Saturday, August 4, 2012

ADSS 9.96 Roncalli to Maglione: Jewish confidence in the Holy See

ADSS 9.96 Angelo Roncalli, Apostolic Delegate to Turkey to Cardinal Maglione

Reference:  report number 4180 (AES 2794/43)

Location and date: Istanbul, 13.03.1943

Summary statement: Jews have confidence in the intervention of the Holy See.

Language: Italian


I follow the dispatch [from earlier today] (1) with the Promemoria I made with Messrs Kaplan and Barlas of the “Jewish Agency for Palestine” as a summary of the conversation that took place in the Delegation here. (2)  Once again, the description of the sufferings their countrymen are subjected to is touching and tragic.  Needless to say their confidence in the beneficial intervention of the Holy Father is profound, and the abandonment of their spirit to this providence appears sincere.

They wanted me to add a copy of the letter they addressed to Fr Hughes and which may at this time, either in its text or contents, have reached your Eminence. (3)  I think it good perhaps to combine this argument that contains information useful in a compassionate study to relieve the sorrows of the unfortunate chosen people. (4)

(1) Error in text.  It should read “telegram”.

(2) The principle points made in the memorandum were: “… According to the information we have received, the rest of the Jewish population of Slovakia, about 20,000 souls, are in immediate danger of being deported before the end of this month to Poland.  The situation in Poland, where about two thirds of the Jewish population was wiped out in a cruel manner, requires no comment.

So we beg your Excellency, to present our petition to the Holy See to kindly intervene with the Slovak government to prevent these cruel measures which would mean the death of the remains of the Jewish community.

We reiterate as well our second petition, that the Vatican would take action with the Slovak government for approximately 2,000 children in Slovakia, for whom we have the possibility of granting immigration certificates to Palestine as part of the British government quota provided to us, which would allow the children to lodge in Slovakia until they are fit to continue their journey …

On this occasion we would give you the enclosed copy of a memorandum of 20.01.1943 addressed to the Reverend Arthur Hughes, Apostolic Delegate in Egypt and Palestine, Istanbul, where we set out the problem in general and by which we humbly pray the Holy See grant them a sympathetic attitude.

Unfortunately the situation in the occupied countries has worsened since then, so the content of this memorandum is still current.

We would appreciate it if you would kindly draw the attention of the Holy See on the untenable situation of the Jewish communities in Europe and ask it to intervene as it deems best.

(3) See ADSS 9.22, attachment.

(4) See ADSS 9.172.

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