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Pious XII and the Third Reich

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Chapter Summary

On October 31, 1997, the Berliner Morgenpost published an article by Andreas English with the title, "Beatification for Pius XII Under Debate - Critique Against the role of the Vatican during the Persecution of the Jews by the Nazis". On March 2, 1939, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected successor of Pope Pius XI. During World War I, Benedict XV had sent Pacell to Austria and then to Germany where he was supposed to look for possibilities of reducing the chances of war. During his twelve year mission as Nuncios, Pius XII had developed a preference for Germany that lasted his entire life. In 1941, Hitler's army attacked the Soviet Union. Pius XII acted out of consideration for the German Catholics and not at all out of consideration for the Regime, because the Pope did not have any illusions about the intentions of the leadership of the Third Reich.

Keywords: Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli; German Catholics; Hitler; Jews; Pius XII; Soviet Union; Third Reich; Vatican; World War

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