Friday, July 11, 2014
ADSS 10.223 Notes of the Secretariat of State on the Jews of Hungary
Rome was liberated by the Allies on 6 June 1944.
Killing of Hungarian Jews continued without interruption at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
No trains left for Auschwitz from Hungary on 7 June 1944.
Reference: AES St Eccl. 575
Location and date: Vatican 07.06.1944
Summary statement: Efforts of the Sec State for the Jews of Hungary.
The Secretariat of State has received the memorandum (1) of the Charge d’Affaires of the United States of America delivered to the Holy See on 01.06.1944. The Secretariat is grateful that he has brought this to their attention, and has the honour to make known to his what the Holy See is doing in favour of the Jews of Hungary.
Since the publication of the racial laws in June 1941, the Secretariat of State has given the necessary instruction to the Apostolic Nuncio in Budapest so that he might make known to the Hungarian government the regret of the Holy See on their content. (2) Some action was also taken by his eminence Cardinal Seredi, Primate of Hungary, in the name of all the Catholic bishops, an in the following July made formal public protest in the Upper House. (3) Nonetheless, the laws, which despite being against the wishes of the bishops, were voted through subject to some slight modification.
On 10 August, the Secretariat of State sent a Diplomatic Note to the Hungarian Government (4) in which the Holy See expressed its concerns concerning the Catholic doctrine of marriage and expressing the hope that the Hungarian Government introduce into the Regulations, relative to the matter in question, mitigations that would satisfy the exercise of Catholic consciences.
In the following November, the Holy See learned (5) that the application of the racial laws, several thousand Jews, among them many baptised, had been forced to abandon Hungary and be transferred to south Ukraine, impoverished and devastated by the war. The Cardinal Primate as immediately concerned to intervene in favour of the expelled. (6) His eminence was able to obtain assurances that the expulsion was limited to Jews of non-Hungarian origin, and had other assurances concerning the more human treatment of those who were expelled.
During the years 1942-1943 (7), the Apostolic Nuncio and his eminence the Primate, had occasion to intervene with the government authorities, since the subordinate authorities responsible for the enforcement of the racial laws, not frequently applied them in an oppressive manner.
The solicitude of the Holy See has increased in recent times because of the change in the internal political situation in Hungary and the aggravation of the measures against the Jews. Since March, the Holy See has given new instructions to its representatives in Hungary and Romania in relation to new penalties against the Jews in these two countries. (8) The Holy See has appealed to the Christian and chivalrous tradition of the Hungarian people, and his eminence, the Cardinal Primate, has presented a memorandum in this regard to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. (9)
The last intervention of the Holy See in chronological order in favour of the Jews of Hungary was on 20 March past, (10) on the occasion of the warning from the Office of the President of the United States, (11) according to which the deportation of the Jews of Hungary in Russia sub-Carpathia would begin. In this regard the information from the Apostolic Nuncio follows (12): The government has not responded to the Diplomatic Note of 20 March. The deportation began under the label of obligated forced labour. The Apostolic Nuncio was instructed not to cease to use its good offices in favour of the deported to which will be added those of the Bishops.(13)
Note of Domenico Tardini: 30.06.1944
I have already spoken with T[ittmann]. Then I will tell you some other things (I intend to keep this fact).
(1) Without number, (AES 3478/44) from Harold Tittmann (1893-1980), assistant to Myron Taylor, personal representative of President Roosevelt to the Holy See.
(2) See ADSS 8.95, 114.
(3) See ADSS 8.116.
(4) See ADSS 10.128.
(5) Aide-memoire of the Secretariat of State addressed to private persons.
(6) See ADSS 8.194
(7) See ADSS 8.545
(8) See ADSS 10.117
(9) See ADSS 10.172, 179.
(10) See ADSS 10.196 n2
(11) See ADSS 10.196
(12) See ADSS 10.209
(13) See ADSS 10.265.