Thursday, September 29, 2016

ADSS 1.238 Maglione to Micara: Christmas truce appeal failed

ADSS 1.238 Luigi Maglione, Sec State, to Clemente Micara, Belgium.

Reference: AES 9358/39

Location and date: Vatican, 31.12.1939

Summary statement: Pope tried to obtain a Christmas truce without success.

Language: Italian


Your Excellency’s report number 16.776 regarding the Christmas truce arrived here on the evening of 25 December, together with the enclosed letters of Count Capelle (1)

I might add however that in observance of the Revered orders of the Holy Father this Secretariat of State had taken the necessary steps to bring about the total suspension of hostilities during Christmas Day.

But the Supreme Pontiff’s fatherly initiative has not been accepted and the beneficial results which were expected from it have unfortunately been frustrated.


(1) Micara forwarded a letter of Robert Capelle (1889-1974), secretary of King Leopold III (1934-47) which in turn was a request from the Florez Fund (146 rue de l’Universite, Paris) asking for a Christmas truce.  Domenico Tardini wrote on the letter: “It arrived on Christmas Day – 26.12.39 – To be answered.  Received 25th evening.  The Holy See has already taken the initiative for the truce but …” On the subject of the truce there was also the letter of Abbot Primate Fidelis de Stotzingen (1871-1947) of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome (1913-47).

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