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Vatican Radio and Anti-Semitism during the Second World War

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the initial results of an ongoing research project on the attitude of Vatican Radio towards the Jews and anti-Semitism during the Second World War. Vatican Radio contrasted on various occasions the long-standing biases against the Jews. For example, the positive role of Jews in the history of Christianity was emphasized in a German broadcast by stressing the part played by the Jews in establishing the foundations of the teachings of Christ. It is no coincidence that this change, however small, was opposed in Germany, where anti-Semitic laws were first introduced. Other examples reveal, however, the persistence of a certain dualism within Vatican Radio. With regard to the denunciation and condemnation of anti-Semitism, the chapter finds in the broadcasts the dichotomization that was typical also in the print media: a repeated denunciation of racism coupled with a reluctance to condemn anti-Semitism explicitly.

Keywords: anti-Semitism; Christianity; Germany; Jews; Second World War; Vatican Radio denunciation



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