SWC Applauds Vatican Release of Files of Controversial World War II Pope Who Was “Complicitly Silent” as Jews Were Murdered During the Holocaust

February 28, 2020

The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomes the Vatican’s release of the full files of Pope Pius XII, who served as Pope in the 1930s, during the Second World War and Nazi Holocaust. This, after serving as the Vatican’s Ambassador to Berlin for over 20 years.
“For decades, the Simon Wiesenthal Center been a strong advocate for lobbying the Vatican to take this momentous step, meeting with the last three popes a total of five times including just last month,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an institution devoted to imparting the lessons of the Holocaust. “Finally the whole story about Pope Pius XII’s complicit silence will come to light.”
Rabbi Hier recounted in his autobiography Meant to Be: “He never condemned the Nazis or protested the deportation and murder of Europe’s Jews. He never expressed – even in a private letter or secret dispatch – shock or disapproval of Nazi atrocities.”
“From the outset of the conflict to its conclusion, Pope Pius XII sat on the Throne of St. Peter in silence, as the trains carrying millions of unsuspecting victims crisscrossed Europe en route to the gas chambers.” 

Without a doubt, the documentation already available, unquestionably confirms that Pius XII’s public silence disqualifies him from being confirmed as a saint. 

“The overwhelming body of scholarly evidence from Jewish and non-Jewish sources, including the released Vatican documents on the Second World War, shows that Pius XII was perhaps the best informed leader on what was really happening in Europe at the time. Yet, not once did the supreme Pontiff muster the courage to condemn the Nazis publicly,” Rabbi Hier stated in a 1998 letter to then Pope John Paul II.
“He did not even intervene on October 18, 1943, when the Nazis raided the Jewish ghetto in Rome, forcing more than a thousand Jewish men, women and children out of their homes and into trucks – just a few hundred yards from the Vatican’s walls.
In contrast to Pius XII, the Archbishop of Ponlouse and the Bishop of Montauban in France, along with Bishop Giuseppe Placido Nicolini in Italy, Father Bernard Lichtenberg in Germany, and Bishop Apor of Gyor in Hungary – all placed themselves at great risk in advocating for the Jewish people.
The Center’s independent research also confirmed that the future Pope, while serving for decades as the Holy See’s Ambassador to Berlin openly described Jews, in a letter, in a stereotypical and prejudiced fashion.

For further information, please contact the Center’s Communications Department 310.553.9036 or pressinquiries@wiesenthal.com join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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