Monday, September 6, 2010

"... or start a rumour"

Charles Aznavour's "What makes a man a man?" (1973) has these lines:
We love to pull apart someone And spread some gossip just for fun Or start a rumour.  And I can't help but think the same is true for Pius XII.  The rumour that has now been circulating cyberspace is one that I wrote about at length earlier, namely the allegation by Michael Hesemann that Eugenio Pacelli was responsible for saving 200,000 Jews. My google alert on Pius has been hauling in many blogs and websites where this unsubstantiated material has been given some coverage. 

One example uses the original article from the London journalist Simon Caldwell. 

Others such as the article by Jeanette Pryor on David Horowitz's News Real Blog take critics of Pius to task using the attention grabbing headline It's Time to Retire "Hitler's Pope" Lie.  I agree with Ms Pryor completely, but wonder why she resorts to the "non sectarian" work of Pave The Way as her main source of historical evidence. Surely she would have been better served by reading what mainstream historians have been writing for some years?  But then again, Ms Pryor believes Golda Meir was the first Prime Minister of Israel.  It might be a good idea to read some accurate history first, before accusing others of promoting "lies" about Pius XII. 

I read the article and found it contained nothing new in fact one part borders on the offensive.  She attempts to parallel the experience of the Judenrat and their "choiceless choices" and the Vatican.  There is one huge difference between the Judenrat and the Vatican.  Regardless of what the Judenrat did or did not do, the end result would always be the same - they were doomed to destruction.  Whatever the Vatican did or did not do, they would survive. 

Yet another blog ruminates on the old Lapide chestnut of the 860,000 as well as Hesemann's "facts". I wonder where it will end, if it ends at all. Even the new Protect the Pope site in the United Kingdom to counter anti-papal visit feeling has entered the fray with a startlingly ahistorical response to the questions about Pius XII. On what is otherwise a quite moderate site that does attempt to respond with logical and clearly researched answers, the comments about Pius XII are particularly jarring:
Peter Tatchell said:

Benedict has also paved the way for eventual sainthood of Pope, Pius XII, despite the war-time pontiff’s failure to speak out publicly, either during or after the Holocaust, against the Nazi mass murder of six million Jews and millions of others, including Russians, Poles, disabled, gays, Roma and many more. Pius XII was no saint. The fact that Pope Benedict wants to makes him a saint shows how far he has strayed from the moral and ethical values of most Catholics and most of humanity.

Protect the Pope comment:

During the war, the New York Times called Pius XII “the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all…the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism…he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christmas peace.” (Christmas 1941).

New research has found that Pope Pius XII may have arranged the exodus of about 200,000 Jews from Germany just three weeks after Kristallnacht. The research is being carried out by Dr. Michael Hesemann, a German historian who is combing through the Vatican archives for the Pave the Way Foundation, a U.S.-based interfaith group. (Haaretz, 7/7/10).

On the day of Pius XII’s death in 1958, Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, cabled the following message of condolence to the Vatican: “We share in the grief of humanity…When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims.” (Wikipedia).

As early as December of 1940, in an article published in Time magazine, the renowned Nobel Prize winning physicist Albert Einstein, himself a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, paid tribute to the moral “courage” of Pope Pius and the Catholic Church in opposing “the Hitlerian onslaught” on liberty.

Sir Martin Gilbert described as “a British historian and the world’s leading expert on the Holocaust”, is quoted as saying that the Pope should be considered as a “Righteous Gentile” by Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust remembrance authority.

In his classic study, Three Popes and the Jews, Israeli historian and diplomat Pinchas Lapide, concluded that Pope Pius XII ‘was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands’.

Protect the Pope comment: Peter Tatchell’s concludes that ‘The fact that Pope Benedict wants to makes him a saint shows how far he has strayed from the moral and ethical values of most Catholics and most of humanity.’ This one sentence alone reveals Peter Tatchell’s hatred of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church he represents as the Vicar of Christ. Tatchell reveals his extremism in all its ugliness when he wickedly seeks to portray Pope Benedict as an immoral man, even a monster, beyond the moral and ethical values of humanity. No fair minded person could accept such an absurd accusation!

Protect the Pope would be advised to do some serious reading before launching onto the high seas of the internet where it appears most of their response evidence came from!

1 comment:

  1. Paul, Let me make this simple for you. Here are just a few of the actual documents, which support Michael Hesemann's claim: _Docs.pdf

    Do you claim that these documents are doctored or fraudulent or that they do not say what they say?

    Paul, Do you believe that there were 200,000 converted Jews in Germany November 30, 1938 just after Kristallnacht?

    If so, what documented evidence do you have which, can prove your theory?

    By the way, anyone who accesses our website will only see actual documents and eyewitness testimonies. They are free to draw their own conclusions. The mainstream historians books you believe this person should read, seemingly to be from those who only condemn Pope Pius XII. Let me recommend Prof. Ron Rychlak’s recently updated book Hitler the War and The Pope.
    Gary Krupp


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