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US historian criticises 'Hitler's Pope' book

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 Contents - Jul 2000AD2000 July 2000 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Orthodoxy the 'wave of the future' - Michael Gilchrist
New campus of John Paul II Institute set to open in Melbourne - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Australian bishops' response to 'Woman and Man' report - Michael Gilchrist
New Zealand bishops endorse register of same sex couples - Richard Egan
US bishops' new art and architecture document - Charles M. Wilson
Italians in Australia: Celebrating cultural and Catholic identity - AD2000 Report
US historian criticises 'Hitler's Pope' book
Educating Catholics in a secular culture: a Canadian Internet initiative - J. Fraser Field
Family Mission Novena: Australian response to Jubilee 2000
John Bradburne: Zimbabwe martyr and lepers' friend
Reflection: St John the Baptist, the Precursor (Feast Day, 24 June) - Br Christian Moe FSC

MARTIN DOORHY, a World War II specialist historian, has commented on John Cornwell's much-publicised book, Hitler's Pope, in an interview for Chicago's Catholic New World weekly. It was impossible, he said, for Cornwell to have worked exhaustively in the Archives of the Secretariat of the Vatican State "for months", as claimed. Cornwell, he added, "has drawn most of his conclusions from secondary sources unfriendly to the Church."

Regarding Pius XII's work with European Jews, Doorhy pointed to "the 80 percent survival rate in Italy" as "far and away the highest rate" in any of the Nazi occupied countries," and the fact that the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, published in 1990 in Tel Aviv, and written mostly by Jewish scholars, credits Pope Pius XII with saving no fewer than half the Jews of Rome during the Nazi occupation. "Pius XII," he said, "saved more Jews than all the other church groups and rescue agencies combined."

By contrast, the policy of the US army was not to mount "rescue operations" to assist refugees, as this could divert men and supplies from "legitimate military objectives," while at meetings of the allied leaders, there was "silence" regarding the Nazi murder of Jews.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 13 No 6 (July 2000), p. 9

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