Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Responding to Gary Krupp

After yesterday's post I received an email from Gary Krupp, founder of Pave The Way, on organisation with an impressive record of philanthropic work designed to build bridges between, among others, different faith communities.  PTW has invested much time and effort in collecting an enormous amount of data on Eugenio Pacelli.  I have corresponded with Gary over the last couple of years and while I respect his desire to build bridges over Pius XII, I do not agree with the conclusions PTW have reached and published. 

After reading Gary's email, which is published below in the previous post, I thought that his challenges deserved a more serious response.

My comments appear in red type.

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


The documents presented consist of -

1.  A dispatch list, dated 30 November 1938, indicating, in Italian, to whom a message was to be sent.  In this case it is the list of Nuncios and Apostolic Delegates asking their assistance in helping persecuted converted Jews from Italy and Germany.  (It is reproduced in Actes et Documents Volume 6, pages 49-50)  It was sent under Pacelli's signature.

2.  Document 9 January 1939.  Latin letter requesting in the name of the Pope, Pius XI, the formation of assistance committees for non-Aryan converts.  (ADSS 6, pages 48-49)

3.  A dispatch list, dated 9 January 1939, indicating, in Italian, to whom the previous appeal was to be sent.

4. Letter 16 January 1939, in English, from the Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, Andrew Thomas McDonald OSB (1871-1950) acknowledging receipt of Pacelli's letter.  McDonald informed Pacelli that a committee to assist the "stricken sufferers" has been operating for several weeks.  McDonald said he would try to encourage a national response.

5. Cutting from The Irish Press, 10 December 1938.  Report on the London meeting to address the worsening situation in Germany attended by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Arthur Hinsley.  Cardinal Pacelli's message from the Pope was mentioned. (Referred to in ADSS 6, page 539)
Do you claim that these documents are doctored or fraudulent or that they do not say what they say?

The documents are not doctored or fraudulent.  However what they say is markedly different from what Michael Hesemann has alleged they say.  See my comments in an earlier post.


Hesemann's claim that Pacelli may have been responsible trying to get 200,000 Jews, converted or not, out of Germany is simply not supported by these documents.

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

No I do not. The Jewish population in the Old Reich was around 202,000.  The statistics were collected by the Nazis.  They had no reason to lie.  It was official policy to get as many Jews out of Germany as physically possible.

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

Again, I have written on this subject.  In summary, there were not 200,000 converted Jews in the Greater German Reich at the end of November 1938.  The total Jewish population, based on Nazi statistics in the 1939 census, came to 259,000.  It is beyond the realms of any realistic assertion to suggest that 200,000 of these Jews were converts. Read my post.

http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/2010/07/population-figures-on-non-aryan.htmlBy 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.

"Condemn" is far too harsh a word and unfair.  Mainstream historians do what Michael Hesemann does not.  They examine the evidence and attempt to reconstruct the historical record without a predetermined agenda.  The crusade to canonise Pius XII is sinking rather badly when claims such as those promoted by Hesemann are published as historical fact.

Let me recommend Prof. Ron Rychlak’s recently updated book Hitler the War and The Pope.

I read the earlier edition and was unconvinced by his arguments.  Any endeavour that begins with a presumption or conclusion runs the risk of prejudicing any line of argument from the outset.  Reproducing copious amount of newspaper reports and published documentation with no serious contextual work is not satisfying.
Gary, I admire your commitment to seeking resolution for many of the world's trouble spots, but I ask, yet again, to allow historians to get on with what they do.  Having read Michael Hesemann's "claims" I believe he is doing your organisation damage and eroding your credibility.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Paul, Thanks for your personal response. While I agree with how mainstream historians should conduct their investigation, too many times, we see omissions, subjective and belittling personal remarks strategically included in their conclusions to enhance their theories. I also wish to state that there are many internationally recognized historians, such as Sir Martin Gilbert and many others, who do not agree with many of the positions currently accepted by the mainstream historians you refer to. The problem, as I have come to realize, is that many of the historians seem to have a total lack of empathy. They literally have no comprehension of the reality of surviving under the oppression of Hitler in occupied Europe, looking into the eyes of death each day. Archival historians seem to say that if it was not written it never happened. Furthermore, mainstream historians may not have the resources or access to examine the millions of documents in hundreds the countries that they must analyze to come to what Sir Martin calls “true history.”
    Shockingly, the reality is that most of the critics of Pacelli have not conducted original research by coming to Rome to the open archives up to 1939, which has 65% or Pacelli’s ministry. This is inexcusable. This is why Pave the Way is attempting to bring the archives and international documents to the scholarly world on our website. Still, many have not come to our site to study these documents, including you Paul. You must register here: http://ptwf.org/vatican_docs_register.aspx for access to over 40,000 pages of documents.
    Any conclusions that I have personally come to is simply as a nonprofessional just like in a jury. This is how justice works throughout the civilized world. A man’s guilt or innocence is determined the jury system.
    That being said you omit a very telling part of the Jan 9, 1939 letter in your description. Pacelli is asking for two hundred thousand (200,000) visas "for non-Aryan Catholics" ??? What does this tell you according to your own statistics? That “non-Aryan Catholics or Catholic Jews” were code words for all Jews, not converted Jews. You also omitted the most important response from The Archbishop of St. Andrews letter where he said “I beg to acknowledge your letter in regard to assisting the Refugee Jews from Germany and elsewhere” he didn’t say not Non-Aryan Catholics. This reality flies in the face of the statements from many of the Holocaust institutions who have stated that Pius XII worked hard to save only converted Jews. Pacelli acted to save more Jews than all of the world leaders of the day while the Vatican was literally surrounded by hostile forces, infiltrated with spies and was in real danger of a planned assassination plot. This is according to eyewitnesses who physically worked with him.
    Ron Rychlak’s revised edition contains much more updated information based on newly discovered documents and on eyewitness testimony. I really recommend that you read it. Finally, although newspaper accounts are not accurate, they do tell a story. If you examine every news article, from the Palestine Post and the NY times from 1939-1958 mentioning Jews and Pius XII or pope, you will only find positive articles about Pius XII and multiple statements where he spoke out against the persecution of the Jewish people and others. Any reasonable person would have to ask, how is this possible when Pope Pius XII was such a terrible man who is so hated, affecting one billion people today?


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