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One of the biggest unresolved World War 2 debates is the Vatican’s complicity in the Holocaust – did Pope Pius XII sit back and do nothing as Nazi Germany exterminate 6 million Jews? Critics accuse him of a weakness for dictatorships and a distaste for Jews, a pushover that Mussolini and Hitler could easily intimidate. Defenders say he was a virtuous man who stood up to Nazis and their Italian fascist allies despite being threatened with kidnapping and assassination. He worked tirelessly and effective to prevent more Jews from being murdered.


The question was little more than speculation for decades because the Vatican’s archives that cover World War 2 were closed. However, Pope Francis decided to open them recently, and today’s guest, David Kertzer, took immediate advantage of this opportunity. He’s the author of the new book “The Pope at War” and he shows us what went on behind the scenes at the Vatican during World War II and the Holocaust. We discuss secret negotiations that Pius XII held with Hitler in the late 1930s, how the pope blessed Italy’s war effort until Mussolini’s fall in 1943, and how he held back aid to Jews after the Nazis’ systematic murder was revealed.


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"Did Pope Pius XII Collaborate With the Nazis? This Historian Viewed the Vatican Archives and Has the Answer" History on the Net
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