tTwo new documents concerning Pius XII and the Holocaust unearthed in an English archive seem destined to add fuel to the fire of an already polarized debate about the World War II-era pope’s alleged “silence.”
tItalian news agencies are reporting today that the first document is a brief account of an Oct. 19, 1943, meeting between Pius XII and the American Ambassador to the Holy See, Harold Tittmann. Although that session came just three days after the deportation of Roman Jews by the Nazis, the subject apparently did not arise.
Instead, Tittmann reported that Pius XII urged the Allies to ensure that the city of Rome did not become a battleground.
tPius XII also expressed concern, according to the document, about “small bands of Communists” operating around the city which might commit acts of violence between the departure of German occupying forces and the arrival of the Allies. Reportedly, he also stated that up to that point, the German occupiers had demonstrated respect for the Holy See.