Hitler’s Pope – No Way, Says Sir Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert has a review [not online as of yet] of Rabbi David Dalin’s The Myth of Hitler’s Pope in the June/July American Spectator. Gilbert strongly endorses the book and, in several pages of terse prose brings case after case after case documenting Pius XII efforts to save Jews. He also confirms much of what I wrote previously regarding Pius. (Please see below.)

Gilbert is perhaps the world’s leading historian on both WW2 and the Holocaust.

What will Church-haters like Beyond BT’s Steve Brizel and, of course, DovBear, do with this shining endorsement of Pius? My guess? (And this is only that – a guess.) Continue to hate at all costs. After all, that is what bigots do.

[Earlier coverage of the issue: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.]

UPDATE: I have uploaded scans of Sir Martin Gilbert’s review here.



Filed under Blogs, History, Religion, The Church and the Holocaust

11 responses to “Hitler’s Pope – No Way, Says Sir Martin Gilbert

  1. Franji

    well, R’ Shmarya, if we have in hand a “halakha” that says: “halakha: eissav sone leyaakov”.
    what choice are we left with, except to hate the rest of mankind forever and ever? and in particular eissav reincarnation from rome?

  2. Anonymous

    its better to hate goyim to hate fellow jews the way you do Scotty.

  3. Anonymous

    Well then, if Martin Gilbert says something, it must be true. He is one historian. He is not considered “the leading historian of WWII and the Holocaust,” a non-existent post, (who decides these things anyway?)except by you, Shmarya. Others, with excellent academic credentials, have a different point of view.

    You seem to be of the opinion that any person who disputes your point of view is wrong, and you now have “proved” it by pointing to your “godol hador” Martin Gilbert.

    The facts, however, are the facts, and appeals to authorities are no more convincing than Art Scroll histories.

    The fact remains that Pius issued no condemnation, neither before nor after the war, of any of his loyal subjects who brutally tortured and murdered six million of our people after centuries of Church anti-semitism paved the way for the Holocaust. Not one oerson was denied the sacraments of the Church, let alone excommunicated, despite that hundereds of thousands, if not millions, of Catholics and other Christians participated in the murders.

    Perhaps you should read “Fear,” which was last week reviewed by the New York Times Book Review on its front page. If the overwhelmingly Catholic Polish people did not obtain their hatred for Jews from Catholic Church teachings, exactly where did they obtain it?

    Or is this book just another Charedi distortion of history? Funny how these Charedim have infiltrated the New York Times.

    As for whether asav is sonei yisroel or not, any person doubting it should just listen to the vitriol yesterday by the BBC correspondent, who explicitly accused Israel of war crimes and whose reporter literally laughed at an Israeli who complained about Hezballah. According to the BBC, apparently, Israel attacked the poor helpless Lebonese who were just minding their own business while exercising their inalienable right to kidnap and murder Jews.

    But, Shmarya, this is all not true because all the Europeans love us.

  4. Yochanan Lavie

    The fact is, religious christians are good allies for Israel. Yes, we have to be vigilant about missionary activity (see the postings of “Rabbi Neal”). But after the Shoah, Christian replacement theology has been replaced largely (but not entirely) by dual covenant theology (christianity is for gentiles, but Jews can find salvation through Judaism, because the old covenant was never abrogated). This contrasts with Islam, whcih still has a replacement theology.

    Today, many Jews are disaffected, unaffiliated, and ultra-liberal. They are indifferent and/or hostile towards Israel. Wby do red states, with few Jews (and even fewer Republican Jews) vote for Israel? Because of dual covenant theology! The last time something like this happened was in Britain during the turn of the last century. Philosemitism, a Christian revival, and identification with “Hebraism” lead to the election of Benjamin Disraeli (who was raised as a Christian, but proud of his origins and a proto-Zionist). Ulitmately, it lead to the Balfour Declaration. The decline of Christianity in the UK and Europe eroded support for the Jews in Palestine-Israel.

    The Euros hate Israel and the Jews because they are post-Christian, atheistic, and hedonistic. Like Voltaire, they even hate Judaism because it gave birth to Christianity. Coupled with that is immense guilt and resulting resentment over the Shoah. (Someone said the Euros will never forgive the Jews for the Holocaust.) Also palestineanism, third-worldism, guilt over colonialism, and the remnants of traditional anti-Semitism add to this witches’ brew of hatred.

    As for the Vatican, the last few Popes have denounced anti-Semitism as a sin. JP II has recognized Israel- something the rabbis at my MO yeshiva thought would NEVER happen. Scholars can disagree about Pius, w/o getting emotional and personal.

    What’s my point of all this history:
    1. Life is too complicated for bumper sticker style thinking.
    2. We need allies, and should not alienate them.
    3. Mindless goy hatred is stupid (although I am not averse to hating the specific goyim who hate us).
    4. Christianity is capable of change. (Hopefully Islam will change too some day.)We cannot judge all Christians as if it was still 1943.

  5. Anonymous

    The point made by Shmarya is that all perons who do not agree that Pius was a good friend
    of the Jews is a (Charedi?) “bigot.”

    The reason we study history is to make different mistakes than those made in the past.

  6. Darby Crash

    Uhhh…lots of particular incidents where he intervened to save small groups of Jews pale before his inaction. Note that when there was a threat of excommunication against any Catholic taking part in the murder of the insane (before the war), the Hitler backed off.

    Would it have been impractical to speak out for us? Dangerous? Well, if the Pope isn’t willing to put principal over politics, and isn’t convinced that the worst that can happen to him is his transference to a better place than this (perhaps after a period of torture, but a short-lived an mild one compared with what they believe is in store for us)….

  7. Nachum

    Martin Gilbert’s real speciality is Winston Churchill- he finished the official biography. As it happens, he’s currently working on a book about Churchill and the Jews which will, of course, include information about what Churchill knew about the Holocaust.

  8. Anonymous

    Churchill knew about the dangers the Jewish people faced, and even gave speeches about it, well before WWII officially started.
    However, once the war started, rescuing Jews was not a priority of his, and he did hardly or nothing to help. His five volume history of the war barely mentions the Holocaust and does not record any effort by England to help the Jews.

    Which is sad, not only for those who may have been saved and were not, but because Churchill otherwise has an overwhelmingly favorable WWII resume.

    Also note that Churchill was saved from financial ruin before the war by a Jewish financier who realized that Churchill was needed.

    It is impossible that Churchill did not know what was going on; which will not stop Shmarya from exonerating him, I bet.

  9. Yochanan Lavie

    I think FDR stayed Churchill’s hand- but I may be wrong.

  10. Lawrence M. Reisman

    Churchill knew about the dangers the Jewish people faced, and even gave speeches about it, well before WWII officially started.
    With regard to Churchill, he opposed the 1939 White Paper in Parliament. Once the war started, Britain was worried about keeping the Arabs out of the war. GB was considered an occupier in the Mideast, and many Arabs looked to Hitler as a liberator. Syria had a Vichy-oriented regieme, and Iraq was openly pro-Nazi. GB needed to keep Jordan (with its Arab legion), Saudi Arabia (with its oil) and Egypt (where British forces fighting Rommel were based) out of Hitler’s camp. Allowing Jews to go to Palestine would have sent the wrong message. Churchill would have aided Jews wanting to go anywhere else, but the Zionist establishment was interested in Eretz Yisroel and nowhere else. With regard to bombing the camps, Churchill could not have done so without committing the entire RAF, which would have left England undefended. Please note also that Stalin wanted the camps running at full capacity, because every train used to transport Jews to their death could not be used to transport troops or supplies to the Eastern Front.

  11. DovBear

    This article is incomplete. It addresses only one of the most serious complaints about Pius- his inaction during the Roman roundup- and it addresses this dishonestly.

    Maglione’s appeal is mischarecterized, and it makes no mention of the German’s ambassador’s letter to Berlin in which he mocks the pontiff’s inaction.

    Other scholars—notably John Morely—have asserted that characterizing Vatican action on this occasion as “protest” is dubious. summarizing it this way: “There was neither confrontation, nor criticism, nor a plea for justice.”

    According to Maglione himself, Vatican intervention led to the release of many Jews, and the Pope’s defenders have made much of that claim, but more honest scholars – notably James Cromwell – dismiss it as “untruthful.” Only a handful of Jews were released, and these were almost entirely baptized Jews.

    And as for Vatican pressure stopping the roundup of Jews, more than a thousand additional Jews were arrested after Maglione’s meeting with the German. Neither Pacelli nor his Secretary of State openly protested any of this. “Their failure to speak or act,” Cornwell writes, “astonished the German leadership in the city.”

    Left unaddressed in Gilbert’s whitewashing are the litany of other complaints about Pius 12: What about the Pope’s silence in the face of the Final Solution? What about his firm support for Catholic nationalism in Croatia, even after the Ustache regime revealed itself as grotesquely genocidal? (the mini-Hitler Ante Pavelic was given sanctuary in the Vatican after the war)

    What about the Reichskonkordat, the treaty that helped legitimize Nazism? What about the treaty’s annex that granted some protection to Jews who had converted to Catholicism but explicitly defined the fate of unconverted Jews as Germany’s “internal affair,” about which the Church would have nothing to say?

    What about all the indications from his private speech and correspondance which indicate that Pacelli regarded Jews as a contemporary as well as an ancient enemy of the Church?

    This article addresses none of that.

    I’m sorry Shmarya, but this is not something I’d expect from a servant of truth

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