Where Were Your Sympathies?
10/20/99 Editor, N.H.: My best friend told me the following story. One evening her boyfriend accompanied her home. She had brought an umbrella which he usurped when it started to rain. Dreamily looking out into the drizzle he said: "On a night like this I wish I could take everybody out there under my umbrella" while all along he had held the umbrella straight up leaving her out in the rain. This brings me to John Cornwell's book "Hitler's Pope" discussed in the M.N.H, September 8, l999. It is true Pope Pius XII did not speak out against the "Holocaust", but neither did he speak out when his German flock was decimated by American and English bombers on their daily bombing runs during the last months of the war. The Pope did more then wishfully thinking that his words might have any effect on the behavior of the combatants. He held the umbrella of church protection over individuals, first the Jews and then the Nazis.
Concerning the Pope's deep-rooted "anti-Semitism", it is essential to know dates and historical facts. Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, served in Germany as Vatican nuncio from l917 to l929. In l917 the Communists had come to power in Russia with the Jews having played a disproportionate role in the success of this revolution. The Communists were tearing out a deeply rooted Orthodox Christianity and imposed on the Russian people a murderous atheism. In Germany Communism was also on the attack. There the leadership of the Communist movement was exclusively in Jewish hands. April 13, l919 three Jews, Eugen Levine, Ernst Toller, and Max Levien, declared Bavaria a Soviet Republic (Raete Republik). This republic was quickly overthrown, but the future Pope on location witnessed the horrendous bloodletting in the streets of Munich. The street battles in other German cities, foremost Berlin between the Jewish led Communists and loyal government troops were equally bloody. It was Hitler's coming to power legally in January 30, l933 which finally exorcised the threat of a Communistic Germany. The very same year the future Pope helped formulate a concordat with Nazi Germany. I can attest to the fact that under this agreement the Catholic church in Germany was alive and thriving.
If you had been Eugenio Pacelli, where would your sympathies have been?