e-book The Popes Jews: The Vaticans Secret Plan to Save Jews from the Nazis

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He narrates the perilous work of Catholic religious such as the Sisters of Sion who hid thousands of Jews both before the German roundup of Jews and especially afterward.

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He notes the role played by Vatican Radio in exposing the anti-Semitic actions of the Nazis — broadcast content that the pope would have had to approve. My one major criticism is of his scant, less than two-page summary of the treatment of Jews by the bishops of Rome over the centuries. That treatment, in the main, was far more positive and protective of Jews, often in times in which they were persecuted elsewhere, than Thomas describes.

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This overall relatively consistent positive treatment of the Jews explains much in terms of Pope Pius desire to help the Jews, on the one hand, and the sense on the part of the Jews that the pope would and could defend them as popes had in the past on the other. Fisher is distinguished professor of Catholic-Jewish studies at St.

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Pius XII, Lifesaver

Get our newsletter Advertise with us Buy the Catholic Directory. Four of his books have been made into feature films, and others have been made into documentaries, or soon will be. I am not a Catholic, but I find the subject fascinating, and if you look into it, you may, too. What finally compelled him to do so was a study of the recent books about Pope Pius XII, and particularly those assailing his conduct during the Holocaust.

The end of the ‘Hitler’s Pope’ myth

I read them carefully with the growing realization that they began with pre-conceived ideas against Pius XII, and then wrote their books to shape those theories. The two were implacable opponents—one, a great Christian statesmen and Pope; the other, a psychotic and mass-murdering despot.

How the two ever became linked is one of the great scandals of history. Along the way, they were assisted by an international team of experts from Italy, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, who provided them with documents and testimony that have remained virtually unknown.

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The one ray of light during the searing ordeal were those who tried to block the round-up and rescue its intended victims. Among the rescuers was Dr. Vittorio Sacerdoti, a young Jewish doctor who worked in a Roman hospital staffed by many Catholics.


Terrified of catching it, the Germans fled. The ingenious strategy saved the lives of many Jews, and Thomas found survivors who recounted the inspiring story for him. Behind these rescuers stood a man who has been more misrepresented than any individual from that time—perhaps more than any other individual in human history—Pope Pius XII.

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As the U. Most people, even those sympathetic to Pius, have no idea of how active he was during the German occupation, and how extensive his rescue network really was.