The† Vatican archives and World War II
When the Vatican opened its sealed archives from the World War II-era pontificate of Pius XII in March, the Brown University historian David I. Kertzer was among the first in line.
Like many other scholars, Dr. Kertzer had been eager to mine the papers of a pope ó long under consideration for sainthood ó whose response to Nazism and the Holocaust has become the target of fierce debate.
Some have cast Pius XII as the pontiff who remained shamefully silent as the Nazis massacred Jews during the war. Others claim that Pius worked behind the scenes to encourage the Roman Catholic Church to save thousands of Jews and other victims of persecution.
Now documents from the archives are beginning to trickle out, offering an early taste of what could emerge from the tens of thousands of papers that scholars had been clamoring to study for decades. Pius XIIís pontificate stretched from 1939 to 1958.
In fact, there are a number of issues relating to the time period that is still under investigation. For example, Albert Speer, the fuhrer's chief architect, built a scale model of how he planned to recreate the columns of St Peter's Square, which encircle the piazza in front of the Basilica. At the center instead of a fountain as in Rome, there would be a huge statue of Benito Mussolini. The plan was for the new Berlin to be ready in 1950 after Nazi Germany had defeated the Allies.
Hitler considered Rome to be the only city in the world to rival Berlin so he wanted to better it in every way possible. Speer's documents (which had been stored all along in Moskau but where recently released) show that Hitler took a great interest in the plans and was delighted with the architect's model. Hitler viewed several castings of Mussolini's statue which were commissioned, but the plans were eventually abandoned at the end of 1943 as Germany neared defeat.
This also brings to mind, a report suggesting that a plot codenamed Operation Rabat had originally been planned for 1943 but was not carried out that year for unspecified reasons. A Catholic newspaper Avvenire, continued to suggest that as late as† 1944, SS General Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff had been ordered by Hitler to kidnap the Pope.
By adding English language sources, underneath we ad to the content of Pope and Devil (Papst und Teufel) by Herbert Wolf and "Nazis auf der Flucht" by Gerald Steinacher about the Nazi flight and its Vatican connection. The Vaticanís War P.1.
Where on 11 October 2007 the BBC reported the 'Dirty War' trial puts spotlight on Church; we next will be able to point out why an ideological affinity with Hitler became possible, and in the case of the Vatican, had to do with political self-interest. The Vaticanís War P.2.
In Mystici Corporis Christi of 1943, the Vatican indicated that if Jews did not convert, their destiny layout of the reach of the Church because they had broken the covenant. Thus when the Archbishop of Belgium was asked to "pls. say something" in regards to the more than twenty-five thousand Jews that were incarcerated around the corner from his own palace, in order to be gassed in Auschwitz; that this was "not the Church's business".* The Vaticanís War P.3.
In 1942 Pius XII counting on a envisioned a postwar Eastern Europe anchored by a bloc of countries-a constellation like that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which earlier in the century had embraced Croatia. Hungarians, Austrians, and Croats had once been the bulwark of Europe that held off the infidel Muslim. Might not they now form a bulwark against the new infidel-the atheist Soviets? The Vaticanís War P.5.
During the years after World War II, Pius XII believed that a military showdown between the Soviet Union and the west would occur. If that were to happen, it would have his blessing. The Nazi/Vatican Connection P.6.