US historian criticises 'Hitler's Pope' book

US historian criticises 'Hitler's Pope' book

MARTIN DOORHY, a World War II specialist historian, has commented on John Cornwell's much-publicised book, Hitler's Pope, in an interview for Chicago's Catholic New World weekly. It was impossible, he said, for Cornwell to have worked exhaustively in the Archives of the Secretariat of the Vatican State "for months", as claimed. Cornwell, he added, "has drawn most of his conclusions from secondary sources unfriendly to the Church."

Regarding Pius XII's work with European Jews, Doorhy pointed to "the 80 percent survival rate in Italy" as "far and away the highest rate" in any of the Nazi occupied countries," and the fact that the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, published in 1990 in Tel Aviv, and written mostly by Jewish scholars, credits Pope Pius XII with saving no fewer than half the Jews of Rome during the Nazi occupation. "Pius XII," he said, "saved more Jews than all the other church groups and rescue agencies combined."

By contrast, the policy of the US army was not to mount "rescue operations" to assist refugees, as this could divert men and supplies from "legitimate military objectives," while at meetings of the allied leaders, there was "silence" regarding the Nazi murder of Jews.

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