Pope Pius XII And The Holocaust

1037 Words5 Pages
Giulia Spagna
IR 389
Professor George Irani
Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust Pope Pius XII was elected as pontificate of the Vatican in 1939, an extremely turbulent period in Europe. The reign of Pope Pius XII saw the rise of Nazi Germany, the Second World War and the disastrous holocaust. Once the war had ended various discussions emerged, many asking themselves how such an atrocity had not been prevented; many began looking at the role of foreign countries in preventing the death of 11 million people, 6 million of them being Jews. A sovereign state which was expected to take a crucial stance is the Vatican. The Vatican as a spiritual institution with strong temporal power was expected to rise up and condemn the Nazi regime.
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The most serious and most debated charge made by Hochhuth was that Pope Pius XII remained silent throughout the genocide of European Jews by the Nazis, and thus portrays Pope Pius XII of being a silent accomplice of the most horrific crime of the century (Conway,105). Through research I have come along many theories when looking and the Vatican’s role in the Holocaust, some argue the institution was successful in saving the lives of thousands of Jews, while on the other hand some go all the way to arguing that Pope Pius XII was in fact a pro Nazi and anti-Semitic. In recent years there have been various accusations towards the Vatican of either helping the Nazi regime or keeping silent and giving the green light to the Nazis. This research paper will look at the role of the Vatican during the holocaust from the Vatican’s perspective regarding its silence, as well as looking at how despite popular belief various actions were taken by Pope Pius XII in helping European Jews escape from…show more content…
Without any doubt the reign of Pope Pius XII was during an extremely difficult period in European history, the burden of responsibilities which the Pope had to carry were very heavy and would cause controversies. Pope Pius XII did not publically and explicitly condemn what was being done by the Nazis however “all the Pope’s speeches, his letter and the reports of his interviews throughout the war make it clear that the weighing up of such considerations, the careful balancing of one factor against another, the countering demands of his spiritual and of his temporal roles, the need to take some action and the impossibility of predicting what action would serve the cause of the church best” (Conway,
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