Sunday, October 16, 2011

ADSS 8.352 Rotta to Maglione on Slovak Jews

By mid-April 1942 news of the deportation of the Slovak Jews had elicited responses and protests from Bratislava, London, Budapest and Rome.  The documents I have posted from late January 1942 show the progression from rumour and denial, to evidence and qualification to condemnation and attempts at justification on the part of the Slovakian government.  In the documents that follow the Vatican continued to press for a halt to the deportation.  In ADSS 8.352 Angelo Rotta, Nuncio to Hungary relayed a message he had received through Anna Vegh (1914-1945) who worked in an Hungarian relief group.

Rumours had reached Hungary that the health of priest-president Tiso of Slovakia was suffering because of the papal protest against the deportation of the Jews.  Rotta adds towards the end that Guiseppe Burzio, the papal charge d'affaires in Bratislava is isolated because of fear of the Slovak police.  Rumours, however tenuous, were as much a part of the picture that reached Rome as were verifiable pieces of evidence.

ADSS 8.352

Reference: Report no: 7220/42 (N. Pr 563) (AES 3041/42 original)
Location and date: Budapest, 17.04.1942

Summary statement: Information on the situation of the Slovak Jews,

Language: Italian


A good Hungarian lady, Anna Végh (1914-1945), who is a member of a Relief Committee, and who had already provided information about the treatment of the Jews in Slovakia, brought me the enclosed aide memoire (1) which shows that the intervention of the Holy See was highly appreciated and greatly effective. It is also hoped that the Holy See will continue to exercise its influence for further good. (2)

Madame Végh told me that she had heard that Monsignor Tiso, greatly impressed by the intervention of the Holy Father, has suffered setbacks in his health. But I have not included this in the aide memoire because I am not absolutely certain. She added that Monsignor Burzio [charge d’affaires for the Holy See in Bratislava] is a little isolated, because nobody has the courage to go to the office of the papal representative, for fear of being reported to the police.

(1) Not published.
(2) See ADSS 8.360, 382.

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