Saturday, September 29, 2012

ADSS 9.172 Maglione to Roncalli on Slovak Jews

The active intervention of the Pope through the charge d'affaires, Giuseppe Burzio, in Bratislava was having some effect.  Fears of the resumption of deportations was never far away, but there was hope that continued pressure applied to the Slovak government would give them cause for pausing.  In May 1943 the final outcome of the war was still uncertain, but the set backs on the Eastern Front were dimming hopes for a quick German victory.  Memories of Stalingrad were still very fresh and raw, but the Russian front was a long way from Slovakia.

The divisions within the Slovak government, between Tiso who appeared to have some residual sensitivity towards his priestly state and some sense of obedience to the pope, and his more antisemitic ministers, especially Adalbert Tuka and Alexander Mach, were showing.  Tiso still had sufficient authority and support within the government to exercise influence over the application of the anti-Jewish policies.  This document points to a widespread knowledge of the Slovak situation and an indication that similar strategies would be used with Hungary should a similar need arise.

At the bottom of the document is Maglione's note that Pius had approved the strategy.  The words "Seen / Approved by the Holy Father" appear often.  

ADSS 9.172 
Secretary of State, Cardinal Maglione to Angelo Roncalli, Apostolic Delegate, Turkey

Reference:  Telegram 153 (AES 2794/43)
Location and date:  Vatican, 04.05.1943

Summary statement: Steps taken by the Holy See for Slovakian Jews.
Language: Italian

I refer to your telegram number 99 and report number 4180. (1)

The Holy See has repeatedly made representations to the Slovak Government with special concern for non-Aryan young people. (2)

Because of the interest taken by [the Holy See] all transfer of Jewish residents in Slovakia is suspended.

Concerning the children you reported, the Holy See is prepared to intervene with the Hungarian Government when circumstances so require. (3)

Your Excellency will keep me informed.

Note of Cardinal Maglione:

Approved by the Holy Father.

Cross references: 
(1)  See ADSS 9.95 and 96.
(2)  See ADSS 9.81, 87, 176.

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