Radio Operator´s Experience of Spreading Papal Christmas
PARIS, 14 MAY 2002 (ZENIT).
Protestant pastor Francois de Beaulieu revealed to the French weekly
"Reforme" the experience he endured in 1942 as a radio
operator secretly spreading Pius XII's famous Christmas radio message
The news coincides with the French cinemas' exhibition of Constantin
Costa-Gavras' controversial film "Amen," concerned with Pius
XII's alleged silence in face of Nazism.
Despite his surname, Francois de Beaulieu is a German, descendent of a
Huguenotic family of Rheims, which emigrated to Germany in the 17th
century. Today he is a pastor in Morbihan, France, but in 1942 he was a
sergeant radio operator stationed in Zossen, near Berlin, at the
headquarters of the Wehrmacht,.
Beaulieu was arrested as he left the Wehrmacht headquarters with a
German translation of Pius XII's 1942 radio Christmas Message, a
document that was to be destroyed, not preserved.
Beaulieu said that before his arrest, he succeeded in copying and
dispersing the message in Berlin, leaving an impression on his friends.
In the message, Pius XII mentions the extermination of innocents because
of their race or nationality.
Beaulieu appeared before a military tribunal on April 16. Thanks to the
testimonies of his immediate superiors, he was spared the death penalty;
but he was sentenced to prison for spreading a "subversive and
demoralizing document." He was also accused of having a critical
view of the war and of being "spiritually attracted to Jewish
environments and sympathetic toward Jews."
Pastor Beaulieu wished to publish these facts explaining that Pius XII
was not silent, that he spoke clearly in his Christmas Message, although
the latter only reached Berlin in a few clandestine copies.
"The Pope could not do much more. He would have had to set himself
on fire in front of the Vatican to awaken consciences worldwide. Many
political leaders knew that there were extermination camps in Hitler's
time. Of what use would it have been for the Pope to set himself on fire
in front of the Vatican? What was needed was the revolt of all priests
and Protestant pastors in Germany. Why think that the Pope alone would
have had the power to stop Hitler when priests and pastors, Bishops and
Archbishops, in a word, all Christians, did not do so?" ZE02051401