Secrets Files: How A Powerful Pope Saved The Lives Of The Jews In WWII


Among the other popes during the Second World War was Pius XII, whose known identity was Eugenio Pacelli, and who the world thought did his best to save the lives of the Jews.

As a reputedly controversial figure in recent church history, he had a passion for politics, facing his priestly career, and, at the same time, was the ambassador of the Holy See in Germany and the cardinal secretary of the state of the Vatican.

However, he was elected pope in 1939, a month before the commencement of World War II, as a HIlter pope. Despite being given the position as a pope, he was described as a weak priest who kept silent while hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

Despite that, there are documents that contain his negligent attitude towards Jews. According to history, a historian who found these documents explained the content of what was kept secret about Pius XII’ s attitude towards Jews in the Vatican in 1943, when more than 100 Jews were detained in the military college at St. Peter’ s Square.

What Were The Secrets Found About Pope Pius XII?

However, two written documents were found by Kreutzer. The first was said to be a Pius XII written measure passed to the German ambassador for the reason of using law rather than violence to destroy the Italian Jews, since the racial laws instituted by Benito Mussolini’ s dictatorial regime could help achieve the Italian Jews’ condemnation. With him was a Jewish expert, monsignor Angelo Dell’ Acqua, who served as his expert.

According to Kertzer, the second document found was traceable to Dell’ Acqua’ s decision why he thought the pope should remain silent, even though he had an opportunity to save the Jews.

In the document, it was stated that Pope Pius XII thought it embarrassing to protest against anti- Semitic measures since Jews were forbidden from practicing professions and as well confirmed to ghettos by other popes.

Meanwhile, other obstacles were placed on the Jews’ existence by the Nazis. The report from the document shows the threatening problems caused by the Jews to a healthy Christian society. As a matter of fact, Pius never spoke out against the Nazi killing of Christians because he didn’ t want to offend many German Catholics in a high- reputed position in the Nazi leadership.

While more research was on, Kertzer also found out about two secret Jewish orphans spared from Nazi killing after deporting their parents to Auschwitz. They were secretly baptized in France. This equally stood a chance of being a major case for the French Jews.

Although Robert and Gerald weren’ t raised by the Jews, rather by the Nazi leaders that took an interest in them. They were the last monks and priests in the German Catholic church, as well as being able to trace a cordial relationship with their relatives after being denied such.

Catholic Resist Laws Placed On Italian Jews

In 1953, when the world had its own means of social interaction and awareness, the Archbishop of Lyon and the Vatican decided to resist the laws placed on Italian Jews. This was a compulsory action to be carried out based on either the Pope’ s order or the Vatican, but none was proved to have come from them.

Finally, Kertzer clarified his field that the horrors of the Hoocaust weren’ t tempered by the Vatican’ s anti- semitic mindset until 20 years after World War II, when Catholic church doctrine was fully changed as well as affecting the Pius XII archives.


Pius employed a diligent diplomacy to aid the victims of the Nazis during the second in world war (WWII) and, through directing his Church to provide discreet aid to Jews and others, saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Pope Pius from many findings maintained links to the German Resistance, and shared intelligence with the Allies to avoid bringing violent among the Jews.

During the World War II, the Vatican City pursued a policy of neutrality, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII to avoid extending violent. Although the city of Rome was occupied by Germany from September 1943 and the Allies from June 1944, Vatican City itself was not occupied.

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