Friday, March 26, 2010

Documents to and from the German Nunciature 1933 go online

With the opening of the Vatican Secret Archives - Germany up to 1939, thousands of documents etc were made available for historians and people with an interest in the era. It has been something of a disappointment that so few have taken up this opportunity to examine this significant collection.

Indeed, my own work in the area revealed just how accommodating the ASV are. I did all my research work online via emails. The ASV staff were unfailingly helpful and speedy. All I needed to do was supply a file number and they would copy it and send it. The last "swag" of documents arrived on a CD.

Early this year, another major collection of documents drawn from the ASV went online. The reports of Nuncio Cesare Orsenigo from Germany 1930 to 1939 were edited by Professor Thomas Brechenmacher, Potsdam University. The online
edition was a project of the German Historical Institute in Rome in cooperation with the Commission for Contemporary History in Bonn and the Archivio Segreto Vaticano. At present only the files for 1933 are available. Brechenmacher hopes to have the remaining years' files added in due course.

I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas Brechenmacher last year in Jerusalem at the Yad Vashem symposium on Latest Research on Pius XII. He delivered a very interesting paper on the Berlin Nunciature.

The search engine allows the reader access to all the reports sent by Orsenigo to Rome and responses made by Cardinal Secretary of State,Eugenio Pacelli and other members of the Curia. Each document is fully labelled, with its reference number, cross referencing information and notes.

For those whose German is a little rusty (!), Google's translation bar can be used to help.

I have read my way through most of the documents and look forward to the addition of files for 1934 and beyond.

Professor Brechenmacher and his team have rendered us a great service.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are welcome to post a comment. Please be respectful and address the issues, not the person. Comments are subject to moderation.