The Holocaust, Pope Pius XII knew. Letter on the crimes of Nazism and the silence of the Church

pontiff Pius XII he knew about the horrors being committed Nazis in the death camps: more than a guess, this is a fact inferred from a dated letter December 14, 1942 discovered by Vatican archivist Giovanni Cocoin which this is stated in the September 17 issue of the magazine. “reading”in an interview with Massimo Franco.

In the letter, the message comes from an anti-Nazi Jesuit. Lothar Koenig and was addressed to the Pope’s personal secretary, Robert Leiber. Link made inside in the SS crematorium in the Belzec concentration camp, in German-occupied Poland, also mentioning Auschwitz.

This is “the only evidence of a correspondence which had to be maintained and renewed as time went on.” It therefore represents the most important evidence of the existence of a flow of information about Nazi crimes that reached the Holy See at the same time as the genocide was being carried out.

The news comes at the same time as the release of all documents relating to the pontificate of Pius XII, Pope of Rome from 1939 to 1958.

The opportunity to review extensive material has allowed scholars to intensify their efforts to better understand the behavior of the pontiff during this period, and the opportunity to compare different points of view will arise during an international conference planned for Rome V Pontifical Gregorian University from October 9 to 11: “New documents of the pontificate of Pius XII and their significance for Judeo-Christian relations.”

If in the past Vatican it was believed that the concentration camps were “only» fields From concentrationthe information provided by Koenig went much further, showing that in “blast furnaceRussian Rava, or Belzec, “Up to 6,000 people died every day, mostly Poles and Jews.” The letter paints a picture of a terrible death machine.

In this sense it seems easy to contextualize the Pope’s long Christmas speech, delivered on December 24, 1942, in which he mentioned “hundreds of thousands of people who, through no fault of their own, and sometimes only because of their national or ethnic origin, were doomed to death or progressive deterioration”. Silence Pius XII continues to complicate his beatification process, which began in 1967 and is the subject of controversy within the Catholic Church.

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