Pope Pius XII’s Revisionism




Favourable to the Allies and obligingly helpful to the Jews, Pope Pius XII was also a revisionist. It is precisely his revisionist scepticism, and not any ignorance of the facts, that explains his silence on the alleged physical extermination of the Jews, on the alleged Nazi gas chambers and on the alleged six million victims of what today is called “the Holocaust” or “the Shoah”.

Favourable to the Allies, in 1940 he went so far as to act as intermediary between, on the one hand, German opponents of Hitler’s regime and, on the other, France and Britain. Better still: in 1941, having to choose between Hitler and Stalin, he decided, at the behest of Roosevelt, to choose Stalin. Yet “Uncle Joe” embodied the Communism which, four years previously, an encyclical had denounced as “intrinsically wrong”. Thus the German army was to see its soldiers, many of whom were Roman Catholics, and their chaplains, get themselves killed in the East by American weapons supplied to the Communist regime with the Pope’s secret blessing. The Germans reopened the churches closed by the Soviets but, later on, at the Nuremberg trial, they would stand accused – notably by a Soviet prosecutor – of religious persecution. And no-one in the Vatican would protest against that criminal judicial masquerade.

Obligingly helpful to the Jews, Pius XII always spoke out against racism and anti-semitism. During the war, whether in person or through his representatives, he went to the aid of European Jews. He did so via religious, diplomatic, material and financial avenues, and through the media outlets at his direct disposal (L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio). In his public talks he attacked the internment of large numbers of Jews in camps and ghettos, their “slow decline” (progressivo deperimento) as well as the “exterminating constraints” (costrizioni sterminatrici) to which they had been subjected. During and after the war, tribute was paid to him for his action in favour of the Jews as a whole by numerous Jewish or Zionist personalities and authorities.

Revisionist in attitude and recalling the lesson of the First World War’s lies about Teutonic barbarity (children having their hands cut off, factories making products from soldiers’ corpses etc.), it was with a worthy scepticism that he received the plethora of cacophonous stories of Nazi death-works. Before imputing these alleged crimes to Adolf Hitler, whom he abhorred, he wanted to have confirmation and precise information. He was not supplied with these and was, at times, told that the obvious needed no proving. Then, rightly, he decided to keep quiet about things that were merely the stuff of unfounded rumours.

His scepticism in this regard was like that of the wartime Allied leaders, albeit more clear-cut. The latter, in their anti-Nazi diatribes, were assuredly scathing about the “extermination” of the Jews but with the rhetorical bluster of war speeches and solely in a general and conventional sense; so it was that by “extermination” they meant excesses, maltreatment, mass executions, famine. In August 1943 they had almost gone further and spoken of “gas chambers” but the Foreign Office in London and the State Department in Washington, inundated with Jewish propaganda, decided by mutual agreement that there was “insufficient evidence” for them to talk about German homicidal gas chambers (August 29, 1943). In the same spirit, during and after the war, Churchill, Eisenhower and de Gaulle avoided mentioning the alleged gas chambers or gas vans in either their speeches or their memoirs.

Today a certain Jewish or Zionist propaganda lays a blanket of blame on Pius XII, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, the International Committee of the Red Cross, various resistance movements, the countries that stayed neutral and just about the whole universe. All find themselves rebuked for their indifference or silence with respect to the “little nation that has suffered so much”. Their descendants or successors must publicly express penance (techouva) and pay up.

If truth be told, Pope Pius XII has some defenders, and, amongst them, some Jews. For these people, if the Pope kept quiet about the awful fate of the Jews it was “because he didn’t know”. Besides, the Allied officials, they add, knew no more about it themselves, hence their own silence, their inaction, their refusal to bomb Auschwitz. The explanation is pitiful. It rests on speculation alone. It aggravates the case of those whom it seeks to defend: it makes deaf, blind or ignorant men of them.

If, for three or four years running, a physical extermination of such dimensions had been perpetrated with such horrible means as those gigantic chemical slaughterhouses, in the very heart of Europe (a Europe that was largely transparent, whatever we may be told to the contrary), and if the result of it had been the demise of six million people (the equivalent of the population of Switzerland), people would have been aware of it and traces of the crime would abound. In fact, not a trace has yet been found, not one document pertaining to it has been discovered, and for good reason. The “Wannsee” minutes attest to something that was the contrary of an extermination policy, for they provide for the “freeing” (Freilassung) of the Jews after the end of the war and the creation of a Jewish entity somewhere outside Europe. On the other hand, from 1945 onwards, this alleged planned massacre produced millions of European Jews dubbing themselves “living witnesses to the genocide” and “survivors”, often “by miracle”. For anyone willing to reflect on it, these people constitute instead, quite unwillingly, an impressive body of “living proof” of the fact that there was, in reality, neither “Holocaust” nor “Shoah”.

For the devotees of the “Shoah” religion, the magical gas chamber is everything, permitting everything (Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s words in 1950). This myth is the sword and shield of Israel. It authorises exorbitant power, privileges, pressure, extortion and blackmail. “Auschwitz” is wielded as a “moral cudgel” (Martin Walser in 1998). The first victim is defeated Germany; the second is an insulted Christendom and the third is the Arab-Moslem world slated for constant humiliation.

Over the span of three decades Pope Pius XII’s successors tried to offer some resistance to the rising flood of Jewish demands and recriminations grounded in the Great Lie. But both John XXIII and Paul VI had to yield step by step. As for John Paul II, who acceded to the papacy in 1978, his attempts at resistance lasted eleven years. In 1989, during the affair of the Carmelite nuns and their cross at Auschwitz, in the course of which he was to lay down his arms, he evoked, in a message to the Polish Episcopal conference, the “extermination of the Jews” in the “gas chambers”. In 1990 he repeated the gesture with a like remark before a group of Poles at an audience in the Vatican. In 1992 he condemned historical revisionism. In 1993 he recognised the State of Israel. In 1998 he spoke out, in so many words, against “the Shoah, that cruel plan to exterminate a people – a plan to which millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters fell victim”. In so behaving he condemned Pius XII, for whom a process of beatification was thus rendered impossible. And all to the great satisfaction of the Jews who, as is well known, were demanding that a halt be put to that process.

For those who wish to do so, the only way to rehabilitate the memory of the “maligned Pope” is to speak the language of verifiable truth, historical exactitude or, quite simply, the facts.

At the same time they will happen to be defending the victims, who today number in their billions, of the “hoax of the twentieth century” (Arthur Robert Butz).




Although wholly won over to the Allied cause and resolutely opposed to racism and anti-semitism, Pope Pius XII still did not lend credence to all the rumours that were put about, during and after the Second World War, on the subject of atrocities imputed to the Third Reich.

People readily speak of his “silence” on what today is by the general consensus called the “Holocaust” or the “Shoah” (that is, essentially, the alleged “extermination of the Jews” in the alleged “Nazi gas chambers” and the alleged “six million Jewish victims”). Some find fault with the Pope for having kept quiet about those atrocities, which are presented to us as real; others, believing they are coming to his aid, explain that, had the sovereign pontiff broken his silence to denounce publicly such an abomination, he would have aroused the fury of Hitler, and thus, it is said, would not have failed to worsen the plight of the Jews.

The argument is far from convincing.

There is no doubt that on many occasions (such as, notably, in May 1940, when speaking on the subject of Poland defeated by Germany and the Soviet Union) Pope Pius XII would have wished to utter “fiery words” and that he abstained from doing so with a view to sparing the victims a possible harshening of conditions. But the crime of the “Shoah”, as it is smugly described to us, is so monstrous that one can hardly conceive how it might have been made any worse. To begin with, no religious or moral authority could have passed over it in silence for any imaginable consideration of propriety. However, on June 4, 1944, when the Allied troops entered Rome, the Pope, who gave them a warm welcome, continued to keep quiet on the matter. With the end of the war in Europe on May 8, 1945, Pius XII persisted in his silence. On June 2, before the College of Cardinals, he gave a merciless talk against National Socialism and Hitler; he condemned their “most exquisite scientific methods to torture or eliminate people who were often innocent”; he spoke out against the use of prisons and concentration camps, particularly that of Dachau where Christian believers and priests had been interned alongside political detainees, but he had not a word to say about any process of physical extermination of the Jews or the use of homicidal gas chambers. On that subject he was to remain quiet until his death in 1958. Why the stubborn silence?

Such muteness is all the more intriguing as, from 1939 to 1945, far from remaining impartial with regard to the belligerents, the Pope showed himself to be resolutely favourable to the cause of the Allies and hostile to the Axis forces. He made no mystery of his sympathy for Poland, France, Britain and the United States. Of course, he liked the Italian people and the German people but bemoaned their having Mussolini and Hitler for leaders. Fascism repulsed him whilst National Socialism and Communism filled him with horror and fear. For as long as Stalin and Hitler made common cause, that is, from August 23, 1939 (the signing of the Germano-Soviet pact) to June 22, 1941 (Germany’s launching of war against the Soviet Union), he deemed the two dictators equally detestable. But when Joseph Stalin found himself in the Allies’ camp and Franklin Roosevelt, keen to come to the aid of “Uncle Joe”, requested of the Pope an intervention in line with that intent (in the form of words to be addressed to American Catholics), Pius XII then had, in a certain way, to choose between Hitler and Stalin. As will be seen further on, he chose Stalin. That choice serves to show how dear the Allied cause was to him.

His silence on the “Holocaust” of the Jews becomes still less comprehensible when one considers his repugnance for anti-semitism and the impressive number, throughout the war and afterwards, of his direct and indirect interventions in favour of the Jews.

For this puzzling silence of Pius XII there is, as we shall see, but one explanation: to the end of his life the Pope treated the story of the “Nazi gas chambers”, the “genocide of the Jews” and the “six million Jewish victims” as though he saw in it one and the same rumour, an exaggeration, an invention of war propaganda. All told, his attitude in this respect was that of a revisionist.

He was a revisionist in the manner of Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Dwight Eisenhower and a fair number of other eminent officials of the Allied camp or the neutral countries who, either during or after the war, whilst showing both aversion for National Socialism and sympathy for the Jews, still refused to accept the reality of the “Holocaust” and, for instance, never wrote or spoke the fatal words “gas chamber(s)”.[1]

Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe (1948), Churchill’s six-volume The Second World War (1948-1954) and de Gaulle’s Mémoires de Guerre (1954-1959) constitute a mass of over 7,000 pages written after the conflict; however, to take them as an example, no trace of the gas chambers is to be found therein. Thus, from the point of view of those three prominent witnesses of the Second World War, the Nazi “gas chambers” were less than a detail and, for them, everything had gone on as if those chemical slaughterhouses did not exist. Likewise, Pius XII spoke of them neither expressly nor in the allusive style proper to the Vatican; he did not do so, I repeat, either during the war or afterwards.

His “silence” concerned that which is disputed by the revisionists, i.e. the “genocide of the Jews”, the “Nazi gas chambers”, the “extermination camps” (this last expression being a creation of Allied propaganda) and the “six million Jewish victims”. For the rest, i.e. the hardships unquestionably endured by the Jews, the discriminatory measures they had to suffer, the deportations, the living conditions in the concentration camps, far from maintaining any silence, Pius XII, already in the midst of the war, spoke out on those realities and, especially, with greater effectiveness than anyone else in the world, he acted in defence of the Jews. He did so both personally and through the offices of his representatives. Also, after the war, there were Jews, and not the humblest of that folk, who paid him resounding tribute. Still today, some Jews defend the late Pope against those who, abusively, take him to task for his “silence” on the travails of the people of Israel when they are not, equally unjustly, decrying his alleged “silence” on the hardships of the Serbs or the Poles.

He spoke out against the veritable excesses and kept quiet
on the subject of unsubstantiated horrors

Pope Pius XII condemned racism, anti-semitism, the lot reserved for the Jews by the Germans, the arrest of innocent civilians, the deportations and the concentration or forced labour camps, along with what he termed either the “slow decline” (progressivo deperimento) or the “exterminating constraints” (costrizioni sterminatrici) to which some in those camps were at times subjected because of their nationality alone (Polish, for instance) or race (Jewish, for instance).

In this respect, he did not name the Poles and the Jews but he clearly designated them. No-one was mistaken about that. The Germans saw in this a breach of the impartiality to which the Vatican ought to keep. In its article on Pius XII the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990) states: “The reference to Jews was clear but not explicit” but one may just as well judge that “the reference to the Jews was not explicit but clear”.

Pius XII would not have failed to go still further and speak out about the reality of a “genocide” and of “gas chambers” (or “gas vans”) had he been supplied with proof. He asked for that proof but was unable to get it. There were even occasions where those who informed him on the matter refused to substantiate the claims, alleging that the obvious needed no proving. Thus the Pope attacked excesses that seemed to him to be real but would not condemn atrocities that appeared doubtless too much like the propaganda lies and baseless rumours of the First World War. His generation (he was thirty-eight years old in 1914) had been marked by the disclosure, shortly after the end of that conflict, by the Allies themselves of the lies that they acknowledged having invented on the score of Teutonic barbarism whilst, at its end, German propaganda with its Belgian atrocity stories had not lagged far behind. He immediately suspected that certain accounts of Nazi horrors being passed on to him by Jewish or Allied agencies might well be nothing but classic war propaganda exaggerations. After all, did not the tales of the “death factories” where the Germans were methodically killing Jews and turning them into soap, fertiliser and various other products resemble, like peas in a pod, the stories of the “corpse factories” of the previous war? Pius XII was able to distinguish the true tragedies from unproved abominations. He alerted the world to the former and had the good sense to keep quiet about the latter. In point of fact he reasoned, concluded and acted as a revisionist. His “silence” concerned exclusively horrors which, because they seemed to be possible inventions of war propaganda, called for no denunciation on his part. As a man of wisdom and conscience, he shrank from bringing a defamatory charge against the German people and so slandering his neighbour. His silence was at first that of a spirit for whom “knowledge without conscience is but the ruin of the soul”; then, the silence in question was that of the highest authority in the Church, for which prudence is a cardinal virtue. His case could be summed up, here, in three Latin words: Scientia, Conscientia, Prudentia. But, as will be seen further on, Pius XII did happen at times to sin through imprudence, through a lack of impartiality, through political ruse, and there it was at the expense of Hitler and Mussolini, the future vanquished, and not at the expense of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, the future victors.

His partiality for the Jews and the Allies

His direct or indirect action in favour of the Jews was considerable. In all Europe (particularly in France in the summer of 1942) and even elsewhere in the world, through the offices of his “ministers”, nuncios, apostolic envoys, cardinals, archbishops and bishops, along with the superiors of monasteries and convents, he steadily pursued a policy of protecting the sons and daughters of Israel. For the defence of the Jews he went so far as to take covert initiatives which, as will be seen later, were in violation of certain laws and rules. The aversion that he harboured towards Hitler had the effect of leading him to imprudence, as will be demonstrated. It is nonsense to speak of a collusion on his part with Hitler or even with Mussolini. Besides, the latter declared publicly that “the Vatican is a chronic case of appendicitis for Italy”, whilst other Fascists spoke of “cancer”. On June 30, 1944, when Marshal Pétain was still in power in France, with Léon Bérard representing him at the Holy See, Pius XII received General de Gaulle under the protocol reserved for heads of state. It was with open arms that he received also the official visits of officers’ and soldiers’ delegations from the British, American and Canadian armed forces, including those amongst them who, by atrocious bombing raids, had killed so many civilians. Roberto Farinacci was not the only Fascist to state his indignation at the Pope’s taking of sides, to be outraged by his refusal to support the Italians who went to fight on the Eastern front against “atheistic Communism” and disgusted at his silence on the dissection of Europe decided at the Yalta conference (February 4-11, 1945). Germans and Italians were often indignant at the Pope’s silence or “silences”. L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio were their bêtes noires. On all of these points one may consult the work by Owen Chadwick, Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, London 1986; p. 107, 109, 186, 306-307). In general, any historian who wonders about what it is now customary to call “Pius XII’s silence” ought to go over all of the Pope’s silences before, during and after the war; then he would likely realise that, if the Pope can be criticised for having said or done nothing, it would rather be as regards the moments where the victors, sure of their right to do whatever they pleased, piled up an unheard-of score of excesses of all kinds to the detriment of the vanquished: gigantic deportations, summary executions, bloody “purges”, pillaging such as the world had never seen, tribunals at which, with the fighting over, the winner put the loser on trial, holding him at his mercy and sentencing him to the gallows at the end of a judicial masquerade. In France, in 1944-1945, voices like that of father Panici, canon Desgranges or other clerics who had previously spoken out in favour of the Jews and who were now indignant at the horrors of the “Purge” were extremely rare; practically no-one dared then confront the all-powerful Communist Party, the Jews or Charles de Gaulle himself and voice indignation at their excesses (including the spectacle of “collaborationist” women paraded through the streets after having their heads shaved). In Germany, a few churchmen who, during the war, had made themselves known with their intercessions on behalf of the Jews ended up being disturbed at the repression exerted by the Allies. It does not appear that the Pope, if ever he did break his silence at those moments, took much action. The stories that are peddled about the help given by the Vatican to “Nazis” on the run are to a large degree just as imaginary as the yarns spun around the ODESSA network.

Jewish gratitude towards Pius XII

During and after the war Pius XII received solid tribute from top-ranking Jewish personalities for his action in favour of the Jews at the time of all their perils. Names that may be cited, along with a good many others, are those of Israel (or Israele) Anton Zoller (1881-1956), alias Italo Zolli, chief rabbi of Rome, and Golda Meir, foreign secretary of the Jewish State (she would later serve as its Prime Minister).

Italo Zolli, on February 13, 1945, the day of his and his wife’s conversion to the Roman Catholic religion (their daughter would convert as well later on), was keen to be baptised Eugenio, the Christian name of Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), whilst his wife chose the name Eugenia. Eugenia Zolli was ever disposed to point out that journalists were mistaken in ascribing this conversion to his gratitude towards Pius XII. It arose from other motives indeed, but his gratitude was no less certain in regard to a Pope who had done so much for the Jews and for many non-Jews as well[2].

Pinchas Lapide (1922-1997) devoted an entire part of his life to the defence of Pius XII. Israeli consul general in Milan well after the war, he rose up against the attacks on the sovereign pontiff made by an atheist like Albert Camus or a Catholic like François Mauriac and, especially, by a German Protestant, Rolf Hochhuth. In 1963 Hochhuth brought out a lengthy indictment of the late Pope that he produced in the form of a stage play entitled Der Stellvertreter (known in English translation as The Deputy or The Representative). An orthodox Jewish academic specialising in New Testament studies, P. Lapide in 1967 published a book entitled, in its English version, Three Popes and the Jews: Pope Pius XII Did not Remain Silent (Hawthorn Books, New York), in which he stated the estimate, drawn from his own experience and his research in the archives at Yad Vashem, that the Catholic Church had saved at least 700,000 but, more likely, 860,000 Jews “from certain death at the hands of the Nazis”.

Some Jewish specialists of “the Holocaust” like Martin Gilbert or Richard Breitman have also on occasion taken up the defence of the wartime pontiff but the most active of all seems, still today, to be rabbi David G. Dalin, associate professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York. The author of a study entitled “A Righteous Gentile: Pope Pius XII and the Jews”[3], he has produced numerous articles and given interviews and lectures on the subject in various languages and in several countries. In a piece entitled “Pius XII and the Jews” (Weekly Standard, New York, February 26, 2001), he listed the names of Jewish personalities who, amongst a good number of others, had wished to show their gratitude to that Pope: Albert Einstein (already in 1940), Chaïm Weizmann, Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir, Isaac Herzog (who was chief rabbi of Israel), Leon Kubowitzky (Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress on the occasion, in September 1945, of that organisation’s donation of $20,000 to Vatican charities) and Elio Toaff, chief rabbi of Rome. In 1955 the Union of Italian Jewish Communities proclaimed April 17 a “‘Day of Gratitude’ for the Pope’s wartime assistance in defying the Nazis”. On May 26 of the same year conductor Paul Kletzki and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra flew to Rome for a state-sponsored visit during which they performed Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony before the pontiff in the Vatican’s Consistory Hall, “to express the State of Israel’s enduring gratitude for the help that the Pope and the Catholic Church had given to the Jewish people persecuted by the Nazis during the Holocaust”. A poignant detail: D. G. Dalin calls historians like John Cornwell “revisionists” for accusing the Pope of having yielded too much to Hitler (Cornwell is the author of Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, Viking, New York 1999); for Dalin, in effect, “revisionist” writers are those who deny the obvious. It may be said in passing that Cornwell’s book does not live up to its title: in the text not a trace is to be found of any “secret history”, and the expression “Hitler’s Pope” seems to be there merely to get the bookshop browser’s attention and the Lobby’s favour; the publishers of the French translation preferred the title Le Pape et Hitler which, in its banality, happens to match up better with the book’s contents and lack of any real or truly new substance.

More complete information on the actions and publications of Pius XII’s three main Jewish defenders can be found through an internet search engine – Google, for example – by entering the names “Eugenio Zolli”, “Pinchas Lapide” and “David G. Dalin”.

The sound scepticism of Pius XII, the Allies and the neutrals

The senior Allied leaders gave free rein to their own war propaganda offices, journalists and judicial henchmen as far as atrocity stories were concerned but, for their own part, they avoided giving endorsement to such rumours. One and the same reserve was maintained first at the London Foreign Office, then at the State Department in Washington, both of which were flooded with alleged “intelligence” on the enemy’s atrocities and incessantly pressed on the subject by Jewish groups or agencies. Upon verification, the most alarming items of “intelligence” proved to be nothing but groundless rumours that could be ascribed above all to various Jews who “tended to exaggerate the German atrocities in order to stoke us up”.[4] As for the heads of the International Committee of the Red Cross, they did not depart from the cautious line followed by the Allies.

They tried as much as the Foreign Office or the State Department to confirm the rumours circulating about the Nazi gas chambers and ended up having to conclude that there was insufficient evidence; otherwise they would not have failed to speak of them, during the war, as a horrible reality. Roosevelt personally maintained silence on this question even when, from November 1944, the War Refugee Board, directly linked to the White House and supported by the combative Jew Henry Morgenthau Jr, secretary of the Treasury, was nonetheless putting about the account, an absurd one at that, carried by what has been called the “Auschwitz Protocols” or the “War Refugee Board Report”.

The senior British officials could not believe in the alleged homicidal gassings, for their deciphering specialists had managed to break the codes used by the Germans in their secret communications; and the services in charge of reading the countless intercepted messages found no mention of such gassings: “There were no references in the decrypts to gassing”.[5] How, for example, could the Foreign Office heads have lent credence to atrocity stories identical or similar to those that were being fabricated to order, within their very own ministry, by a bureau discreetly named “Political Warfare Executive”? For example, during a campaign of false news addressed to the Arab world, where the Germans enjoyed great prestige, the PWE had made up and diffused the following information: 1) In occupied Tripolitania, the Germans turned mosques into brothels; 2) they were lacking in textiles to such a point that they had the Moslem dead dug up from their graves in order to take their burial shrouds and send them to carpet factories in Germany; 3) on entering Tunis, the Allied troops had discovered in the German army’s storehouses the remains of children rendered into meat, the cuts of which were labelled pork “rations”.[6]

Edvard Beneš, who in London headed the Czechoslovak government in exile, had some lengthy tasks of verification carried out concerning the rumours of the Jews’ being exterminated and concluded that, contrary to what the Jew Gerhart Riegner led others to believe, the Germans had no plan aiming at such an extermination; according to Beneš Jews continued to be left at liberty where they dwelt and moved about unhindered; certainly, with defeat approaching, the Nazis were becoming, said he, more oppressive but they behaved in a like way with the other fringe elements of the population and no particular treatment seemed to be reserved to the Jews.[7] But, in point of fact, had not Riegner, in his all-too-famous telegram of August 10, 1942, added a qualifying statement to the news of a plan to exterminate the Jews, words that too many “Holocaust” historians have hastened to forget? Had he not written: “We transmit this information with all the necessary reservation, as exactitude cannot be confirmed by us”?[8]

In reply to the mythomaniacal Pole Jan Karski, the American Jew Felix Frankfurter, a Supreme Court Justice, simply said: “I can’t believe you”.[9]

In France, as late as in January 1945, the public prosecutor Reboul, although quite bent on having the collaborationist author Robert Brasillach sentenced to death, would mention only “the exceptionally severe camps, in Poland”.

Serious Jewish information on the real fate of the Jews

We are repeatedly told today that during the war, information on the Jews’ fate was not wanting. What we are supposed to understand is that it was a deadly fate, with the information bearing that out. In reality, no such thing. The intelligence was contradictory, if not cacophonous. Some of it was alarming and, in general, obviously exaggerated and quite imprecise whilst some was precise and, by comparison, rather reassuring, being garnered from good sources. Hence the widespread scepticism (or the revisionism) that reigned at the Vatican and elsewhere amongst those who received, amidst a flood of dishevelled accounts, certain orderly and detailed ones: it was easy for them, by way of simple contrast, to tell the likely from the unlikely, if not the true from the false. On the subject of serious information, we may confine ourselves to the case of father Marie-Benoît, “padre to the Jews”, and to that of the Zionist bulletin Shem (Hebrew word meaning “The Name” or designating “the legendary ancestor of the Semites, the first of the Hebrews”).

To remain with the Vatican itself, if there was a man, close to Pius XII, who could have believed the rumours of the Jews’ physical extermination, it was he who has often been called “padre to the Jews”. The French Capuchin monk Pierre Peteul, in his vocation father Marie-Benoît or padre Maria-Benedetto, maintained the closest relations with the extremely rich American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (“the Joint”) as well as with the Jewish communities in France, Italy and elsewhere. He had thousands of Italian Jews supplied with false documents. Michael Phayer, in his book otherwise quite hostile to Pius XII, calls father Marie-Benoît “the outstanding French Franciscan rescuer”.[10]

Father Marie-Benoît took in a mass of information obtained from Jewish sources and forwarded it to the Pope. At a private audience of July 15, 1943 he gave Pius XII a document entitled “Information on the Camps of Upper Silesia”, in which it was reported that in those camps (Auschwitz-Birkenau was mentioned) “morale among the deportees is generally good, and they are hopeful as to their future”.[11] As early as in 1948 French author Maurice Bardèche produced long extracts of this text, which had been reproduced in the clandestine issue no. 8 of Shem dated July 1944[12]. This “journal of Hebraic action” had its offices at 6, rue Vavin in the sixth arrondissement in Paris. The men in charge were Georges Blumberg, Ammi-Horon, E. Sinko and Charles Driard. The first issue (111 pages) bore the date May 1939 (its cover indicates June 1939). It was ultra-Zionist in inspiration: the Jews must reconquer Palestine; the enemies were the British and the Arabs; support must be given to the Irgun Zvaï Leumi, which was the Jewish people’s national military organisation. One may note, in passing, that the mythical figure of “six million” made an appearance here in 1939; it was a matter, in effect, of “the nearly six million Jews of the East being threatened with the same fate as their brethren in the Reich” (p. 103). During the German occupation the journal went underground. Bardèche said that it was “the only clandestine resistance organ giving [in French] any precise information on the deportation camps”. The information in question is surprising in its diversity and gives the impression of resulting from very extensive and serious inquiries. For such or such camp, living conditions are described as “catastrophic” but, for the region that interests us here and which, according to the legend, was host to the most enormous “extermination camp” of all time, that of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the report reads as follows:

Life in these camps is bearable, given the proximity of camps for non-Jewish workers and, in some places, the participation of inmates from camps of either type in work such as road, bridge and house building. It is craftsmen, preferably, who are accepted for these jobs. Morale among the deportees is generally good, and they are hopeful as to their future.[13] 

The same text is reproduced in Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (ADSS), Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1965-1982, vol. 9: “Le Saint-Siège et les victimes de la guerre (janvier-décembre 1943)”, 1975, pages 42 and 396 (note). There, again according to Bardèche, the following details on Jewish children are to be read; judging by what is known from other sources, they seem accurate:

A very large number of newborns and infants under the age of two, of Jewish parents, are housed in Berlin proper and in the surrounding region in various crèches and nurseries. They are always taken there by the DRK (German Red Cross) and the NSVW (German Social Organisation) as children of persons made homeless or killed in the aerial bombardments, together with children from the rest of the population, and are generally admitted as such amongst the other orphans.[14] 

That is just what it says: it is a matter here of Jewish orphans being treated on an equal footing with the German orphans by the German Red Cross and the NSVW, i.e. the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, “National Socialist public assistance organisation”. Today we possess a number of documents, photographs and witnesses’ statements attesting to the fact that, contrary to what is put about in “Holocaust” propaganda, the German authorities, to the extent that the horrors of war allowed, treated Jewish children humanely. Whence, more than fifty years after the war, all the Jewish septuagenarians who returned from the camps and ghettos then and who present themselves as “miraculous survivors” now.

If, during and after the war, so many high officials failed to breathe a word of the “gas chambers” or “gas vans”, it was because they knew where they stood in respect to the quality of information being circulated by their own propaganda agencies. They refused to draw from the gutter and spread the muck. The sovereign pontiff behaved likewise. He did not consent to take part in what deserves to be called the anti-German lie bazaar.

The anti-German lie bazaar

Quite a few examples could be given of similar reluctance to accept at face value stories rich in imprecise precision, like those that were peddled with the war going on at fever pitch, or that the media diffuse still today in the greatest confusion and with a success to match their impudence.

At that time there was a steady flow of unverified testimonies about gas chambers, gas vans, railway carriages turned into chemical abattoirs, vacuum chambers…, and they are persistently churned out in our own day and age as well; on November 22, 1941, in Boston, rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman declared to a gathering of young Zionists that one day indemnities and a place in Palestine would have to be requested as reparations for the death of the millions of Jews killed, notably, in “refrigerated cars”.[15] There was talk then and there is still talk today of killings by electricity, by quicklime, by intravenous injection of air or cyanide, by insecticide, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide or dioxide, by the emissions from a tank or submarine engine, by boiling water or steam (the first official version for Treblinka, as related in Nuremberg document PS-3311, of which the tribunal took “judicial notice”). There was a fondness for stories, whether of Jewish fat used to produce bars of soap or of the bones of Jews made into fertiliser and, still in the present day, there are to be found in some Jewish cemeteries, one in Nice for example, urns supposedly containing “Jewish soap”. There was also talk of human skin used to make lampshades or book-bindings, whereas the material in question, once examined, turned out to be morocco (goatskin). The “Nazis” had, it was said, forced a prisoner to imitate a dog chained in its kennel, barking at passers-by and keenly plunging his maw into the feeding bowl.[16] And what can one say of the stories of dogs trained to bite Jews in their private parts or to force themselves on Jewesses? What to make of the caged bear and eagle in Buchenwald, to which the Germans each day threw a live Jew, the bear tearing said Jew to pieces and the eagle feasting on his bones? Let us take care not to forget the hangings of inmates in bunches on Christmas trees, the machines, each one more ingenious than the rest, for liquidating the Jews, the Jewish babies shoved alive into the crematory ovens, the Hitler Youth using Jewish babies for target practice, the SS man throwing babies in the air and shooting them, to the applause of his daughter, who shouted for more. On the score of medical experiments the sources were and are inexhaustible: we are told that Dr Mengele, for instance, kept on the wall of his laboratory “several dozen human eyes pinned up like a butterfly collection”[17]; sometimes the children whom this “Angel of Death” had fun “treating” returned to their quarters only after becoming “hardly recognisable”, for they were henceforth “stitched together back to back like Siamese twins”[18]; “with a passion for the study of mutations [Mengele] burns the dark eyes of Gypsies with acid to find out whether they turn blue”.[19] Had not an atomic bomb test near Auschwitz “eradicated almost instantaneously” 20,000 Jews? At the Nuremberg trial, a festival of fakes of every sort, the American prosecutor Jackson, in all seriousness, questioned Albert Speer on this last point on June 21, 1946.[20] One may recall here the dreyfusard Charles Peguy’s considerations on testimonies for history:

However, God knows, says [Clio, the muse of history], that there is nowhere so much lying as in testimony, (because then it becomes historical), and that witnesses lie all the more when their testimony is most solemn.[21]

During the war heads of Zionist organisations poured out a Niagara of inventions of that ilk from Berne or Geneva in the direction of the Vatican and the Allies. This was what today’s accusers of Pius XII call “the information that the Pope did not want to take into account”. One of the agencies regularly manufacturing such items was located in Bratislava, Slovakia. In charge was Michael Dov Weissmandel, a rabbi of Hungarian origin; it is to him that we have owed, since May 1944, the now sacrosanct figure of the Six Million Jews killed by the Nazis and the outlandish story told by Auschwitz escapees, the all too famous Rudolf Vrba amongst them. In 1985, at the first trial of the German-Canadian revisionist Ernst Zündel, witness Vrba was to collapse under cross-examination carried out, with my assistance, by barrister Douglas Christie: battle-weary, Vrba the mythomaniac ended up admitting that, in his account of Auschwitz, he had used “licentia poetarum” (sic). That episode was not to stop him from swaggering forth once again, ten years later, in a documentary that will be mentioned further on, or from recycling his lies as recently as in 2001 in a new version of his “account” (sic, previously known as I Cannot Forgive) entitled I Escaped from Auschwitz (Barricade Books, Fort Lee [New Jersey] 2002). A swindler does not mend his ways: he stays a swindler till the end of his existence. Rudolf Vrba became one of the leading false witnesses in the campaign mounted against Pius XII.

Accounts of atrocities but no evidence

The Vatican had also sought to verify the reality of some of those horrors and had found no evidence. In this instance, a deplorable kind of reasoning, destined to meet with the most resounding success after the war and up until today, was inaugurated by Casimir Papée, Poland’s ambassador to the Holy See. He resorted to a type of subterfuge often practised by slanderers and the shiftless: to the Vatican authorities who were demanding proof he replied curtly that “there was sufficient proof and, besides, when something becomes notorious, proof is not required”.[22] The judges at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg were to talk no differently in 1945 when decreeing: “The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence […]. The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof (articles 19 and 21 of their tribunal’s charter, written by… the tribunal itself).

A Pope who was particularly helpful to the Jews

There and nowhere else is the silence of Pius XII. However, with some  rare exceptions, his denigrators seek to maintain ambiguity. In general they would have people believe that they find fault with the accused for his silence in the face of all the hardships inflicted on the Jews by the Germans. We may look at an example taken from the French monthly L’Histoire, published under the supervision, in particular, of Michel Winock and Jean-Noël Jeanneney. The introductory note for an article on “Pie XII, Hitler et les Juifs” reads that the Pope “refused to condemn the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War”.[23] A brazen lie. In reality, the Pope’s silence essentially concerned what, according to the revisionists, simply did not and could not exist. That silence was urged on Pius XII by a circumspection of revisionist nature. But none of the accusers dare set forth the grounds for their thinking, or clearly articulate their grievances. None of them cry out as, after all, they clearly should, that “Pius XII refused to condemn the genocide of the Jews and the Nazi gas chambers for, in his own way, he was a Holocaust denier”. Such is one of the great prohibition’s effects. There is the fear of violating the taboo (here, the taboo of taboos) by uttering the word that creates it. To disclose that Pius XII had a revisionist’s reflex would, for his accusers, amount to bringing grist to the mill of those whom they call the “negationists”. So it is that all too many prosecutors are to be seen parading their unlikely indictments before the court of history whilst at their end the Pope’s defenders, themselves as well in dread of the taboo and fearing the accusation of anti-semitism, have acquired the unfortunate habit of creating a diversion: they take up the defence of the accused on a terrain where he has no need at all of a lawyer, for here it is an “open and shut” case. What need is there to defend the wartime Pope against the accusation of anti-semitism? A thousand pieces of evidence, a thousand documents, a thousand actions prove that Pius XII, during the war just as before it, showed in word and deed that he condemned anti-semitism and that he sought either to prevent any persecution of racialist character or to heal the possible effects thereof. For his part, did not Louis-Ferdinand Céline denounce, in the Roman Catholic Church, what he called “the great race-mixer”?

A Pope who was also touched by other sorrows than those of the Jews

Deeply hostile to anti-semitism, the Pope, however, was not to give privileged status to the Jews’ sufferings. Why would he have done so? Because those sufferings made more noise? Because the press of the whole Western World was turning itself into their echo chamber? The Poles had their share of the torments visited on the war’s defeated. The European populations, particularly in Germany, were experiencing the living nightmare of bombing raids that targeted civilians. Hostages were being taken in all circles of society. Soldiers faced death and maiming on all the many battlefields. Widows and orphans would number in the millions, famines and epidemics would strike everywhere. But it must be acknowledged that the Jews do not care to see their hardships compared to those of others: theirs are decreed “incomparable”, “unique”, “unspeakable” and would seem to be singled out from all the rest as much by their quality (which was, supposedly, horrific), as by their quantity, which, supposedly, was huge. If certain specific atrocities like the mass-killing of Jews in gas chambers had occurred, the Pope would assuredly have considered the sufferings inflicted on the Jews as specially horrific and appalling; but, for him, what with the account of those atrocities being apparently unaccompanied by evidence, it was not fitting to give special status to the Jews’ suffering by evoking abominations that were perhaps imaginary. Here one encounters an example of what must indeed be called Pius XII’s revisionism, a natural, spontaneous, rare kind of revisionism that has the effect of fostering sensitivity to one’s neighbour’s plight, free of any racial or religious criterion. There is no “chosen people”, not even for suffering.

To tell the truth, the Pope may after all have made a distinction between Jews of the Jewish religion and those of the Catholic. He showed, it seems, more solicitude for the latter than for the former. This is explainable. It is only human for a shepherd to be most concerned with his own flock but, especially, Catholics of Jewish origin, when persecuted for their ethnicity, found themselves particularly isolated and vulnerable. Their community of origin generally rejected them, considering them renegades. These converts to Catholicism could not, when hardship came, benefit from the rich subsidies of the international or national Jewish organisations. It must be recalled that, for the whole duration of the war, with the agreement of the Third Reich authorities, a body like “the Joint”, already mentioned, distributed in Europe, even in the camps and the ghettos, considerable sums in US dollars to persons or associations authorised by the Germans to come to the aid of the Jews. The Vatican archives show that, in such circumstances, “the Holy See began with the fate of baptised Jews, for this group was in very great need since relief organisations were often unaware of them”.[24] On February 28, 1941 Mgr Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna, in a letter to the Vatican,

reiterated his great disappointment that baptised Jews were being forgotten and the unfortunate contrast with the [Protestant] Quakers, the [Protestant] Swedish mission, and Jewish organisations. Catholics of Jewish origin had been “terribly deceived [sic: doubtless an error on the part of a translator; the meaning intended is ‘disappointed’ – translator’s note]”. In the eyes of their Jewish co-religionists, they were apostates and renegades; their conversion meant that all financial assistance came to an end.[25]

Favourable to the Allies’ cause

Emotional, as quick to show enthusiasm as to shed tears, compassionate, circumspect like a diplomat but sometimes bold to the point of rashness, endowed with a Latin subtlety, tormented in his soul and his conscience, Pius XII knew the realities of man and of this world. Having at his disposal just about as many informants on doings in Poland as there were Catholics in that country, he knew what stance to take regarding the real lot of both Catholics and Jews inhabiting a territory which, according to the various breeds of Papées, was dotted throughout with gigantic “extermination camps”, equipped with extraordinary homicidal gas chambers. Pius XII had his religious and political conception of good and evil but, all the same, did not believe, like an uncouth individual of the calibre of today’s American president, in the political embodiment of good and evil. He believed, if one may put it thus, neither in Father Christmas nor in ogres, and the idea of playing the part of universal Bogyman would not have occurred to him. His experience of political life and his knowledge of history allowed him to make a judgment of men, regimes and causes.

He felt an aversion both for National Socialist racialism and for the inhumanity of Soviet bolshevism. Whilst harbouring a great mistrust of Hitler (whom his collaborator Mgr Tardini dubbed “the motorised Attila”), he felt the most acute fear in the face of Stalin, champion in the field of the closing or destruction of Christian places of worship, of the killing by firing squad or the deportation of priests and nuns, champion of compulsory atheism. On April 29, 1919, when nuncio in Munich, Pius XII had personally come quite close to being shot by a revolver-wielding Spartakist in a city fallen prey to the Reds and their exactions.[26] The Pope, let us repeat, had a weakness for France, felt affection for the Poles, admiration for the English and a particular regard for the German people (but not for the Führer and his men) and he counted on a victory by the Americans whilst all the time dreading lest they allow the Communist Moloch to absorb a good part of Europe. In October 1939, when drafting his pontificate’s inaugural encyclical (Summi Pontificatus), he inserted a passage on the sufferings and the future “resurrection” of the Polish people; the Allied aviation was to drop 88,000 copies of his text over German territory.[27] In his boldness he would go so far, in 1939-1940, as to plot against Hitler in accepting to serve as a link between the British government and the German resistance; then, in early May 1940, he warned the Allies that a German offensive was imminent, providing important specifics. The Germans did not fail to learn of this and, in their view, his act of espionage put an end “to the neutrality of the Pope, apostle of peace”. But it is to be noted that those same Germans nevertheless did not carry out any reprisals; besides, what could they have undertaken against such an impressive force as that of the Pope?[28] On May 10, 1940, the day of the German invasion of Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium, Pius XII sent telegrams to Queen Wilhelmina, Grand Duchess Charlotte and King Leopold to express his compassion for them in the plight inflicted on their lands by Hitler’s armies. Mussolini voiced strong discontent at the gesture. According to Italy’s ambassador to the Vatican, Pius XII’s reply was: “Let come what may! Let them even come and get me and take me away to a concentration camp!”[29] It is clear that the neutrality and impartiality of this sovereign pontiff are but a myth. Pius XII took sides with the Allies, a choice that did not stop him from voicing protests, through his representatives, against the atrocious nature of the Anglo-American bombing raids.

Between Hitler and Stalin, Pius XII chose Stalin

In 1941, after Germany’s entry into war against the Soviet Union, most Catholics in the United States rejected the idea of economic and military support for Stalin. Did not the latter preach, with iron and fire, as far westward as Spain, a Communism that the papacy had declared to be “intrinsically wrong”? In the 1937 encyclical Divini Redemptoris his predecessor Pius XI had stated: “Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no-one who would save Christian civilisation may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever” (Communismus cum intrinsecus sit pravus, eidem nulla in re est adjutrix opera ab eo commodanda, cui sit propositum ab excidio christianum civilemque cultum vindicare[30]). With those words a Pope had condemned what was called at the time “the policy of extending the hand of friendship” to the Communists. But Roosevelt wanted to enter the war against Hitler. For him, all lies serving that purpose became permissible. On numerous occasions, and with insistence, he promised the Americans that their boys would never be engaged in a foreign war and, simultaneously, he prepared the country’s economy for war. He repeatedly committed the gravest provocations towards Germany and, on August 14, 1941, issued with Churchill what is customarily called the “Atlantic Charter”, whose sixth point called for nothing less than the “destruction of Nazi tyranny”! Roosevelt wanted to paralyse anti-war sentiment in his own country. To do so he particularly needed to relieve the many millions of American Catholics of their scruples at the idea of having to help Stalin. Turning then to the Pope, he asked him, through the offices of American prelates discretely but duly coached on the matter, to intervene in that regard. Roosevelt, as will be noted yet again, shrank before no lie. Here we may quote Pierre Blet regarding a personal message from the US leader handed to the Pope on September 10, 1941:

According to the president, religion was not completely outlawed in Russia, and there was hope that after the present war the Russian government would consent to religious liberty. “Insofar as I know”, he added, “some churches are open in Russia”.[31]

Actually, in huge Russia there were a total of two churches open – and closely observed by the police –, one in Moscow, the other in Leningrad. Overcoming his repugnance for Communism, slaughterer of priests in Russia, Spain and elsewhere, the Pope took it upon himself to convey the necessary instructions to the leading clergy in America; it was understood that the business would be carried out with the utmost discretion; the case to be put to the American flocks was as follows: it is to the Russians and not to the Communist regime that the hand of friendship would be extended (and weapons supplied).[32] This argument of pure casuistry also served as a basis of the policy adopted by the doubtless reluctant Churchill and de Gaulle in favour of Stalin and of the Communist parties at war with Hitler, Mussolini, Pétain.

In so acting, Pius XII was wanting in effort to abide by the impartiality that, he said, he had always imposed on himself. The government of the Third Reich had solicited his approval of an “anti-Bolshevik crusade” which, the Germans held, when victorious, would enable the Russians, freed from the Soviet yoke, to regain the free exercise of their faith. The Vatican refused. A double standard was applied. It must be thought that, in this instance, extending a hand of friendship to the Germans would have been to extend it to the National Socialist regime. So it was that the German army was to see its soldiers, many of whom were Roman Catholics, and their chaplains get themselves killed in the East by American weapons supplied to the Communist regime with the Pope’s secret blessing. In Germany there was free exercise of the Catholic religion. Moreover, the Church was generously financed by the State; processions and pilgrimages mobilising thousands of the faithful were held freely, in the presence of the religious, civil and military authorities; churches were built, soldiers in uniform could attend services and take communion. All this apparently no longer counted in the eyes of Pius XII who, when approached and asked to do so by the Americans, had decided to choose Stalin against Hitler.

Effective in his work to aid the Jews

Pius XII also took the liberty of infringing the laws in force and of breaking his word by having Jewish or non-Jewish members of the Resistance, amongst whom document forgers, safely housed in monasteries, convents and even in places to which the German embassy in Italy had given letters of protection. Either directly or through his intermediaries he gave room and board to thousands of Jews not only in the buildings of 150 religious institutions in various spots throughout Italy but also in the Lateran Palace, Castel Gandolfo and other premises within Vatican City. The purity of intentions being but a myth, it can hardly be asserted that with a nature so sensitive and a spirit so astute as his he acted out of sheer hostility towards National Socialism; he may well have feared the parliamentary democracies’ blackmail, extraordinary violence and inhumanity; Churchill, Anthony Eden and the Americans made no mystery of their intention, should the need make itself felt, to “pulverise” (sic) the Italian cities, including the Eternal City (with the exception of the Vatican territory which, in the event, however, did receive some bombs!). Pius XII’s personal action and that of his representatives in favour, for example, of the Jews of France, Holland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary are established by so many initiatives, interventions, public statements and layouts of money that, for an idea of those efforts, one need only refer to the ample bibliography devoted to him.

In 1996 Gerhart Riegner in person was to do justice to the extraordinary activity deployed by the Pope and his representative in Hungary, Mgr Angelo Rotta, addressing themselves to the Regent Admiral Horthy in attempts to spare from deportation large numbers of Jews of Hungarian nationality or residence: “The Vatican did nothing without notifying us beforehand. It reported everything to us”, exclaimed Riegner, an official of the World Jewish Congress, in a television documentary on the wartime Pope. In Budapest the Vatican’s representatives obtained from the Germans the right to deliver safe-conducts to 15,000 Jews. In their worried state, a great many Jews feigned conversion to Catholicism so as to be able to show a certificate of baptism. One particular church in the Hungarian capital was to put down in its parish register, still consultable today, a surprising number of such baptisms. The aforementioned documentary, made for the BBC by Jewish producer Jonathan Lewis, is entitled “The Silence of Pius XII”. Since its release in 1996 it has been broadcast at least twice in France by the Franco-German cultural channel Arte; the most recent showing was on March 6, 2002 (French title: “Le Pape, les Juifs et les Nazis”; German title: “Die Pabst, die Juden und die Nazis” – translator’s note).

He halted the Germans’ deportation of the Jews of Rome

That documentary, although hostile to Pius XII, features princess Enza Pignatelli-Aragona, who tells of the arrest and deportation, in October 1943, of a thousand Roman Jews (a move decided by the German authorities alarmed at the proliferation in the city, before the approach of the Allies, of communist resistance members and others who might endanger the security of their troops). This testimony puts paid to the myth according to which Pius XII witnessed, without raising an eyebrow, the arrest of the Jews of Rome “beneath his windows”. The princess relates that she, when awakened at 4 a.m. by a telephone call from a Jewish friend, went straight to a district beside the Tiber where she could see that Jews were being put aboard German lorries. She hurried to the Vatican palace, where she had privileged access. She found the Pope at prayer in his private chapel and informed him of the hardship befalling “those poor people”. Most upset, he immediately rung up his secretary of State Mgr Maglione, who during the day made contact with the Reich’s representative, Ernst von Weizsäcker. The latter, no more a Nazi than his predecessor Diego von Bergen, deftly intervened, talking with Berlin. With the agreement of general Rainer Stahel, head of the German garrison in Rome, he decided to put the case that these arrests, internments and transports placed too many constraints on the army. Other Germans also intervened, amongst whom the consul general, Albrecht von Kassel, and the rector of the German Catholic community in the city, bishop Alois Hudal. Berlin was to proceed with no further deportations of Jews with the exception of that of a convoy made up of Jews detained by the Italian authorities on individual grounds. Thus, in the circumstances in question the Pope demonstrated not indifference to the Jews’ fate but rather compassion and, better still, immediate effectiveness.

The Allies’ first declaration on the “German atrocities”
(December 17, 1942): no “gas chambers”

On December 17, 1942 the Allies released a joint declaration on the “bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination” being carried out by the Germans against the Jews of Europe. On rereading the phrase today one risks being led to believe that the Allies then had in mind “genocide” and “gas chambers”. But to abide by that notion would be to commit an anachronism. Examined closely, the text of the declaration reveals that the Allies had in mind: 1) the transporting of Jews in reputedly horrible and brutal conditions; 2) for the Jews who were in good physical form, slow death in forced labour camps; 3) for unfit Jews, abandonment in the cold and starvation or being finished off in massacres; 4) a number of victims “reckoned in many hundreds of thousands”. All of which is rather a long way from a plan of mass murder of all the Jews with, for most of them, asphyxiation in chemical slaughterhouses immediately on arriving in camps designed for an extermination of industrial character. Besides, at the time the declaration was taken for what it was: the denunciation (in a grandiloquent style required by the subject and circumstances) of crimes imputed to the enemy. The Germans, at their end, sometimes employed the same fighting rhetoric and, in some of the public speeches given by their leaders (Himmler, for one), readily promised the enemy’s “extermination” (Ausrottung, in the broad sense, or Vernichtung). Furthermore, in all wars, including the one described in the Iliad, does not either side promise the other its ineluctable “extermination”?

This declaration was signed by the governments of the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union (unmatched specialist in deportations and camps!) and nine others, amongst which, for France, the “National Committee” in London. It was read before the House of Commons by Eden, then Foreign Secretary, and in the Lords by Viscount Simon, Lord Chancellor.[33]

Two days later, on December 19, the information bureau of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the USSR issued the statement in a greatly modified version, enriched with remarks on Hitler’s “cannibalistic plan” for the extermination of the Jews, and specifying:

Besides machine-gunning men, women and children, people are murdered in specially equipped gas-chambers, electrocuted, burnt en masse. The inmates of concentration camps are poisoned with prussic acid.[34]

This version was to be carried on the 21st by Soviet War News (no. 443), a Soviet publication printed in London. In that paper is found one of the first mentions, in a document emanating from an official body, of the existence of Nazi gas chambers (the rumour of “gassings”, bearing no specifics, had for its part begun circulating in the summer of 1941[35]). Apparently no-one picked up and relayed this “intelligence” which, had it been lent credence, should have made the front pages of the main Anglo-American newspapers. Let us note in passing that this publication in the official Soviet press constitutes, along with other things, disproof of the Jewish contention that the Soviets passed “the martyrdom of the Jews” over in silence.

The Allies’ second declaration (August 29, 1943) in its definitive version:
still no “gas chambers”

Eight months later came the second Allied declaration on the crimes imputed to Germany, which provides a particularly instructive case study for the historian.

In its editions of August 30, 1943 the New York Times announced that on the previous day, the United States and Britain had advised “the Nazi killers” that they would punish them for their crimes in the occupied countries and, particularly, in Poland (“US and Britain Warn Nazi Killers”). The article carried the two Allied powers’ declaration in its entirety, and dealt with the forced movements of populations in certain Polish provinces. (Jews were not mentioned.) It held that a number of victims were killed on the spot and that males aged between 14 and 50 were being sent to work in Germany. There followed a paragraph about children:

Some children are killed on the spot, others are separated from their parents and either sent to Germany to be brought up as Germans or sold to German settlers or dispatched with the women and old men to concentration camps.

So far, nothing out of the very ordinary.

The same declaration in its original version: “gas chambers”!

On the other hand, for the historian of rumours this text is one of the most interesting in  existence, particularly as concerns the history of the immense and obsessive rumour that founded the religion of “the Holocaust”. It so happens that, in its initial form, the statement in question did indeed contain a formidable accusation against the “Nazis”, that of having used homicidal gas chambers. The original draft, in effect, contained the passage:

[…] dispatched with the women and old men to concentration camps where they are now being systematically put to death in gas chambers [my emphasis].

Why, one may ask, did this last clause of a sentence, still present in the Allies’ paper on August 27, vanish and so fail to appear in the final declaration of the 29th, reproduced the next day in the press? The answer is as simple as can be: the British pointed out to the Americans that there was “insufficient evidence” to affirm the existence of homicidal gas chambers. The Americans concurred and decided to eliminate the last part of the sentence with its mention of “gas chambers”.

On August 24 the British had committed the rash act of sending the first draft to the Soviets, suggesting that they, at their end, release a similar text. Then, after some thought, they changed their position. They had realised that evidence was lacking “to justify the statement regarding execution in gas chambers” and, by virtue of the aforementioned accord between themselves and the Americans, “it has been agreed to eliminate” the contentious fragment. Consequently the Americans asked their ambassador in Moscow to notify the Soviet commissariat for Foreign Affairs “of the change in text”.

As has been seen above, the Soviets, for their part, had spoken of gas chambers and even of killings by electricity eight months previously.

How the Allies abandoned the “gas chambers”

What would have happened had the Anglo-Americans, deciding to maintain the original text, accused the Germans before the world of using homicidal gas chambers in their camps? Can one suppose that the accused would have leapt at the opportunity offered by the slanderous charge to demonstrate, also before the world, that the Allied propaganda was shamelessly lying? Actually, the German authorities would most likely have treated that sort of mad invention with contempt. Identical cases lead one to believe that the Germans would have reported the statement without even commenting on it, or else tagging on a merely ironic commentary. An attitude which, of course, can only be deplored, for with the advantage of hindsight one may unhappily note today that the hoax of the Nazi gas chambers, despite its absurdity, was to enjoy incredibly good fortune.

On the first draft of the Anglo-American statement and on the decision – a revisionist one – to cut out the clause of a sentence that mentioned the “gas chambers”, one may consult the text of the two telegrams that Cordell Hull, head of the State Department, sent from Washington to his ambassador in Moscow; they are reproduced in Foreign Relations of the United States. Diplomatic Papers, 1943 (United States Printing Office, Washington 1963, vol. I, p. 416-417). The second and final draft, in which there no longer appears any mention of “gas chambers”, can be read in the aforementioned issue of the New York Times.

The same newspaper was, three months later, to publish a third official statement on the German “atrocities”.[36] Signed by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, it contained no mention of either “gas chambers” or Jews; on the other hand, with a fine cynicism, the Germans were blamed for the “wholesale shooting of Polish officers”; this was a transparent allusion to the massacres of Polish prisoners of war in Katyn forest, near Smolensk, and elsewhere in Russia. However, today it is well known that those methodical killings were in reality perpetrated on the personal order of Stalin. Let it be said in passing that here is an example of how little credibility could rightly be accorded to the Allies’ “intelligence” about German atrocities. If they were consistent in their logic, Pius XII’s accusers, who rebuke the Pope for having kept quiet about the “extermination of the Jews” despite the “intelligence” he received from the Allies (actually, from certain Jewish or Allied propaganda agencies and pressure groups), should also take him to task for not having denounced the “German” crime of Katyn and for thus having, by his silence, exonerated Hitler of a “Nazi horror” of which he had been duly “informed”.

The Pope’s first declaration (December 24, 1942)

As if in echo to the Allies’ first declaration of December 17, one week later, in his first radio message of Christmas Eve 1942, the Pope decided to say a word about the deportations and concentration camps of the Third Reich. The Jews were designated, although not mentioned as such but rather as persons being persecuted simply for belonging to a certain race. Likewise, Poles or other people were designated, albeit not specifically, as being persecuted solely for their nationality. Unlike the Allies, the Holy Father also expressed his solicitude for all victims of bombing raids. In a war, everyone suffers, the future victors along with the future vanquished and, in modern warfare, civilians die as well as the soldiers at the front. Stating his hope to see those who deplored the war and “aspire to the service of the human person and of his common life ennobled in God” vow not to rest until they had formed “a vast legion”, the Pope cried out:

Mankind owes that vow to the countless dead who lie buried on the field of battle. The sacrifice of their life in the fulfilment of their duty is a holocaust offered for a new and better social order.

Mankind owes that vow to the innumerable sorrowing host of mothers, widows and orphans who have seen the light, the solace and the support of their lives wrenched from them.

Mankind owes that vow to those numberless exiles whom the hurricane of war has torn from their native land and scattered in the land of the stranger, who can make their own the lament of the prophet: “Our inheritance is turned to aliens, our house to strangers” [Hereditas nostra versa est ad alienos, domus nostrae ad extraneos, Jeremiah, Lamentations, 5.2].

Mankind owes that vow to the hundreds of thousands of persons [alle centinaia di migliaia di persone] who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race [talora solo per ragione di nazionalità o di stirpe], have been consigned to death or to a slow decline [sono destinate alla morte o ad un progressivo deperimento – my emphasis].

Mankind owes that vow to the many thousands of non-combatants, women, children, sick and aged, from whom aerial warfare, whose horrors we have from the beginning frequently denounced, has, without discrimination or through inadequate precautions, taken life, goods, health, home, charitable refuge or house of worship.*

Too often the Italian word “deperimento” is translated by “extinction”, “annihilation” or even – outrageously – by “extermination”. Let it be made clear here that the Pope never spoke of “slow extermination” but of “slow decline”.

The Pope’s revisionist words in confidence to the Americans

There have at times been those who deplore the brevity of this evocation of the deported and interned Jews’ lot; such people hardly bother to note that the Poles’ circumstances were dealt with in just the same way. However, this apparent timidity of the Pope, in reality his moderation, is explained by what must indeed be called a caution of revisionist character. At the Vatican, one Harold H. Tittmann was assistant to Myron Taylor, president Roosevelt’s personal representative. On December 30, 1942 he had a forty-minute conversation with the Holy Father, who warned him anew that if the Allies bombed Rome he would have to raise a solemn protest, and that would harm their cause, particularly in Latin American public opinion. Then the conversation turned to the Christmas radio message, the Pope saying that everyone, in his view, must have understood his allusion to the Poles, the Jews and the hostages. On the subject of atrocities he had not been able to name the Nazis, for then he would have had to name the Bolsheviks as well, which, he added, would not have pleased the Allies overmuch. Tittmann, in his account of the talk in a report addressed to the State Department and dispatched to Washington through the offices of the US envoy to Berne, wrote:

He stated that he “feared” that there was foundation for the atrocity reports of the Allies but led me to believe that he felt that there had been some exaggeration for purposes of propaganda [my emphasis]. Taken as a whole he thought his message should be welcomed by the American people and I agreed with [him].[37]

British historian Owen Chadwick, who believes in the “genocide” of the Jews and the “gas chambers”, carries out a suggestive comparison between, on the one hand, this account of atrocities as such and, on the other, the way in which it was received first by the Allies, who minimised the data it bore, then by the Pope who, careful to avoid exaggeration, minimised them still further. Chadwick claims to note here a phenomenon that he deems regrettable and that, with Pius XII, might be explained by a sort of ingenuousness:

Even in this utterance the Pope was very careful to guard against exaggeration. The story was, two million Jews killed for their race. The Allied Declaration [of December 17, 1942] had not believed it, and said hundreds of thousands. The Pope says, some hundreds of thousands. The story was that they were all killed just for their race and this was true. The Pope says they were sometimes killed only for their race, [in Italian] talora, on occasion. Like the minds of most of western Europe, the mind of the Pope was not bad enough to believe the truth. Like the high officials of the British Foreign Office he thought that the Poles and the Jews exaggerated for the sake of helping the war effort[38]  [my emphasis].

Here the historian commits a slight error. The three numerical estimates given, respectively, first by “the news”, then by the Allies and, finally, by the Pope were not 1) two million; 2) hundreds of thousands; 3) some hundreds of thousands, in that order, but rather 1) two million; 2) many hundreds of thousands; 3) centinaia di migliaia (hundreds of thousands). This diminishment is, in effect, significant: the Allied authorities mistrusted the figures peddled by the (Jewish) agencies and groups, and the papal authority, in turn, was wary of the figures trumpeted by the Allies. For the rest, Chadwick is right: where the Allies presented all the Jews as being uniformly victims of a “policy of cold-blooded extermination” because of their race, the Pope said only that it was “at times” (talora) that such was the case. There never existed a German order, either textual or otherwise factual, to kill a Jew because he was a Jew and, on the contrary, examples are not lacking of Germans of the period, even in the midst of the war, even in Poland, Russia or Hungary, who were convicted by civilian or military courts for having killed just a single Jew.

The Pope’s second declaration (June 2, 1943)

On June 2, 1943, in an address to the College of Cardinals, Pius XIl stated:

Moreover, you will not be surprised, venerable brethren and beloved sons, if our soul reacts with particular emotion and pressing concern to the prayers of those who turn to us with anxious eyes of pleading, in travail because of their nationality or their race [travagliati come sono per ragione della loro nazionalità o della loro stirpe] before greater catastrophes and ever more acute and serious sorrows, and destined at times, without any fault of their own, to exterminating constraints [e destinati talora, anche senza propria colpa, a costrizioni sterminatrici – my emphasis].

In its printed form, this passage appears in a section of the speech headed “Sufferings of peoples for reasons of nationality or race. The smaller nations”. By “smaller nations” the Pope meant both the small states and the ethnic minorities of Europe. He evoked “these particular groups, subjected to very harsh misfortunes” (questi gruppi particolari, soggetti a più acerbi sfortune). He recalled instances of relief of their sufferings obtained by the Holy See, the requests made on their behalf for a “sincere return to the elementary norms of law and humanity” (ritorno sincero alle elementari norme del diritto e dell’umanità), even if at times the Vicar of Christ had found himself “before a door that no key could unlock” (davanti a porte che nessuna chiave valeva ad aprire).

In 1943 and 1944 the Pope was twice a “repeat offender”

I am unaware if, amongst the great many authors who have devoted their efforts to the subject, there have been any to point out, and underscore, certain important facts: Pius XII was, in a way, a “repeat offender” in his daring to have those two documents printed not only in Latin in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official record, but also in Italian. That of December 24, 1942, broadcast over Vatican Radio, was printed in 1943 in Rome proper, and not in Vatican City, by San Paolo editions in volume 4 of a collection entitled Atti e discorsi di Pio XII; the passage reproduced immediately above appears on pages 327-328. As for the address of June 2, 1943 to the College of Cardinals, it is in volume 5, issued in 1944; the parts reproduced or quoted above appear on pages 134-135. I am not in a position to specify in what months of 1943 and 1944, respectively, those two volumes appeared. Mussolini was arrested, by order of the King, on July 25, 1943 and the Allies were to enter Rome on June 4, 1944; in the meantime, the real power in Italy passed to the German army and police. It must therefore be noted that the printing of the first volume, as well as that of the second (or, at the very least, the preparatory work for it), date from a period in which Fascists and National Socialists are said to have exercised an authority readily described as unlimited. If such were really the case it would mean that Pius XII had taken the risk of defying that authority, thereby offering one more example of his boldness. But, honestly, was there any boldness in defying two powers, the Fascist and the National Socialist, that were being steadily deserted by the fortune of arms? It took more daring to stand up to the formidable power of the Allies and their capacity of retaliation by aerial bombardments than to confront Mussolini or Hitler who, besides, were not in the class of tyrants like Stalin, who enjoyed unbridled power. In these circumstances the papacy, though without a single armoured division at its disposal, constituted all the same a force to be reckoned with and regarding which concessions were in order. It reigned over half a billion souls at a time when the world’s population was two billion.

The power of the papacy

People are wont to describe Adolf Hitler as a dictator of terrifying power. From this point of view Pius XII would appear to have been at the tyrant’s mercy, to have lived in dread of bringing reprisals on himself, ever fearful lest he arouse the Führer’s wrath by intervening more on behalf of the Jews. For instance, in Holland, had the clergy not made a grave mistake in taking up the defence of the Jews? Had its intervention not had the effect of irritating the Germans? Had not the latter, on that occasion, proved their capacity of retaliation in deporting, by way of a special measure, a certain number of Jews who had converted to Catholicism and, amongst those persons, Edith Stein? Had Pius XII not at times confessed his inability to pronounce “fiery words” or to open doors “that no key could unlock”? For his part, had not Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Third Reich’s Foreign Minister, let it be understood that he had at his disposal means to put pressure on the Pope? I shall not deal here with the alleged plan to have Pius XII abducted by the SS for, as O. Chadwick shows, that was a rumour concocted and launched by the aforementioned British propaganda bureau called “Psychological Warfare Executive”.[39] 

In reality Hitler was a good deal weaker and Pius XII much stronger than is generally admitted nowadays. The Führer had scarcely any means to intimidate Pius XII. Towards the end of 1942 von Ribbentrop ordered Diego von Bergen, his ambassador in Rome, to threaten the Pope with reprisals. The ambassador carried out the order. Pius XII responded at first by silence, then, very calm, retorted that he cared not what fate had in store for him and that in the event of conflict between the Church and the State it was the State that would lose.[40] Quite early on, a good part of the world had ended up turning away from Hitler and joining the camp of the future winners; after some time hardly anyone cared to maintain contact with the pestiferous one; the neutral countries ended up adopting an attitude of “active” neutrality in favour of the United States and Britain. Hitler had to fight on land, on the seas and in the air against foes who had very much the upper hand through their natural resources, armament and propaganda (Goebbels had but mediocre resources on the international level). Under siege in the illusory “fortress Europe”, Hitler also had to defend against a growing “terrorism” and a domestic “resistance” that undermined even the state apparatus. A hunted man, he had no way out for, from January 1943 and their meeting at Casablanca, Roosevelt and Churchill were insisting on “unconditional surrender”. Pius XII, on the contrary, was a person in demand, his support or intervention sought by all parties to the conflict. His standing had become considerable in Europe, Central and South America, Canada, the United States; the number of diplomatic representations to the Vatican during the war and their activity bear witness to this fact, whereas before the war, around 1936, that activity had been slack or nearly non-existent.[41] Even the British and Americans were present at the Vatican, alternatively addressing to the “Pope-King” their tributes, promises and threats.

In Germany proper in 1933 Catholics numbered more than twenty million, and with the Reich’s recovery of the lands that had been torn from it by virtue of the Versailles diktat they were to number rather more in the following years; Chancellor Hitler would have been running the greatest of risks in alienating so many of his compatriots of Roman Catholic obedience by striking a blow against the papacy.

The application of the Concordat, signed in July 1933, had, subsequently, greatly disappointed the two parties, but Hitler could not defy its clauses too openly. He was conscious of the high clergy’s deep hostility. Prelates like Faulhaber (labelled the Judenkardinal by certain National Socialists), von Preysing or von Galen showed a state of mind bordering on one of open rebellion, and Hitler could do nothing about it. According to some authorities he kept on paying his Catholic’s tithe to the treasury; according to others he waited till 1943 to cease contributing. Numerous members of the German clergy got themselves noticed for their “resistance”. Others had been publicly denounced for crimes against morals; in that era, Germany was the only country in the world no longer practising the fairly hypocritical custom of covering up, by agreement with the religious authorities, cases of paedophilia when clergymen were involved; it seems that the Vatican was rather loath to welcome this innovation by the Third Reich (where, it may be pointed out in passing, homosexuality between consenting adults was not, apart from some exceptions, against the law; homosexuality was essentially outlawed only as concerned the corruption of minors, equally prohibited in the parliamentary democracies; the Hitler regime interned such offenders in forced labour camps, where the pink triangle on their uniform distinguished them from other internees). All such churchmen, when found guilty or placed under suspicion, whether as “political offenders” or “common criminals”, were arrested and, for the most part, gathered in the Dachau concentration camp where their living conditions, harsh as they might be, were envied by a good many other inmates.

A clarification on the Dutch Jewish converts to Catholicism

Pope Pius XII’s defenders readily bring up the affair of the Dutch Jews who had converted to Catholicism. They are wont to say that, if the Pope had spoken out against the extermination of the Jews, then the Germans, by way of reprisal, would have further aggravated their victims’ lot. They invoke the example of the Netherlands: in that country the Catholic hierarchy had spoken out against the deportation of Jews still adhering to Judaism and, in reaction, the Germans carried out the reprisal of deporting Jews who had converted to Catholicism, Edith Stein amongst them. However, the comparison is invalid for the simple reason that the affair happened not at all as is generally related.

In the Netherlands the high officials of the Catholic and Protestant churches had telegrammed a joint message to Reichskommisar Arthur Seyss-Inquart protesting against the Jews’ deportation. Seyss-Inquart reassured them saying that converted Jews would not be deported; only those adhering to Judaism would be. At the same time, he expressly forbade them to read out the text of that enflamed protest to their congregations. But, on July 26, 1942 the religious leaders of all Christian denominations flouted that prohibition. Better still, the Catholic hierarchy, for its part, supplemented the fiery message with a reading from the pulpit of a pastoral letter ending with a prayer whose words were a provocation towards the occupation forces:

Thus, dear faithful, let us pray to God to accord forthwith, by the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, a just peace. To comfort the people of Israel so sorely afflicted in these days and bring them the true salvation in Christ Jesus. […] Let us implore His aid for all who are afflicted and oppressed, for the prisoners and hostages, for the many who are under threat and in danger of death.[42]

Seyss-Inquart, who had nothing of the fanatic about him, thus found himself obliged to carry out his threat. In its defence, the Catholic hierarchy piteously brought forth the argument that “the Reichskommisar’s point of view had not been known in time everywhere”. For more details on the matter I refer the reader to my article of November 4, 1998 entitled “Six Questions to John-Paul II about Edith Stein”.[43] It may added, finally, that the Germans appear to have put their threats into effect only in a small proportion, and that many converted Jews were not, in reality, deported from Holland. According to the findings of an inquiry made by the aforementioned BBC television producer Jonathan Lewis, the number of arrests, leading to deportation, of such persons was, all told, ninety-two.[44]

The argument drawn from the case of the converted Jews is, consequently, of no great worth. As for certain utterances of Pius XII on his own impotence in some cases, and for those of von Ribbentrop on his own means of coercion, they are to be judged in careful view of the circumstances in which they were made and of the persons to whom they were addressed. They remained mere words.

The churches’ show of strength on the occasion of the “Fabrikaktion”

An example of the churches’ strength against the National Socialist regime is supplied by the episode known as the Fabrikaktion (Factories operation) of February 27-28, 1943 in Berlin. At that period Germany was in the grip of the defeat at Stalingrad. Accordingly, three days of mourning had been decreed by Hitler. It was a tragic state of affairs. The authorities decided that it was no longer possible to let tens of thousands of Jews, some of them working in factories side by side with other Germans, stay in Berlin: the risks of sabotage were too great. Goebbels, in his capacity as chief of police of the capital, had thousands of Jews arrested. Of these, about 2,000 were interned in a group of buildings in Rosenstrasse and slated for deportation to the East. A number of them were married to Christian women. The latter, rising up in revolt, demonstrated outside the buildings in question for several days and nights, demanding the complete release and freeing of their husbands. Goebbels yielded; they won: Germany in her entirety would see no more attempts to deport Jews married to Christians.[45] The Vatican, for its part, seems not even to have had the time to intervene here, the local Christian reaction being so spontaneous and immediate. During the summer of 1943 Clemens August von Galen, bishop of Munster (Westphalia), attacked in his preaching the methods of the German police. Some National Socialists called for his execution. Goebbels was against the idea and “decided ‘that the population of Munster could be regarded as lost [for the National Socialists] during the war, if anything were done against the Bishop… [plus] the whole of Westphalia’”.[46] Furthermore, “as a whole, the measures considered by Adolf Eichmann’s departments against Jews married to Catholics and against children of mixed marriages were not carried out in the Reich, either in Berlin or Vienna”.[47]

If the Third Reich had wanted to exterminate the Jews, there can be no doubt that von Galen (“the Lion of Münster”) and his like would have denounced from the pulpit such a criminal undertaking that, what with its gigantic dimensions, could not have been going on unnoticed.

The accusation allegedly brought against the Vatican
by SS officer Kurt Gerstein (April-May 1945)

Kurt Gerstein (1905-1945), a mining engineer with a degree in chemistry as well, joined the National Socialist party in 1933 and enrolled in the SA. In 1936 he was excluded from the party for anti-state activities. He was interned twice for some weeks in 1936 and 1938. A Protestant, he was an active member of the Confessional Church, opposed to the regime. Rehabilitated, he entered the SS in 1941. Appointed to the SS Institute of Hygiene in Berlin with the rank of sub-lieutenant (special assignment), he was in charge of disinfestation and the fight against epidemics. Few details are known of his life in the period between June 1942 and March 1945. It is recorded that in April 1943 he was promoted to lieutenant (special assignment) and that he was twice hospitalised, first in March 1944 in Helsinki, then in Berlin in autumn of that year; the reasons for this double hospitalisation are unknown. In late March 1945 he left the capital of the Reich to rejoin his wife and children in Tübigen. On April 22 he turned himself in to the French 1st Army. Placed under arrest and taken to Paris, he was questioned by officers of the Organe de recherche des crimes de guerre (ORCG). Detained at the Cherche-Midi prison, he was charged with murder and complicity in murder. On July 25, 1945 he was found hanged in his cell.

Two months before his death the prisoner had given his various interrogators or jailers a series of confessions, each more stupefying than the rest: two versions are dated April 26, a third bears the date of May 4 and three others May 6. In them Gerstein claimed to have been witness, in August 1942, to gassings of Jews at Belzec (and, secondarily, at Treblinka). Describing the Belzec gassings, he stated that the killers used the emission fumes from a Diesel engine (an engineer and chemist all in one ought to know that such gas is one of the very least appropriate for killing!). The victims, as many as 700 or 800 at a time, had been packed, standing, into the gas chamber; it was an enclosure measuring 25 square metres and 45 cubic metres, which leaves one supposing that from 28 to 32 persons had stood in a space of one square metre, under a 1.8 metre ceiling (once again, where is the engineer?). At Belzec and Treblinka the Germans, according to him, had killed 20 million Jews (in another version, 25 million); however, the Jewish authors affirm that from 1939 to 1945 Jewish deaths in all the camps and ghettos, in the towns and in the countryside, in all the acts of reprisal, on all the battlefields, in all the bombing raids, all the evacuation marches, all the deportation convoys amounted to a total of six million. A pile of shoes taken from victims measured, according to Gerstein, 25 metres in height (another version: 35-40 metres) (here as well, engineer Gerstein did not specify how shoes were thus projected or placed up to the height of a 10- to 12-storey building). Gerstein “confessed” that at Auschwitz, a camp to which he had never been, several million children were killed by having a wad soaked in hydrogen cyanide placed under their noses! Again according to his testimony, one day SS general Globocnik assured him that, two days previously, Hitler and Himmler had themselves been at Belzec; however, neither Hitler nor Himmler ever visited that part of Poland.

It would take far too long to list all the absurdities, implausibilities, inanities and contradictions contained in the six versions of this confession, along with their “supplements”, addenda and rough drafts. Thus the holocaustic authors who claim to reproduce these texts have made a good number of amputations, alterations and fabrications in their attempts to dissemble the truly zany character of it all. Léon Poliakov has been the most dishonest amongst them. For the trouble that he brought on himself in 1981 with his manipulations and fabrications of texts attributed to Gerstein I refer the reader to the entry under his name in the index of my Écrits révisionnistes (1974-1998) and, in particular, to pages 568-572 therein. In 1961, in the first edition of his work of reference (The Destruction of the European Jews), Raul Hilberg, the veritable Pope of exterminationism, mentioned Gerstein’s name twenty-three times. But, in early 1985, during the first trial of Ernst Zündel in Toronto, Hilberg, appearing as witness and expert advisor to the prosecution, was to undergo the ordeal of a cross-examination concerning his use of the extravagant testimony in question. He ended up denying practically any value to Gerstein’s confessions; on this score as well one may consult my Écrits révisionnistes for the verbatim transcript of the concessions that the greatest specialist of the history of the so-called “Holocaust”, when cornered, had to make (p. 956-957). Confronted with such or such passage of the confession, Hilberg found himself obliged to speak of “pure nonsense”, of a “totally false statement”, “sheer exaggeration”, a “far-out statement”. At his end, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, who in 1979, along with Poliakov, had not shrunk from invoking Gerstein’s testimony as proof of the existence of the Nazi gas chambers[48], saw himself compelled a few years later to admit that “the six versions of the testimony… are crammed with implausibilities and contradictions”.[49] But, as early as in 1968, another specialist, Olga Wormser-Migot, had expressed her own scepticism. She wrote of “a confession of which a fair number of parts remain obscure” and concluded: “For our part, it is difficult to acknowledge the full authenticity of Kurt Gerstein’s confession – or the veracity of all its elements”.[50]

Never in his “confession” does Gerstein claim to have had any contact with Pope Pius XII or even with his representative in Berlin, the nuncio Cesare Orsenigo. He simply states that he once presented himself at the nunciature door to reveal his secret and was asked to leave because he was a soldier. It is true that he adds the claim to have made a verbal report to Dr Winter, the bishop of Berlin’s secretary, as well as to quite a number of other persons, Protestants or Catholics: to a Swede, a Swiss, members of the Dutch resistance, factory workers, “thousands” of people, he asserts. He never speaks of a written report. Moreover, after the war, no trace was ever found of any report addressed by Gerstein either to the nunciature or to the archbishop of Berlin, and nothing either at the Vatican or in the Swedish, Swiss, or Dutch archives. Those who, shortly after the war, affirmed that Gerstein had spoken to them of the horrors in question made no written report of it either for themselves or for their superiors. Such was the case, in particular, of the Swede von Otter.

Hence, the accusation that the Protestant Kurt Gerstein is supposed to have brought against the Vatican is reduced to practically nothing. For all the trouble taken, why should his confession not be used to attack the Protestant churches just as well, since he also claims to have informed Otto Dibelius and Martin Niemöller’s family? Why not use the same weapon against Sweden, Switzerland or the Netherlands which, if he is to be believed, Gerstein also notified verbally of the atrocities?

The first author to open people’s eyes to the flimsiness of Gerstein’s testimony was Paul Rassinier. He did so in his 1961 book Ulysse trahi par les siens (La Librairie française, Paris), and, up to his death in 1967, never quit going over the matter in other writings. In the same revisionist line, after my own publications and after the humiliation inflicted on Hiberg on the subject in early 1985, one may refer to two scholarly works: Carlo Mallogno’s Il rapporto Gerstein: Anatomia di un falso. Il campo di “sterminio” di Belzec (Sentinella d’Italia, Monfalcone, Italy 1985), and Henri Roques’s thesis, presented at the University of Nantes on June 15 of the same year and published the following year by André Chelain in his Faut-il fusiller Henri Roques? (“Should Henri Roques be shot?”) (Polémiques, Paris, July 1986).[51] Just recently the same Henri Roques has made an astounding discovery concerning the decidedly troubled personality of K. Gerstein.[52]

One may dispense with reading Kurt Gerstein ou l’ambigüité du bien (Castermann, Paris 1967, with an afterword by Léon Poliakov) by Saul Friedlander, who is not afraid of falsifying the documents that he reproduces. On the other hand, the same author’s Pie XII et le IIIe Reich. Documents (Seuil, Paris 1964) is worth a look, but only for Alfred Grosser’s interesting afterword.

The accusation brazenly brought against the Vatican by
the Protestant Rolf Hochhuth (1963)

Born in 1931, German author Rolf Hochhuth completed in the spring of 1962 a stage play entitled Der Stellvertreter. The hero is an imaginary figure, the young Jesuit father Riccardo Fontana who, deeply distressed by what another character, Kurt Gerstein, discloses to Pius XII about the Nazi gas chambers, realises that the Pope is not going to denounce the horror. Humble prelate, he dons the Jewish star and accompanies a convoy of Jews in a gas chamber to meet his death. According to the interpretations, the play’s name (in English, The Deputy in its American editions, The Representative in its British ones) designates either the young Jesuit – in which case it would be fitting to translate the German title into French as “Le Remplaçant” (“The Replacement”) or “Le Substitut” (“The Substitute”) – or else the Pope himself and is to be rendered by “Le Vicaire”, since, as is well known, the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ”. In French the title Le Vicaire has been established by usage.

This ponderous Germanic tragedy, written in free verse in the plodding style of the expressionists, takes place over five particularly indigestible acts and brings together no fewer than forty actors. The author is keen to advise us beforehand: “Apart from the Pope, the Nuncio, Gerstein, [professor] Hirt and Eichmann, all characters and names are fictitious.” But it may rightly be said that those five historical characters are, themselves as well, transformed into imaginary creations. Hochhuth demonstrates the clumsiest fantasy in his dealing with history. The sixty-five pages of explanation (“Sidelights on History”, “Epilogue”) that he saw fit to add on to the printed version of his play amount to no more than a compilation of more or less historical dates reported in the tone of a low-level novelist or newspaper hack. In short, it is all a load of the worst so-called “historical” novel style or of Piscator drama, and yet it is this dubious creation, launched at the time like a new grocery brand, that the media of the whole world have succeeded in presenting as one of the gravest indictments of Pius XII.

As for the text of the play in its English version, one may consult Rolf Hochhuth, The Deputy (Grove Press, New York 1964), with a foreword by Albert Schweitzer; the “Sidelights on History” and the “Epilogue” run from page 287 to page 352. Paul Rassinier, he again, took the whole business apart in L’Opération “Vicaire”. Le Rôle de Pie XII devant l’Histoire (La Table Ronde, Paris 1965).[53]

An accusation relaunched with chutzpah in the Jewish film Amen (2002)

Early in 2002 a big media fuss was made for the launch of the Jewish film Amen, produced by Claude Berri, written by Jean-Claude Grumberg, directed by Constantin Costa-Gavras, with Mathieu Kassovitz in the lead role and incidental music by Amar. Tedious and lie-ridden, this 2-hour 10-minute film takes its inspiration from the figments of Hochhuth’s lively imagination and from Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s fictional work. Clichés follow one another thick and fast, with incessant to-and-froing of the deportation trains, full on leaving and empty on returning, with loutish German soldiers revelling in the spectacle, observed through a spy hole, of the death of Jews in a gas chamber, with the banquet at the Vatican where guests feast on scampi (of course!) while the Jews are dying, with Eichmann waltzing at a ball or in a spirited exchange of ribaldry amongst friends, with gigantic pyres for burning the Jews (before which German soldiers mill about untroubled by the heat, like diabolical creatures who, being in their element, have no need of protection) and with the young Jesuit who, naturally, is going to show off his Jewish star in front of Pius XII. The film swarms with base novelistic inventions, one of the more mendacious consisting in showing Gerstein and the Jesuit listening to Vatican Radio on Christmas Eve 1942, both in the hope that the Pontiff will, in his talk, speak out against the horrors being visited on the Jews; an authentic recording of the broadcast is distinctly audible, but Costa-Gavras brazenly skips over the passage on the “progressivo deperimento” endured by the persecuted Jews. This cut from the text of the papal message is deliberate and allows Costa-Gavras and his accomplices to have their audience believe that Pius XII said nothing of the Jews’ hardships. The subterfuge also enables them to depict the consternation of the two radio listeners, Kurt Gerstein and Riccardo Fontana, and to underscore the Pope’s cruel indifference, if not his fundamental cowardice.

Thus the historian need not dwell on this 100% kosher production in which effrontery vies with judeocentricity. On the occasion of the film’s release an article that was rather well informed about the realities of the story and Costa-Gavras’s falsifications of it appeared in the French weekly Valeurs actuelles.[54]

Pius XII castigated for his resistance and revisionism

Pius XII, to the end, resisted the pressure of certain Jewish organisations. He refused to endorse either the nascent religion of “the Holocaust” (an imposture) or the creation of the State of Israel (another imposture, directly linked to the first). He was to pay a high price for his daring, if but posthumously.

Who can stand firm under the pressure and in the face of powerful Jewish organisations and their campaigns? Practically no-one. These institutions’ hold on the media, their perpetual moaning and recriminations, their systematic recourse to blackmail, their practice of telling lies designed to mislead others considerably, the fear that they inspire (metus Judaeorum), their frenzy (be it real or make-believe) and their contempt for those who do not belong to the chosen people end up sweeping aside all obstacles. In order, suddenly, for such organisations not to be strictly obeyed it takes some exceptional historical circumstances. Then the humiliated, maligned, duped or colonised goyim take the risk of holding up their heads and, sometimes, go so far as to rebel against their tyrants. The hoax or religion of “the Holocaust” has progressively built itself up since beginning with rabbinical lies born in Central Europe; soon afterwards, with the aid of propaganda, those inventions were exported to Western Europe (including the neutral countries, the Vatican and bodies like the International Red Cross). Once in place they spread throughout the United States, where they benefited from the staging provided by Hollywood and the rest of the media. They came back with all the more force from 1945 onwards to pour into the heart of Europe. They strongly contributed to the creation of the State of Israel, a source of conflicts to come. They poisoned the post war world. The ferment of hatred that an imposture of these dimensions leaves in people’s minds still infects our society nowadays. Prodigious financial extortions, grounded in intimidation or blackmail, have for half a century been feeding the trade, the business, the industry of the Shoah. It could almost be said that the heads of these Jewish groups had done their best to strengthen, for the anti-semites’ satisfaction, all the stereotypes of the Jew as a liar, a crook, alternately whining and arrogant, crying out for vengeance till the end of time and everywhere demanding his pound of flesh. These Jews have resurrected Shylock.[55]

Unable – and for good reason – to prove the reality of the alleged “destruction of the European Jews” or the alleged “Nazi gas chambers”,  the Jewish pseudo-historians or scholars à la Raul Hilberg have ended up capitulating. They have passed the baton to the novelists à la Elie Wiesel, the playwrights à la Hochhuth, the film directors à la Lanzmann or Costa-Gavras, to the illustrators, poster designers, painters, creators of monumental “sculptures” and designers of exhibitions in sundry “Holocaust” museums, to the musicians, the advertisers, the sponsors of ceremonies, the demonstration organisers, the tour operators for school trips to Auschwitz. What remains today of veritable historical research into the lot of the Jews of Europe during the last war is heavily tainted by the cult of Jewish “remembrance”.

The offensive launched against Pius XII, especially since the 1960s, bears the stamp of this general transformation running from an abortive historical and scientific inquiry up to the “criminal” indictment by theatre, cinema and all the performing arts that address the imagination. In the early stages there were attempts, like Saul Friedlander’s in 1964, to draw up the brief on Pius XII in line with the historical record, which was, after all, a normal thing to do. That brief was all too obviously composed solely of material from the accusation and it proved to be so meagre that, little by little, the accusers had to abandon the realm of history and scholarship for that of fiction. It was in this spirit that the same Friedlander, in his aforementioned 1967 book, and Pierre (Weil) Joffroy, in 1969, set their hearts on some madcap writings of an SS officer immortalised for the circumstances as “God’s spy” and becoming, in a way, Saint Gerstein (cf. the latter author’s L’Espion de Dieu. La Passion de Kurt Gerstein, Grasset, Paris; English edition: A spy for God: the ordeal of Kurt Gerstein, Collins, London 1971). From this fiction was made, in Hochhuth’s The Deputy, a play where imagination was given still freer rein. Forty years later, even though Saint Gerstein’s confession is discredited and Hochhuth’s phantasmagoria forgotten, a Costa-Gavras and his acolytes have returned to the rubbish bins of history to pull out The Deputy and recycle it in the form of a delirious film that they gracefully entitle Amen. To have it plainly understood that Pius XII said “Amen” to National Socialism and gave it his blessing, they top off the job with an advertisement poster where the Christian cross and the swastika unite, a work of art owed to the talent of the Jew Oliviero Toscani, former staffer of the knitwear merchants Benetton. All told, a fake Pius XII has been fabricated just as a fake “Holocaust” was fabricated. And, in both cases, where the historian’s work failed, the resources of the imagination, so dear to fraudsters, have been summoned.

Pius XII’s first successors yielded to the Jews
whilst at the same time resisting

Pius XII’s first successors gave in to the Jewish pressure, albeit without going so far as final surrender. John XXIII (deceased in 1963) conceded much to the lobby but he did not utter the awaited words on the alleged extermination and the alleged gas chambers. He is said to have written a “Prayer for the Jews” in which, addressing himself to God, he evokes “the beauty [sic] of Thy Chosen People”; he asks that the Christians be forgiven for having treated the Jews as Cain had treated his brother Abel and for thus having, a second time, crucified the son of God in the flesh of the Jews. But the “prayer” is a mere fake, launched, in English, by the American Jewish Committee’s monthly Commentary a year and a half after John XXIII’s death.[56] In France the daily Le Monde, whilst having full knowledge of the facts, ended up contributing, in its turn, to the diffusion of this Jewish sham.[57] This “prayer” still passes for genuine with too many Roman Catholics today, even though the Vatican has pointed out its apocryphal character.

Until his death in 1978 Paul VI followed a line of conduct identical to that of John XXIII. During the war he had been deputy Secretary of State at the Vatican: “In that capacity, [he] had a conversation in 1945 with Gerhart Riegner, during which he doubted Riegner’s word that 1.5 million Jewish children had perished in the Holocaust”.[58] On January 5, 1964, during his visit to Jerusalem, he avoided the “pilgrimage” to the “Holocaust” memorial of Yad Vashem, sending a member of his delegation instead.

John Paul I, who served as Pope for only thirty-three days, had not enough time to face the Jews’ anger and demands. But the machine was up and running: sooner or later, what with their way of playing, notably with the success of that “prayer of John XXIII”, the programme would be carried out as announced and the Vatican would bow. That is what came to pass with John Paul II.

John Paul II resisted for eleven years, then capitulated

Acceding to the papal throne in 1978, John Paul II started out resisting Jewish pressure, then, in his turn, yielded on a good number of points, particularly in the affair of the Auschwitz Carmelite nuns. Towards the end of his eleventh year, precisely in the course of that matter, he ended up capitulating. On August 26, 1989, in a message to Polish bishops, he wrote of “the massive extermination of the Jews, who were doomed to the gas chambers”. Then, on September 26, 1990, he declared to a group of Poles at a Vatican audience:

[The Jewish] people lived side by side with us for generations, on the same land, which became, as it were, a new fatherland of their diaspora. This people underwent the terrible death of millions of their sons and daughters. At first they were stigmatised in a particular way. Later, they were pushed into the ghetto in separate neighbourhoods. Then they were taken to the gas-chambers, and put to death — simply because they were children of this people.[59] [my emphasis]

Thus, in his person, the Vatican, forty-four years after the end of the Second World War, came to endorse the story, albeit fictitious, of the “Holocaust” with its gas chambers and its millions of Jews (if not its “six million”) killed because they were Jews.

Two years later, on November 7, 1992, L’Osservatore Romano condemned historical revisionism for casting doubt on the “Holocaust”. It stated: “There is no historical revisionism that can call into question the inhuman abyss of the Holocaust” (Non c’è revisionismo storico che possa rimettere in discussione l’abisso disumano dell’Olocausto).

In 1993 the Vatican, after refusing to do so for forty-five years, recognised the State of Israel.

In 1998, on the occasion of the canonisation of Edith Stein, John Paul II again affirmed the existence of the Nazi gas chambers:

Because she was Jewish, Edith Stein was taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholic Jews from the Netherlands to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where she died with them in the gas chambers. Today we remember them all with deep respect. – From now on, as we celebrate the memory of this new saint from year to year, we must also remember the Shoah, that cruel plan to exterminate a people – a plan to which millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters fell victim.[60] [my emphasis].

On March 12, 2000 the same Pope, at a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica whose “penitential” liturgy had been created from scratch just for the event, solemnly expressed the Church’s contrition for past wrongdoings and, in particular, for the sins committed against the Jewish people by numerous Christians. But, curiously, he failed to pronounce the word “Shoah”. Immediately Israel Landau, chief Ashkenazi rabbi of the State of Israel, stated that, although glad to hear the request for forgiveness, he was “deeply disappointed that the subject of the Shoah had not been dealt with”. At his end, Jean Kahn, president of the Consistoire Israélite de France, rejoiced at the act of penitence but added:  “We would have preferred that the Christian anti-semitism that led to the Shoah not be put on the same plane with the regrets concerning the Crusades, the Inquisition, the discrimination against women and the poor”.[61] John Paul II was to effect his total submission in visiting, from March 23 to 26, 2000, first Jerusalem, then Yad Vashem; he made his penitent’s gesture anew and demanded “silence” on the Shoah. The word “silence” is obviously no longer to be taken in its normal sense of “muteness”, like that for which Pius XII is rebuked, but in its Jewish denotation, inaugurated by Elie Wiesel, of “respectful impotence to relate the unspeakable suffering of the Jews”. Already a few days before, bubbling over with admiration, Henri Tincq of Le Monde had written: “With regard to the Jewish people, [John Paul II] will have made steps that seemed unimaginable only thirty years ago”.[62] A week later the Parisian journalist relapsed: “There is still room for work but, thirty years on [from the Vatican Council], progress is so rapid that it leaves the extremists of both sides giddy”.[63] On March 26 John Paul II slipped a message into the Wailing Wall begging forgiveness: extracted from between the stones, his note was put on exhibit at Yad Vashem. In an editorial, Le Monde, never at a loss to carry on in Jewish-style one-upmanship, expressed its satisfaction but, as might be expected, deemed that it was not enough:

It must be hoped that the Vatican will follow through to the end in its task and suspend, for instance, the process of beatification of Pius XII, and throw full light on its role during the war.[64]

Here the newspaper was picking up a demand previously conveyed by Aharon Lopez, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See who, in 1998, had asked that the procedure in question be “frozen for fifty years”.[65]

“With the Jews, it’s always more

The Pope thus went “from the Shoah to Techouvah [in Hebrew: repentance]”. To venture now to think that the Jews will consider themselves satisfied would be not to know them well at all. It must be said that, in line with the phrase of their friend François Mitterrand, “with the Jews, it’s always more” (I take this item from a very close confidant of the late French president). Not only are they demanding that the process of Pius XII’s beatification be suspended but they are also voicing the same demand in regard to Pius IX (Pope from 1846 to 1878). The latter had made the young Edgardo Levi-Mortara his own adopted son to prevent him from being returned to his Jewish parents after a secret baptism. The ensuing affair gave rise to one of those international scandals that the Jewish communities periodically set about orchestrating. The Jews even mobilised on their behalf such figures as French Emperor Napoleon III and Franz Josef of Austria. But Pius IX held firm: a stubbornness for which, a hundred and thirty years later, the Jews are today preparing to make him pay.[66]

The Actes et documents du Saint-Siège
relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale

Yet another insistent demand: that for an opening of the Vatican archives. From 1965 to 1981 a team of four Jesuits appointed in 1964 by Paul VI had, at the request of Jews who were demanding clarifications on the subject, published the eleven tomes (in twelve volumes) of the Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs a la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (ADSS). But in these twelve volumes, the result of considerable effort undertaken in the face of their pressure, the Jews did not find what they had hoped to see, that is, material with which to prove Pius XII guilty. They soon resumed the attack, demanding the ability to enjoy a privilege unexampled in the history of the Roman Catholic Church: that of having access personally, although not even being members of the Church, to the Vatican archives (which were not yet classified and catalogued!). Put another way, they set forth the following line of reasoning to John Paul II: “Your four Jesuits may perhaps have cheated in presenting these documents; we want to go into the archives and see for ourselves; if you refuse us permission to do so, you’ll be giving us reason to believe that Pierre Blet, Robert Graham, Angelo Martini and Burckhart Schneider have effectively cheated”. In October 1999 the Pope bowed and created a mixed commission made up of six historians – three for the Christians, three for the Jews – assisted by four rapporteurs, in order to examine, indeed make an appraisal, of the twelve volumes’ contents. The three Catholic academics were the Americans Eva Fleischner, Gerald Fogarty and John Morley; the three Jews were militants of the anti-revisionist cause: Michael Marrus (from Toronto), Bernard Sucheky (from Brussels) and Robert Wistrich (from Jerusalem).

In May 2001 the French historian François Bédarida, since deceased, published an article in the review Esprit entitled: “Pour faire avancer l’histoire: les archives du Vatican 1939-1945” (p. 15-25). This Catholic of Jewish origin, animated by a Judeo-Christian hatred of revisionists, wished to see “openings of the Vatican archives [to ‘researchers’], to be made doubtless in a gradual and measured manner” (p. 25). He thus made himself the spokesman of his Jewish colleagues in the mixed commission who, for their part, were demanding an unlimited opening of the not yet catalogued Vatican archives. Such an exigency is materially impossible to satisfy; no-one in charge of a collection of archives in the process of being organised (which is the case at the Vatican for the entire period from 1922 onwards) can halt a monumental project to devote himself suddenly to a job that would mobilise all his material, financial and human resources, and imperil the continuation of his normal work. Nonetheless, thanks to the Vatican’s positive attitude, a solution was found and accepted by both sides: the members of the commission were to be able to get all the clarifications they desired on any given point. They need only submit their queries to father Peter Gumpel who, with his team, would have to do the necessary research work and provide answers.

On July 20, 2001 there was a dramatic turn of events: the mixed commission announced to the Vatican hierarchy that it was suspending its work. On the 23rd, the World Jewish Congress had the nerve to declare that the decision was taken after the Vatican’s refusal to open its archives to the historians. For once, the Vatican was to show a loss of patience and protest vigorously. On August 7, father Gumpel, assigned by the Pope with the task of speaking about the dossier, said that “certain Jewish historians of the commission” were to blame for this failure through their “improper” and “irresponsible” conduct. He called into question the seriousness of some Jewish members who seemed not even to have read the twelve volumes that they were supposed to be studying. In October 2000 the group had formulated forty-seven queries with a view to clarifying various points. P. Gumpel had taken the trouble to prepare, in reply, forty-seven files. However, according to him, due to “lateral” disagreements (we may gather that here it was no doubt a matter of disagreements between, on the one hand, the commission’s Catholic members and, on the other, the Jewish ones) it had been possible to examine only twelve of the questions. And he went on to add: “It is a lie to say that we haven’t been willing to provide answers; I was at their disposal”.[67] In a press release of August 25, father Gumpel’s accusatory remarks received a rather unexpected corroboration, coming as it did from Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with Judaism. Shortly before, the Cardinal of Baltimore, Archbishop William Keeler, had provided details, including the names of those involved, regarding the unacceptable behaviour of his compatriot, the Jew Robert Wistrich, member of the mixed commission, and of Seymour Reich, president of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), a regular partner in the dialogue with the Vatican. In particular, “leaks” had been organised by these Jews with the intent to fuel a campaign against the memory of Pius XII.[68] In preparing those “leaks” the Jews in question had failed to honour their commitments to discretion and thus swindled those who had put their trust in them. Shamelessly publishing the fruits of their larceny, they coupled the release with a lie-ridden commentary of their own making. They knew that the Vatican could not make a rebuttal precisely because of the commitments to discretion made on either side. In short, by cheating as they did they had won the match. Doubtless they became aware of the quality of the dossier established by the four Jesuits, who had done so much work in producing the twelve-volume ADSS. Sensing that they were once again heading towards failure in their campaign to denigrate Pius XII’s image, it is likely they had sought to cause a diversion in organising those “leaks” that allowed them to get out of a tight corner. They obliged the Vatican to take responsibility for a possibly definitive break.

In 2002 French author Gerard Leclerc produced a work bearing the title Le Bricolage religieux (“The religious do-it-yourself”, Éditions du Rocher, Paris). That same year he also wrote an article judiciously headed “Le Mythe des archives du Vatican”.[69] He showed that Jewish historian Annette Wieviorka was not in the least entitled to denounce any “stubborn closure” of the Vatican archives, or to believe that “the Gerstein report” might be found in them. He recalled that Pierre Blet had never found a trace of such a report. He specified that it was for “technical” reasons that authorisation to re-examine the archives was withheld. He added that John Paul II had nonetheless decided to bring forward the dates by which results were expected “in announcing that, as of 2003, six hundred and forty files concerning relations between the Holy See and Germany under Pius XI would be available, and that shortly afterwards the same would apply for the pontificate of Pius XII”. He concluded: “Perhaps things will go the same way with the Vatican archives as with the treasures of the Knights Templar. But serious historians will have to swear off clinging to the myth”.


The Jewish authorities, so quick to demand of the goyim in general and of the Church in particular acts of penance and reparations of all kinds, would be well advised to take stock of themselves with regard to their own actions in the past. Zionism and National Socialism, so similar in their respective ideologies, collaborated solidly before and during the Second World War.[70] If the “Nazis” committed crimes against the Jews and others, the Zionists and the “Brown Jews” had their part in such doings. Where, in this case, is the penitence of the leading rabbis? Furthermore, the Jews played a decisive role in the birth and development of Communism, an ideology which, in concrete terms, has inspired and justified some especially murderous undertakings. Also in this regard, no words of penance have been heard from the worldwide Jewish community. To advance the claim that the Jews were the first people to suffer from Communism is to show a real brass neck. When, for instance, the sons and daughters of Israel had managed to occupy in strength and in numbers the highest spheres of the state, as was once the case in the Soviet Union, and when the moment of the inevitable purges came, it only remained for them to purge one another, which, for that matter, they did in only a relative measure since, in the final analysis, millions of Jews alleged to have been at first exterminated by the Germans, then, it is added, decimated by Stalinism, have survived very well indeed up to our day in Russia, the Ukraine, Israel and other places. With the accusation and defence briefs fully prepared, the case of Pius XII is a clear one. The accusation’s file is empty whereas that of the defence abounds in evidence and documents establishing that the Pope did not render himself guilty of any “silence” on the true sufferings of the Jews during the war. The relentlessness of so many Jewish organisations against a Pope who did so much on behalf of the Jews is particularly unjust, but in it one encounters a constant trait of these bodies: they bite even the hand that feeds them. They have a habit of demanding everything; then, when their demands have been met, they openly insist on obtaining still more. Unable to get “more than everything”, they grumble, remonstrate, then fly into a rage. There are two sorts of historical revisionism that these Jewish organisations do not tolerate: the revisionism of those who are hostile or indifferent to the Jews and the revisionism of those who are sympathetic to them. And the latter annoys them more than the former. It proves, in effect, that even some of the minds most favourably disposed towards them refuse to believe in the Great Lie.[71]


How is it that the “trial of Pius XII” is still going on in our day?

The blame lies partly with the defence, whose counsel have played the accusation’s game. Without demanding to see any proof of it, they have from the very start admitted the thesis of the alleged “Holocaust”, a sort of a priori that the accusers impose as a historically established truth. In doing so, Pius XII’s defenders have gagged themselves. Henceforth they have only been able to make heard a few murmurs of protest. That is no way to present one’s case. If the accused’s barrister adopts a line of defence determined by the public prosecutor, then it only remains for the judge and jury to pronounce a verdict of guilty: at the very best their judgment will take into account some mitigating circumstances.

Thus does Pius XII, “the Pope-King”, join the vast cohort of victims, famous and obscure, who, since 1945, have been convicted by a thousand courts (beginning with the allegedly international – in reality inter-Allied – military tribunal at Nuremberg) where the defence is in the hands of lawyers who, as in the witchcraft trials of yore, either cannot or do not know how to call into question a formidable taboo, or else do not wish to expose the accused or themselves to the risk that putting such an argument would entail; the taboo here, of course, is that of the purported “Holocaust” or “Shoah”.

No lawyer has stood up to proclaim: “The abominable crime in question did not take place. And because it didn’t take place, Pius XII cannot have been, either directly or indirectly, an accomplice to that crime.”

In the eyes of his accusers Pius XII’s crime was accompanied by an aggravating circumstance: a revisionist during the war, the Pope remained a revisionist after the war, up to his death in 1958. A revisionist can hardly be beatified, much less canonised, that is, placed amongst the saints.

As for Pope John Paul II, we have seen that he ended up, in 1989, sacrificing to the religion of “the Holocaust” and, in 1992, hurling his anathema at historical revisionism. But can one really hold it against him? The author of these lines should well be aware of what it can cost  to face up to “an unbearable Jewish thought police” (as the late Annie Kriegel called it), and understands if no-one desires in the least to incur the hatred and wrath of the Jews (odium iramque Judaeorum). He knows, for example, that in trials where the judges’ conduct is dictated to them by the “Holocaust” taboo, it is best to keep a low profile, as the expression goes. A Pope is vested with heavy responsibilities towards his flock. He is not going to jeopardise the entire Roman Catholic Church by adopting behaviour which, as justified as it may be on the moral plane, will set off a political and media earthquake of global dimensions.

But the historians who claim to defend the memory of Pius XII need not be preoccupied with such contingencies. They need only care about being exact. Paul Rassinier has shown them the way.  In the review of the Pius XII case they ought, like Rassinier, to abandon the defence of connivance in favour of one that makes a break with the past. They would then be showing that the charge brought against the wartime Pope does not rest on any facts but only on a historical imposture, that of the alleged “Holocaust” of the Jews.

The task is easy in itself, but anyone who produces results through it will risk coming under the guillotine blade of special laws that in too many countries, and notably in France, hinder the researcher’s freedom.

Recommended reading


Amongst the studies mentioned above, those to be kept in mind are, first and foremost, the twelve volumes of the Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (ADSS) (1965-1982) and the clear summary thereof published by Pierre Blet, S.J., Pius XII and the Second World War: according to the Archives of the Vatican (1999). In his Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War (1986), Owen Chadwick has penned a remarkably limpid work of scholarship in a delectable English (not to be missed is, by way of example, his portrait, on pages 13-14 and 310- 317, of the British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis D’Arcy Godolphin Osborne who, in 1963, became Duke of Leeds).

Amongst the revisionist studies, the pages that the American Arthur R. Butz devotes to the Vatican’s role during the war in his book The Hoax  of the Twentieth Century. The Case against the Presumed Extermination of the Jews are a fitting complement to Paul Rassinier’s L’Opération “Vicaire” Le rôle de Pie XII devant l’Histoire (1965); they appear in an appendix to the work that professor Butz first published in England in 1976 and of which numerous editions have since been produced in the United States by the Institute of Historical Review. At the time when Butz was preparing that appendix only nine volumes of the ADSS had been released. In that piece he demonstrates remarkable qualities of analysis and synthesis, and his views are so penetrating that the subsequent publication of the last three volumes left the accuracy of his diagnosis entirely intact. The attention given to the contents of the papers concerned makes these pages stand out as an anthology for the precise analysis of historical texts and documents. One may also read the same author’s Robert Graham and Revisionism (Journal of Historical Review, vol. 17, no. 2, March-April 1998, p. 24-25) and, especially, Pope Pius XII and the Jews (JHR, vol. 17, no. 4, July-1998, p. 20-21).

Under the title Une encyclique singulière sous le IIIe Reich (Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, Antwerp, 1999) the Belgian revisionist Pierre Maximin has published a particular study of the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge (“With a burning concern”) devoted, in 1937, by Pope Pius XI to the National Socialist ideology (not named as such but designated). It is known that Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, contributed greatly to the drafting of the text. One may express reservations on the analysis proposed by P. Maximin. On the other hand, he is right in criticising the Pope for his silence or near-silence on the many crimes perpetrated against the vanquished. On June 2, 1945 Pius XII gave a speech before the College of Cardinals, the text of which Maximin had the good idea to include in his book (p. 121-123). This battle charge by Pius XII, blowing the trumpet of victory against a crushed enemy, is unworthy of a great Pope. At certain points, the tone resembles more that of a vengeful philippic than a solemn address (litterae solemniores). The Pope is seen lashing out steadily at the “satanic spectre raised by National Socialism”, at the inflictor of “persecution” and his “insolence”. He accuses Hitler of having been solely responsible for the new World War! He attacks him for concentration camps (in particular, Dachau) and for tortures carried with “the most exquisite scientific methods” as if the Allies, at, their end, had not, at the very instant of his talk, their own concentration camps and their own torturers. At the end, the Pope attacked the defeated leader for having increased “the ranks of revolution and disorder, in the pay of a tyranny no less despotic than those for whose overthrow men planned”. Thus he imputed to Hitler, in good part, the success of Stalinist Communism! He did so at the very time when the western Allies were able to gauge the dimensions of Bolshevism’s conquests, which had become possible only thanks to Roosevelt, Churchill, de Gaulle and numerous other democrats, and with the blessings of a Pope who, as has been seen above, when he had had to choose between Hitler and Stalin, chose Stalin. At the moment when Pius XII was launching this enflamed anathema against a dead man, millions of European Catholics were beginning, with the western Allies’ assent, to live through horrors in comparison to which the hardships they had experienced due to Hitler would appear minor indeed.

Harold Tittmann III is the son of the “chargé d’affaires” who, during the war, was assistant to Myron Taylor, Roosevelt’s personal envoy to the Holy See. In 2004 he published a book about his father: Inside the Vatican of Pius XII, The Memoir of an American Diplomat During World War II (Doubleday, New York, XII-224 p.). One may see, in particular, chapter two for a detailed account of the machination thanks to which, through their agreement, Roosevelt and Pius XII got around those American Catholics who were against both intervention in the war and Stalin. With the help of Pius XII, Roosevelt was, from November 7, 1941, able to bestow on his friend Stalin the benefits of the Lend-Lease Act, that is, weapons and money in abundance, all supplied by the American taxpayer.

Amongst the essays of Catholic or traditionalist inspiration in support of the wartime Pope one may note the Belgian author Alexis Curvers’s Pie XII, le pape outragé (first edition published by Robert Laffont, Paris 1964; second edition, revised and enlarged, by Dominique Martin Morin, Bouère [France] 1988). As for Mary Ball Martinez, American journalist accredited at the Vatican from 1973 to 1988, she has made a summary of one aspect of her book, The Undermining of the Roman Catholic Church, and published it in a piece entitled Pope Pius XII During the Second World War (JHR vol. 13, no. 5, September-October 1993, p. 26-29). The “poignant” letter said by her to have been addressed by Pius XII to Myron Taylor seems apocryphal. In this purported letter, of which she provides neither the date nor the source, the Pope expresses his regret at having kept silent, during the conflict, about the Russian Communist regime at President Roosevelt’s behest.

Retired French general Jacques Le Groignec, for his part, upholds the classic argument of Pius XII’s defenders: “No-one knew” (in French, “Personne ne savait”, title of his article in L’Action française, March 22-April 3, 2002, p. 14). This line of reasoning, according to which even a Churchill was ignorant of what is commonly called “the genocide of the Jews”, is, as has been seen above, both untenable (since the senior Allied leaders and the Pope could not lend credence to rumours which, after request for verification or inquiry, had proved groundless) and quite implausible (for had a slaughter of such gigantic proportions and industrial character actually taken place, then the resulting death of six million Jews would not have escaped the general attention any more than would the disappearance of the entire population of a country like Switzerland). In his Sionismo e Fondamentalismo (Controcorrente, Naples 2000), Curzio Nitoglia has reproduced in Italian Pius X’s encyclicals on Fascism (June 29, 1931), National Socialism (March 14, 1937) and, finally, Bolshevik and atheistic Communism (March 19, 1937). These texts may also be read in official English translation on the Vatican website.

Again on the Internet (www.religion.info), one may consult Paul Airiau’s April 2002 article Pie XII, le révélateur. Réflexions autour d’une controvers.

At times it happens that, by dint of so strongly wanting to defend the memory of a maligned Pope, some people end up echoing unfounded rumours. French journalist Alain Barluet has recently reported that at Yad Vashem, in the “Valley of the Righteous”, there is a tree planted in grateful tribute to Pius XII. That is an error. The same writer commits another error on the subject of the affair known as the “fifty kilos of gold”. In Rome in September 1943 the Germans, in reprisal for the planting of a bomb outside one of their barracks, had demanded that quantity of gold of the city’s Jews. Only thirty-five kilos were collected; therefore the Jewish community turned to Pius XII. The latter was quick to take the necessary steps to have the fifteen kilos that were lacking delivered but, suddenly, it became apparent that, thanks to the generosity of sympathetic Romans, the complement had already been found. Barluet is right to report that significant episode, but he makes a double error in taking up and putting his name to the legend that has it that the Pope effectively gave the Jews fifteen kilos of gold, and that, in order to enable him to do so, “the sacred chalices of the Roman parish churches had been melted down”.[72]

Note: To go about claiming that Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope” one must be altogether ignorant of the friendship (there is no other word for it) that linked him to Franklin Roosevelt and led him to support the Rooseveltian policy of helping Stalin. On the subject of this friendship the reader may consult the Wartime Correspondence between President Roosevelt and Pope Pius XII, with an introduction and notes by Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of the President of the United States of America to His Holiness Pope Pius XII, MacMillan, New York 1947, XVI-127 p. Roosevelt concluded his first letter (December 23, 1939) with these words: “To You, whom I have the privilege of calling a good friend and an old friend, I send my respectful greetings at this Christmas Season. Cordially yours, Franklin Delano Roosevelt” (p. 19).

Pius XII replied (January 7, 1940): “Recalling with keen joy the pleasant memories left Us after Our unforgettable visit to your great nation, and living over again the sincere pleasure that personal acquaintance with Your Excellency brought Us, We express in turn Our hearty good wishes, with a most fervent prayer for the prosperity of Your Excellency and of all the people of the United States” (p. 23). On February 14, 1940 Roosevelt spoke of “my old and good friend” (p. 31). On November 9, 1944 the Pope telegrammed Roosevelt to express his “heartfelt congratulations” on the American president’s third re-election, achieved two days previously (p. 117).

Meanwhile, on August 30, 1943, departing from his duty of impartiality, Pius XII complained to Roosevelt, in veiled terms, of the Germans, who were “shackling” the Italian people with their “formidable forces” and preventing them from enjoying peace (p. 99). On August 3, 1944 Roosevelt paid tribute to Pius XII for his action and efforts in favour of the Jews, instructing Myron Taylor to convey his praise with the following note: “I should like you to take the occasion to express to His Holiness my deeply-felt appreciation of the frequent action which the Holy See has taken on its own initiative in its generous and merciful efforts to render assistance to the victims of racial and religious persecutions” (p. 113). All by itself, that message renders laughable the subsequent attempts to portray Pope Pius XII as Hitler’s Pope.

A note on Yad Vashem and its eunuchs

In 1963 Yad Vashem, the Israeli Institute for remembrance of the Shoah, created a “department of the righteous”. This is a propaganda undertaking meant to illustrate the idea that, whilst hundreds of millions of goyim, from 1939 to 1945, proved either hostile or indifferent to the Jews, a handful of “righteous ones” did their duty.

As early as 1966 a tree was planted there in tribute to father Marie Benoît. As of December 2000 the number of righteous ones entitled to a tree or, for want of a tree, an inscription, was 2020.

The Comité français pour Yad Vashem, with offices in Paris’s prestigious Avenue Marceau and whose honorary presidents are Samuel Pisar, Simone Veil and Ellie Wiesel, describes itself as an “association for the remembrance and teaching of the Shoah and for the nomination of ‘Righteous ones among the Nations’”. The words “yad” and “shem” (linked here by the conjunction “va”) are borrowed from a fragment of Isiah’s prophecy: “[For the Lord says:] And to them I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial… an everlasting name [a “yad vashem”], that shall not be cut off”.[73] The pronoun “their” designates the faithful eunuchs that will “keep the [Lord’s] Sabbaths, choose the things that please [Him] and take hold of [His] covenant”. The Lord promises: “Their burnt offerings and sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar” (King James Bible).





1. See Robert Fauisson, Écrits révisionnistes (1974-1998), Vichy 1999, p. 1844, 1889-1892 (vol. IV).

2. Eugenio ZOLLI, Before the Dawn, Autobiographical Reflections, Sheed and Ward, New York 1954; for example, p 82-83; this book was republished in 1997 with the title Why I Became a Catholic, and has also been published in French translation (Avant l’aube, autobiographie, François-Xavier de Guilbert, Paris 2001). One may refer as well to Judith CABAUD’s Eugenio Zolli ou le Prophète d’un monde nouveau, Francois-Xavier de Guibert, Paris 2000).

3. Consultable at the website Catholic League.

4. Walter LAQUEUR, The Terrible Secret, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1980, p. 83

5. F. H. HINSLEY, British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its influence on Strategy and Operations, Vol. 2, HMSO, London 1981, p. 673.

6. [Mark WEBER] British Wartime Propaganda Lies, Journal of Historical Review, vol. 18, nos. 5-6, September-December 1999, p. 15.

7. W. LAQUEUR, op. cit., p. 63.

8. Ibid., back cover presentation featuring a facsimile of the telegram.

9. Ibid., p. 237

10. The Catholic Church and the Holocaust 1930-1960, Indiana University Press, Bloomington [Indiana] 2000, p. 112.

11. Pierre BLET, S.J., Pius XII and the Second World War: according to the Archives of the Vatican, Paulist Press, New York 1999, p. 165.

12. Nuremberg ou la Terre promise, Les Sept Couleurs, Paris 1948, p. 156-160.

13. Ibid., p 158. This work by M. Bardèche is classified “Non communicable” at the Bibliothèque de documentation Internationale contemporaine (BDIC), Nanterre university campus, just outside Paris.

14. Ibid., p. 159-160.

15. James J MARTIN, The Man Who Invented “Genocide”. The Public Career and Consequences of Raphael Lemkin, Institute for Historical Review, Torrance [California] 1984, p. 39.

16. The very Catholic François Mauriac lent credence to this whopper of a tale on May 4, 1945 and reproduced it in 1950 in his Journal, IV, Flammarion, Paris, p. 54.

17. Jean-Pierre LANGELLIER, “Les ‘jumeaux-cobayes’ d’Auschwitz témoignent à Jérusalem”, Le Monde, February 10-11, 1985, p. 4.

  1. La Montagne, February 5, 1985, p. 8.
  2. Paul EMMANUEL telling of his encounter with Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter, Ciné-Revue (Belgium), October 18, 1984.
  3. Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945 – 1 October 1946, Nuremberg, vol.  XVI,  p. 528-529.
  4. “Clio, dialogue de l’histoire et de l’âme païenne” (July 1913), (Œuvres, III, Gallimard, Paris, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, p. 1187-1188.
  5. M. PHAYER, op. cit., p. 23; the source for this quotation is given in a note (no. 27) as “Report by the Polish Ambassador to the Holy See on the situation in German-Occupied Poland. Memorandum No. 79, May 29, 1942, Myron Taylor Papers, NARA [US National Archives and Records Administration]”.
  6. L’Histoire, March 2000, p. 40.
  7. P. BLET, op. cit., p. 141.
  8. Ibid, p. 145.
  9. Robert SERROU, Pie XII, le pape-roi, Perrin, Paris 1992, p. 53.
  10. P. BLET, op. cit., p. 69-70; Marc-André CHARGUÉRAUD, Les Papes, Hitler et la Shoah, Labor et Fides, Geneva 2002, p. 149. The official translation of this encyclical may be read at the Vatican website.
  11. P. BLET, op. cit., p. 32-34, as well as M.-A. CHARGUÉRAUD, op. cit., particularly in the section headed “Conjuration et espionnage”, p. 85-87.
  12. Dino ALFIERI, Due dittatori di fronte, Rizzoli, Milan 1948, p. 22.
  13. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. XXIX, 1937, p. 96.
  14. P. BLET, op. cit., p. 122.
  15. Ibid., p. 116-122; M.-A. CHARGUÉRAUD, op. cit., p. 95-99, for the section entitled “La faucille, le marteau et la croix du chrétien?” (The sickle, the hammer and the cross of the Christian?).
  16. Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, December 17, 1942: House of Commons, cols. 2982-2983, and House of Lords, cols. 607-608.
  17. Release on “The execution by Hitlerite authorities of the plan to exterminate the Jewish population in the occupied territory of Europe”, reproduced in Soviet Government Statements on Nazi Atrocities, Hutchinson & Co., London, New York 1946, p. 57-58.
  18. James J. MARTIN, op. cit., p. 38-39.
  19. “Statement on Atrocities”, New York Times, November 2, 1943, p. 14.

*  Extract from the full translation of Pius XII’s talk presented in the New York Times of December 25, 1942, p. 10 – translator’s note.

  1. Foreign Relations of the United States. Diplomatic Papers, II, Europe, Government Printing Office, Washington 1964, p. 911-912.
  1. Owen CHADWICK, Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, London 1986, p. 218.
  2. Ibid., p. 275.
  3. Ibid., p. 218, with supporting references.
  4. Ibid., p. 1-6.
  5. Christian FELDMANN, Edith Stein, juive, athée, moniale, Éditions Saint-Augustin, Saint-Maurice [Switzerland] 1998, p. 138.
  6. Robert FAURISSON, Écrits révisionnistes (1974-1998), p. 1880-1888.
  1. John CORNWELL, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, Viking, New York 1999, p. 362.
  2. Encyclopaedia Judaica, article “Berlin”, p. 650; P. BLET, op. cit., p. 154.
  3. Franklin LITTLE & Hubert LOCKE (ed.), The German Church Struggle and the Holocaust, Wayne University Press, Detroit 1974, p. 121-122, quoted by M.-A. CHARGUÉRAUD, op. cit., p. 74.
  4. P. BLET, op. cit., p. 154.
  5. Une déclaration d’historiens [contre R. Faurisson], Le Monde, February 21, 1979, p. 23.
  6. Les Assassins de la mémoire, La Découverte, Paris 1987, p. 154; here quoted the English translation: Assassins of Memory, Columbia University Press, New York 1992.
  7. Le Système concentrationnaire nazi (1933-1945), Presses universitaires de France, Paris 1968, p. 11, 424.
  8. Reissued in 1989 by the same publisher under the title: La Thèse de Nantes et l’Affaire Roques.
  9. “Lettre à Henri Amouroux” of March 18, 2002, published in the Bulletin d’information de l’Association Verité et Justice (Switzerland), no. 15, April 2002, p. 3-4.
  10. Republished in 2002 by La Vieille Taupe, Paris.
  11. Laurent DANDRIEU, “Huit mensonges sur Pie XII”, March 8, 2002, p. 70-71.
  12. Edoardo LONGO, Il Coltello di Shylock, La Rocca d’Europa, Trieste.
  13. F. E. CARTUS (pseudonym), “Vatican II and the Jews”, Commentary, January 1965, p. 19-29; the “prayer” appears on page 21.
  14. FAURISSON, “Un Faux: ‘La prière de Jean XXIII pour les juifs’”, Revue d’histoire révisionniste, no. 3, November-December 1990-January 1991, p. 20-32; English translation here.
  15. M. PHAYER, op. cit., p. 211; source: John T. Powlikowski, “The Vatican and the Holocaust: Unresolved Issues” in Jewish-Christian Encounters over the Centuries, Marvin Perry and F. M. Schweitzer (ed.), Peter Lang, New York 1994, p. 301.
  16. L’Osservatore Romano, September 21, 1990, p. 1. (The English translation of the passage appears as quoted by a January 1991 Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops in Poland – Translator’s note)
  17. L’Osservatore Romano, October 12-13, 1998, 6-7; entire speech available in English translation at the Vatican website.
  18. H. TINCQ, “Réactions mitigées en Israël et chez les juifs de France”, Le Monde, March 14, 2000, p. 40.
  19. “De Cracovie à Jérusalem, le long parcours de Jean-Paul II”, Le Monde, March 18, 2000, p. 20.
  20. “Jean-Paul II à Yad Vashem, logique d’un itinéraire”, Le Monde, March 25, 2000, p. 19.
  21. “La force de Jean-Paul II”, Le Monde, March 28, 2000, p. 15.
  22. L’Express, February 21, 2002, p. 12.
  23. H. TINCQ, “Le souvenir d’un enfant juif trouble la béatification de Pie IX” (The remembrance of a Jewish child poses difficulties for Pius IX’s beatification), Le Monde, August 25, 2000, p. 1.
  24. Laurent MORINO, Rome correspondent, “Échec de la commission mixte sur la Shoah. Le Vatican ‘charge’ les historiens juifs” (Failure of the mixed commission on the Shoah. The Vatican “charges” the Jewish historians), Ouest-France, August 8, 2001, p. 2.
  25. H. TINCQ, “L’échec de la commission d’historiens chargée d’examiner le rôle de L’Église pendant la Shoah tourne à la polémique judéo-catholique” (The failure of the commission of historians in charge of examining the Church’s role during the Shoah is becoming a Judeo-Catholic quarrel), Le Monde, September, 2001, p. 4.
  26. Le Figaro, March 5, 2002, p. 5.
  27. Emmanuel RATIER, Les Guerriers d’Israël, Facta, Paris 1995, and Jean-Claude VALLA, Le Pacte germano-sioniste (7 août 1933), Éditions de la Librairie nationale, Paris 2001 (Les Cahiers libres d’histoire, no. 4).
  28. In France, for example, the more favours the senior political leaders accord to the Jews, the less they are paid in return. Successive presidents have particularly coddled the Jews, but all, at the end of their term, have been the object of the vilest attacks on the part of Jewish organisations. Illustrations of this “law” have arisen with Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and François Mitterrand. Hopeful of drawing a profitable conclusion from the unfortunate experiences of his predecessors, Jacques Chirac sought to break the spell by effecting straight away a total submission; first, he swore an oath of allegiance to the B’nai B’rith concerning his party’s electoral policy, then, barely two months after becoming president, on July 16, 1995, at the “place des Martyrs Juifs du Vélodrome d’Hiver” in Paris, he pronounced the French Republic itself guilty of what the French State, under the German occupation, had done to the Jews. There then followed an avalanche of monetary and other compensations to the sole benefit of the Jews; finally, he personally condemned “revisionist arguments”. He went so far in his obedience and toadying that, at the time of the 2002 elections, a Jewish journalist like Alain Minc could say that it was right to vote for Chirac to “reward” him (sic) for his July 1995 statement (Le Figaro, May 2, 2002, p. 14). But sooner or later the leaders of the Jewish organisations will bite the hand that has fed them, for it remains ever in their vital interest to be able to declare themselves dissatisfied: anti-semitism is their money-maker, and protesting their raison d’être.
  29. “Dans la vallée des Justes”, Le Figaro, February 26, 2002, p. 12.
  30. Isaiah 56.5; the King James version reads: “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” The “New Living Translation” (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton [Illinois] 1996) reads: “I will give them – in my house, within my walls – a memorial and a name far greater than the honour they would have received by having sons and daughters. For the name I give them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear!” André Chouraqui in his L’Univers de la Bible (Lidis, Paris 1983) presents the passage as follows: “I give them in my house, within my ramparts,/ my hand and the name, better than that of sons and daughters./ I give them an enduring name that shall not be cut off.” He explains that “house” designates the sanctuary of Jerusalem and that the coupling “the house and the name” is a Hebraism for “commemorative stone bearing an inscription”. In regard to these eunuchs, dear to the Eternal One in both the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Wisdom (“Wisdom of Solomon”) and the Gospel according to Saint Mathew (19.12) may also be consulted.