Wartime Pope Knew Of Holocaust, Letter Shows

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 | Tag Cloud

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

VATICAN CITY (Worthy News) – Wartime Pope Pius XII knew details about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942 but failed to speak out against the mass killings, according to a letter revealed Monday.

Pius, who had previously been criticized over his ties with Nazi Germany, received a letter dated December 14, 1942, written by Father Lother Koenig, a Jesuit who was in the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany.

The priest had addressed the letter to the pope’s personal secretary at the Vatican, Priest Robert Leiber, also a German.

The yellowed, typewritten letter is seen as highly significant because it was discovered by an in-house Vatican archivist and made public with the encouragement of Vatican officials.

The documentation from the Vatican archives, published this weekend in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, was likely to fuel further the debate about Pius’ legacy and his now-stalled beatification campaign, church observers said.

Historians have long been divided about Pius’ record. Supporters insist he used quiet diplomacy to save Jewish lives and did not speak out to prevent worsening the situation for Catholics in Nazi-occupied Europe.

His detractors say he “lacked the courage” to speak out on information he had despite pleas from Allied powers fighting Germany. It remains unclear whether that would have changed the situation on the ground as the Allies freed Jews in camps late into the war.


Vatican archivist Giovanni Coco told the Corriere that the importance of the letter was “enormous, a unique case” because it showed the Vatican had information that labor camps were death factories.

In the letter, Koenig wrote Leiber that sources had confirmed that about 6,000 Poles and Jews a day were killed in “SS furnaces” at the Belzec camp in southeastern Poland.

The camp was about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of the town of Rava-Ruska, a railway center that was then also part of German-occupied Poland but is now in western Ukraine.

“The newness and importance of this document derives from a fact: now we have the certainty that the Catholic Church in Germany sent Pius XII exact and detailed news about the crimes that were being perpetrated against the Jews,” Coco told the newspaper, whose article was headlined: “Pius XII Knew.”

Asked by the Corriere interviewer if the letter showed that Pius knew, Coco said: “Yes, and not only from then.”

The letter referred to two other Nazi camps – Auschwitz and Dachau – and suggested that other missives between Koenig and Leiber either have gone missing or have not yet been found.

Some 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, according to numerous historical records.

We're being CENSORED ... HELP get the WORD OUT! SHARE!!!
Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Worthy Christian News