Photo: AFP
Drop your plan. Benedict
Photo: AFP

The pope who kept mum

Pope's protest during WW2 could have saved Jewish lives

The Vatican is currently preparing to canonize Pope Pius. For those whose memory may be failing, this is the same pope who sat in Rome during the Nazi regime and who didn't do a thing to stop the genocide of European Jews by the Germans and their loyal accomplices. This is where he got his dubious title "the silent pope," which has stuck to him ever since.


Those supporting the move argue that he couldn't have done anything to stop Hitler anyway. But he didn't even try. He didn't approach him, he didn't speak out and he didn't express reservations.


It is surprising, therefore, that with regards to euthanasia of the so-called mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, and chronically ill people – which the Germans planned and even began executing - the Catholic church managed to exert its influence.


The plan was halted following protest by the pope's representatives in Germany (incidentally, the plan's executioners were later transferred to concentration camps from which they carried out their murderous acts on the Jewish people).


It appears, therefore, that when the pope and his emissaries intervened they did indeed achieve results. It should also be reminded that, similar to other European countries, who spawned many of those who partook in the Jewish extermination (Poland and the Baltic countries, for example), the people there were Christians and a major part of them were Catholics. Namely, they were loyal to the pope.


It's somewhat difficult to believe, therefore, that had the "boss" sounded his objection or reservations over the genocide, his words wouldn't have been heeded, especially among the East Europeans, who are the most God fearing people. It is quite likely that significant numbers of murdered Jews would have been saved had Pope Pius spoken out. But the pope kept mum.


Allegiance to the Führer

Those who did speak out served as his emissaries in Germany and Austria, namely the heads of the churches there. They issued a public letter whereby they expressed their allegiance to the Führer.


I don't care if the pontiff, who also happens to be German, would canonize one of his predecessors. This title is insignificant anyway in this day and age. And it is doubtful whether anyone among the hundreds of millions of Catholic followers actually knows who was "sainted" throughout the church' history anyway.


However, canonizing Pope Pius is a terrible insult to history and is deeply offensive to the Jewish people and the memory of six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.


It would be best for Pope Benedict XVI, who has often spoken of the need for brotherhood of man with the Jewish people, to abandon this disturbing plan of his, which is not likely to contribute anything.


פרסום ראשון: 11.01.06, 16:22
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