Monday, July 28, 2014

ADSS 10.279 Filippo Bernardini (Switzerland) to Luigi Maglione - Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz.

This is one of the first times the name "Auschwitz" appears in ADSS.  The attachment that was not published in ADSS appears to have been a copy of the so-called "Auschwitz Protocols" written by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, Slovakian Jews who escaped Birkenau in April 1944.  The transports from Hungary had stopped by this point.  Because of conditions in central and northern Italy, seriously disrupted by the war, the document did not reach Rome until October 1944.  I have found no evidence to suggest any other reason for the lack of reference to the Protocols in ADSS.

ADSS 10.279 Filippo Bernardini to Cardinal Maglione

Reference: Report number 23401 (AES 6993/44)

Location and date: Berne, 28.07.1944

Summary statement: News of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz and their extermination.

Language: Italian


I have the honour to send to your most eminent reverence by way of documentation, the attached report (1) relating to the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in Upper Silesia and the treatment reserved for them.  I have no way of checking the truth of the information contained in the same, however, I know the person who has reported it well, and have no reason to doubt their sincerity.

I take this opportunity to inform your eminence that in recent days the Swiss press has, on several occasions, emphasised the protests of the Protestant Church over the persecution of the Jews in Hungary and their interest in favour of them.  I am sending a clipping from yesterday’s Lausanne Gazette which returns to this issue. (2)  Evidently various Protestant bodies, in consultation with various Jewish committees want to give it much publicity.  A Hungarian friend pointed out to me that since nothing is published about it in the Catholic press, Swiss public opinion could be induced to believe that the Catholic Church does nothing to help and rescue the Jews. (3)

Cross references: 

(1) The report was based on the disposition made by two Slovak Jews – Rudolf Vrba (originally Walter Rosenburg 1924-2006) and Alfred Wetzler 1918-1988) – deported to Auschwitz and who escaped in April 1944.  The document (four pages in length and not published) arrived after a long journey, and appears to be an abstract in French, of the German original. See ADSS 10.204.  Statistically, the French version omits mention of 50,000 Jews of Lithuania; making the death toll 1,715,000 instead of 1,765,000.
(2) Not published.
(3) See ADSS 10.381.

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