Sunday, August 28, 2016

ADSS 1.198 Charles-Roux to Maglione: request for a papal condemnation of German aggression

ADSS 1.198 François Charles-Roux (1), French Ambassador to the Holy See, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: AES 6441/39

Location and date: Rome, 11.09.1939

Summary statement: Ambassador asks for a papal declaration against German aggression against Poland.  Refers to German announcement of the fall of Warsaw on 08.09. (2)

Language: French



According to my understanding of certain radio broadcasts, events in Poland have come to a dramatic pass, with Warsaw (whose capture the Germans announced three days ago) having been defended street by street, civilian populations in towns and villages bombed, strafed and starving, children butchered, hostages host and priests tortured.

In the face of such a situation, which revolts feelings already sickened by Germany’s aggression against Poland, I am more convinced that public opinion, including some in the country where I am writing these words, eagerly awaits some word from the Holy Father as a verdict and condemnation of such violence and cruelty.

I am taking the liberty of writing this to you so as not to lose more time by arranging a visit in person, and I thank you in anticipation for the accustomed indulgence shown to the French Ambassador and appreciation of how his duty in present circumstances impels the recording of such feeling which it is trusted you will forgive.  You do, I know, realise that my concern for my own country’s interests has never minimised my loyalty to the Holy See.

Personal note of Domenico Tardini:

12.09.1939 – Delivered by me to the Holy Father and returned by him to me 13.09.1939.

(1) François Charles-Roux (1879-1961), French Ambassdor to the Holy See 1932-40.

(2) The reports were false.  Wehrmacht troops reached the outskirts of the city on 08.09.1939.  Polish forces finally capitulated on 28.09.1939.

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