8-July-2000 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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PIUS XII REHABILITATED BY JEWISH HISTORIAN

New Documents Prove Nazis Distrusted Him for Helping Jews

ROME, JULY 7 (ZENIT.org).- "Hitler distrusted the Holy See because it hid Jews," stated Jewish historian Richard Breitman. He has written 5 books, one of which is on the Holocaust, and another on Nazism. Breitman confirms the role played by Pius XII in defending and safeguarding the persecuted during the Nazi regime.

Th professor at American University in Washington, is a consultant for the working group for the restitution of Jewish property, which group has obtained the declassification of the OSS dossier. In an interview with the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" on June 29, Breitman (who to date is the only person authorized to study the OSS documents of U.S. espionage during the Second World War), explained that the documents "are only the tip of the iceberg. Over the next 3 years, additional millions of pages will be made public. But what impressed him most in regard to Italy, was German hostility toward the Pope, and the September 1943 plan to "Germanize" the country. Breitman also found "the Allied silence on the Holocaust surprising. Their first testimonies are from the end of 1942..."

Asked about relations between Pius XII and the Germans, Breitam responded: "In general, the Germans considered the Pope as an enemy. In a telegram, someone suggested to play on his old anti-communism, to induce him to 'understand' Nazism, and to take him from Rome to the north: the Vatican and Germany would have formed a common front against the USSR, and the Vatican would fall under Berlin's control. But the proposal was rejected because the majority knew that Pius XII would never leave Rome, and that the Vatican was on the side of the Allies."

How did they know it? "The Nazis had spies in the Vatican. Among their dispatches deciphered by our espionage one spoke of an Allied plan to disembark in Sardinia, another of the departure of a diplomatic train with Jews on board, transported from Rome to Spain. Only the Vatican was up-to-date, the Nazi 'moles' told general Karl Wolff, SS chief in Italy. Berlin distrusted the Pope and the Vatican, because it knew they hid Jews."

Breitman's statements in part deny the thesis of those who at present speak of Pius XII as "Hitler's Pope" and, at the same time, confirm the hypotheses, advanced at other times by Catholic historians and researchers, according to whom the OSS documents and those of the corresponding British secret service, would result in demonstrating how great and meritorious was the action carried out by the Vatican in favor of the persecuted. Sadly, the respective U.S. and British dispatches have to date denied Catholic historians permission to see these documents but, sooner or later, truth will end up in the public domain.

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