A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

PIUS XII’S 1941 LETTER PROTESTED TREATMENT OF JEWS


ROME, APR 14 (ZENIT).

Russian historian Evghenjia Tokareva, author of the first Russian monograph on "Fascism, the Church, and the Catholic Movement in Italy (1922-1943)," published by the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that in "January 1941, Pius XII was ready to address a letter to Germany, to be published in L’Osservatore Romano, with a strong protest for the arrest and deportation of 40,000 Jews to ‘lagers,’ but he burnt it, explaining that the protests he expressed before caused very harsh reprisals."

During an interview with the Italian weekly newspaper "Tempi" ("Times"), Tokareva said that in 1943 there were 2,644 priests from 24 countries registered in Dachau. In 1941, under threats from Goebbels, Vatican Radio was obliged to suspend its transmissions for the same reason. Just listening to these was cause for persecution. To name the Catholics and Jews who were arrested or deported was a sure way of eliciting even worse consequences. Moreover, "information on the genocide of Jews was very limited. The Vatican could not even contact Poland, which was invaded. On innumerable occasions Nuncio Orsenigo requested permission... to go there, but not one possibility opened," the Russian historian said. ZE00041401

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