them to fall into the hands of the communists to be used as pawns against Croatia and the West. Overall, however, the Vatican took a pretty dim view of these clandestine efforts and shut down the avenues through the church used by the smugglers.
The CIA also smuggled people and recruited them. Was that a reputable effort? We knew by 1947-48 that war with the USSR was very possible. Already in 1945 some people began to believe it was a possibility. We recruited all sorts of nefarious characters who we thought might serve as anti-communist agents or spies, etc.
I think the "importance" of these smuggling operations is greatly overblown. Yes, some bonafide war criminals got away. Some were caught and tried later. Some weren't.