Sunday, October 7, 2012

ADSS 5.414 Tardini notes - calls for a papal protest

On 14 January 1942 the Allies issued a statement promising to prosecute those responsible for German war atrocities.  Many of the governments of countries occupied by Germany hoped that the Holy See would support initiatives to condemn German crimes.  From the July 1942 growing pressure was applied on the pope through ambassadors in the Vatican.  Domenico Tardini received the representatives of Poland, the United Kingdom and Brazil along with their requests for a papal condemnation.  Tardini's notes indicate a sense of frustration that the position of the Holy See was not understood, namely that the quiet "behind the scenes" efforts undertaken by the Vatican could be put at risk if the pope spoke out more stridently or specifically.   The sense of frustration grew worse as will be seen in the next few documents.

ADSS 5.414 

Tardini notes.

Reference: AES 5493/42
Location and date: Vatican 20.07.1942

Summary statement: Papal statements made in favour of Poland.
Language: Italian


The Polish ambassador (1) came to see me and asked, for the umpteenth time, that the Holy See say a public word in favour of the Poles and against the terrible persecution to which they are subjected.  For the umpteenth time I reminded him of what His Holiness has done and said for the Poles in Poland and of his support for them in the midst of very serious difficulties they struggle with.  To this end the Holy See undertakes discreet and hidden activities, but still effective.  To speak openly too often (what has been said has been more than enough) could severely compromise the valuable activity of the Holy See.


The English minister (2) came to see me to speak about – more or less – the same thing.  I repeated to him more or less the same things. It is however, distressing to see this coalition of diplomats who have enjoyed the hospitality of the Holy See, who are treated so well, who can see the day to day superiority of the Holy See, all in agreement and all stubborn in a conviction and false attitude which is offensive to those who have treated them so well and kindly.


The Brazilian ambassador (3) came to see me.  He had received (said) a pro-memoria from the Ambassador of Poland.  He also contents that the Holy See should speak.  I repeated the same explanations.  All this shows that the Pole is setting up the machinery.

Cross references: 
(1) Casimir Papée (1879-1979), Polish Ambassador to the Holy See 1939-1944
(2) D’Arcy Osborne (1884-1964), UK Minister to the Holy See 1935-1947
(3) Ildebrando Pompeii Pinto Accioly (1888-1962), Brazilian Ambassador to the Holy See 1939-1944.

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