Sunday, July 13, 2014

ADSS 10.243 Pope Pius XII to the Regent of Hungary, Admiral Miklos Horthy

Reference: Telegram 1571 (AES 6101/44)

Location and date: Vatican, 25.06.1944

Summary statement: Requested intervention for those persecuted because of nationality or race.

Language: French


Supplications have been addressed to Us from different sources that we should exert all Our influence to shorten and mitigate the suffering that has, for so long, been endured patiently on account of their nationality or race by a great number of unfortunate people belonging to this noble and chivalrous nation. (1) In accordance with Our ministry of charity, which embraces every human being, Our fatherly heart could not remain insensible to these urgent demands.  For this reason we apply to Your Serene Highness, appealing to your noble feelings in the full trust that Your Serene Highness will do everything in your power to save many unfortunate people from further pain and sorrow. (2)

(1) See ADSS 10.242.  Pius did not mention Jews by name here or in any other statement made during the war.  This was consistent with his policy of strict public neutrality to which adhered.  ADSS does, however, make it quite clear that the pope had as detailed an understanding of the murder of European Jewry in general, and Hungarian Jewry in particular, as was possible during the war years.  In fact, ADSS leads me to conclude that Pius was the best informed person in Europe as to the execution of the "Final Solution".  How he acted upon that information continues to be a source of significant discussion and debate among historians.
(2) See ADSS 10.250. Details of the telegram were sent to Amleto Cicognani in Washington. Cf ADSS 10.254.

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