PIUS XII TURNED A DEAF EAR TO THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST
Richard Owen in Rome
Fabrizio Coisson, a journalist and antiquarian book collector, came across bound carbon copies of the reports at Porta Portese market in Rome. "I was astonished to find a signed note in which the British diplomat describes how every day he transcribed BBC broadcasts and passed them to the Pope," Signor Coisson said. He did not know how the papers had found their way on to the second-hand market, but Osborne died in Rome in 1964 and Signor Coisson presumed that some of his effects were sold.
Professor Owen Chadwick of Cambridge University, author of Britain and the Vatican During the Second World War, said that the find was remarkable. Father Pierre Blet, the Jesuit historian whose recent book Pius XII and the Second World War is seen as the Vatican's riposte to accusations that the Pope turned a blind eye, said he was astonished by the discovery.
The reports, which Osborne hoped would counteract Italian and German propaganda, give a detailed account of Jewish deportations, mass killings and "inhuman experiments". The disclosure is bound to slow down further the Vatican's much-criticised plans to beatify Pius XII. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles said it would "desecrate the memory of the Holocaust victims" to beatify a man "who sat in silence on the throne of St Peter and watched the trains take Jews across Europe to the death camps".
Last autumn the writer John Cornwell caused a furore by claiming in his book Hitler's Pope that Pius XII not only failed to speak out against Nazi persecution when he was Pope but, as Papal Nuncio (ambassador) in Berlin in the 1920s and Secretary of State in the 1930s, helped Hitler to come to power by suppressing German Catholic resistance to the Nazis. The book was denounced by the Vatican as "trash".
Osborne, who arrived in Rome to represent Britain at the Holy See in 1936 and initially regarded Pius XII as "saintly", retreated inside the Vatican walls when Fascist Italy entered the war on Hitler's side in June 1940. He followed Allied broadcasts intently and began compiling what he called "British wireless news" for the Pope, emphasising "the sufferings of civilians in Nazi occupied Europe" and German "crimes against humanity". Although it was known that he wrote the reports, scholars failed to find them.
In October 1940 he warned the Pope that the Germans were "actively promoting anti-Semitism in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria". By 1941 the tone became more dramatic, as the Nazis committed "atrocities in the name of the myth of the superior race". He wrote: "They are conducting experiments on sick and mentally deficient children in Germany."
Osborne, noting that Hitler had vowed to "liquidate the Jews for at least a thousand years", told the Pope that Jews in Poland were being murdered and deported en masse, adding - in words that carry poignancy with hindsight - that some were being given "special permits" to travel by rail, "but only by slow trains".
After Pius XII's Christmas Eve homily in 1942, in which he condemned extermination "by reason of nationality or race" but failed to mention the words Nazi or Jew, Osborne stepped up the campaign, informing the Pope in 1943: "In Slovakia, 77 per cent of the Jewish population has been deported to an unknown destination, which probably signifies death." He added: "The number of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto has been reduced by 400,000 since last July - there are barely 35,000 left."
However, Sir Martin Gilbert, the historian and biographer of Churchill, said the Vatican had sheltered 4,000 Jews during the Gestapo raids in Rome in 1944. Sir Martin, whose latest book Never Again is a history of the Holocaust, said many Christians had taken a stand against the Nazis, and that "Christian anti-Semitism" should not be confused with the Holocaust, which had been "carried out by people who were hostile to Christian values".
Editor: I am not impressed with the last paragraph. There is no way the complicity of the Pope of Rome can be out weighed by the mercy in the heart of other Roman Catholics. Pope Pius XII was obviously operating on the notion that the Jews need to die for killing Jesus Christ. That other officials were merciful to Jews does NOT exonerate this Papal fool who claims to be the spokesman of God on earth.
This shows what a mongrel salvation the Catholic Church offers. They do NOT want to take responsibility for their own sin individually. If they did, they would see that all men were being redeemed by Christ on Calvary, and the Jews are included. So, Pius XII will burn in hell for his depraved religion.