Pope Pius Xii and the Holocaust
Collaborative effort by a number of the world's leading experts on the Holocaust. Lively, but not sensationalistic, this book is balanced but on the cutting edge of one of the most important debates in this field: how should Vatican policies...
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Collaborative effort by a number of the world's leading experts on the Holocaust. Lively, but not sensationalistic, this book is balanced but on the cutting edge of one of the most important debates in this field: how should Vatican policies during World War II be understood? Specifically, could Pope Pius XII have curbed the Holocaust by vigorously condemning the Nazi killing of Jews? Was Pius XII really 'Hitler's Pope', as John Cornwell's provocative book recently suggested? Or has he unfairly become a scapegoat when he is really deserving of canonization as a Roman Catholic saint instead? In Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust, well-informed scholars--including Michael Marrus, Michael Phayer, Richard L. Rubenstein and Susan Zuccotti--wrestle with these questions. The book has four main themes: (1) Pope Pius XII must be understood in his particular historical context. (2) Pope Pius XII put the well-being of the Roman Catholic Church--as he understood that well-being--first and foremost. (3) In retrospect, Pope Pius XII's priorities--understandable though they are--not only make him a problematic Christian leader but also raise important questions about post-Holocaust Christian identity. (4) Jewish and Christian memories of the Holocaust will remain different, but reconciliation can continue to grow. On all sides, relations between Christians and Jews can be improved by an honest facing of history and by continuing reflection about what post-Holocaust Christian and Jewish identities ought--and ought not--to mean.
John K. Roth is professor emeritus of philosophy at Claremont McKenna College and founding director of its Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights.
Dr. Carol Rittner, a sister of mercy, is Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation. She is also the editor, with Sondra Myers, of "The Courage to Care: The Rescue of Jews During the Holocaust", published by New York University Press, and co-producer of and award winning documentary by the same name.