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March 10, 1961 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-03-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

(Continued from Page 1)
`Vatican Passport' of Eichmann
Pope extends to everybody, re- is pure fantasy. Brazil, for in-
gardless of nationality, race or stance, placed at the disposal
religion, his fatherly solicitude. of the Pope several thousand
One might raise objections to passports for Catholic Jews,
the style of this message, since which therefore were given to
only a restricted number of Catholic Jews only. But gen-
persons might detect a special erally speaking help was given
allusion to the Jewish problem. to those in need, regardless of
However, let us allow the facts their religious confession."
to speak for themselves."
Father Leiber then recalls
After recalling the request that when the Jewish rescue
by the Gestapo of 50 kilos of organization in Genoa, DELA-
gold from the Jewish commun- SEM, was forced to close, all
ity of Rome, the article con- its funds • were turned over
firms that Pius XII offered spon- to the Archbishop of Genoa,
taneously to supply the amount and then shipped to Rome
of gold that could not be raised where they were distribute
by the Jews. However, the ar- to needy Jews. Father Leiber
ticle adds that the additional says that whenever Jewish
gold was not needed, for the funds were not available, the
Jews managed to collect it all Catholic institutions took care
of the refugees' needs, with
among themselves.
The mass deportation of 1,12'7 funds sent to the Vatican by
Jews on Oct. 16,, 1943, is . des- the U.S.A. Catholic Refugee
cribed in the article. However, Committee. "The total sum
where did the other Jews of which the Pope spent for the
the town seek refuge? Father' Jews up to 1945, according to
Leiber writes that, by the hun- a reliable estimate, is at least
dreds, the Jews sought refuge $400,000."
The article recalls the work
in the convents and religious
institutions of the town. Pius performed by the Vatican In-
XII had let it be known that formation Office:
"In the German section a special
the religious institutions could department
for Jews was established,
and should give refuge to the because of the many requests coming
from
Palestine,
Hungary, Rumania,
Jews. In all, nuns' convents Australia, etc., asking
for informa-
harbored 2,775 Jews and other tion on Jews still in Germany, Be-
tween 1941 and 1945, 102,026 such
religious orders and parishes, requests
were received and the Vat-
992 for several months. One ican could solve 36,877 of such cases.
"After
having mentioned these
must also add the hospitality facts, the letter
of the German Am-
given to 680 others in religious bassador takes a different aspect.
he painfully resented the
institutions and those hidden Personally,
actions of the Gestapo against the
in the Lateran and in the Vat- Jews. If in his report he reduces
•unilaterally
the decision of the Pope
ican. It is hard to
of to protest publicly and thus pre-
re nts the silence of the Pope as a
number beca
of the Berlin Government,
y ever mention- ccess
illegally
e must recall that he was speaking
,
an ambassador and
the
ed t
of the s
article then recsll1 that e eight
was finding
elf.
"Actually,
• Pius MI acted
Ca olic insti
a 'much br
er outl u I
I nly,
refl. elf
2,
during th entire
ction sp
m nounce
to to Alr
of olland; Bel
itu- vasion
Je
we
1,
embourg
the G •
troops.
ather erwise h followed the rule of
of t.
ti
predecess
Benedict XV
ong its World Wa
Lei
• to protes
with-
orts, but not against injus
tasks
out taking a stand on specific issues,
Vatican passports. The Vatican in order to avoid greater evils.
has never granted any passports "A public word by Plus against
the persecution of the Jews, when
for emigration. The so-called it
occurred under his eyes and in

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front of the Vatican windows, would
certainly have had strong repercus-
sions then and later, even if there
are • some who are doubtful about
this. But the Pope had clearly in
mind the consequences it would have
had on the Jews, the Church and
the Catholics in Rome and in the
entire territory occupied by Hitler's
power. Dr. Safran, Chief Rabbi of
Romania, in an interview' after the
war, underlined the help given dur-
ing two war years by the Apostolic
Nuncio. His mediation was decisive
for the life of the Jews, since he
obtained a halt to deportations. We
can say that probably such attempts
to avoid worse for the Jews would
have been useless, if there had been
a papal protest.
"Also in Rome, there was always
the danger of the • Gestapo finding
hidden Jews. Twice the Gestapo en-
tered Catholic institutions—once in
St. Paul outside the Walls and once
in the Oriental Institute. For St. Paul
the Holy See could protest officially
as St. Paul was an extra-territorial
zone. In the Oriental Institute, the
SS searched, in the spring of 1944,
for the whole night and only found
two out of 13 Jews who were hidden
there. As far as the persecution of
Jews was concerned, the fundamental
principle of Pope Pius was: to save
human lives.
"The silence of Pius XII concerning
the persecution against Jews has been
reproachedup to our present time.
We shall Mention chiefly two con-
tained in the same work: the one of
the Catholic, F. Mauriac and of the
Jew, L. Poliakow."
After quoting Mauriac's preface • to
Poliakow's "Breviaire De La Haine,"
Father Leiber comments:
"These words manifest a noble
feeling toward persecuted Jews, but
Mauriac's conclusions are not con-
sequent. if it was the task of the
Pope and of the bishops to be silent,
to avoid worse, then they had to ful-
fill this duty, also if unwilling. There-
fore on their silence the shadow of
the sins committed by others should
not fall . . To commit a crime or
to be silent before a crime are two
different things. The silence before
a crime can be a heavy duty, but
in certain circumstances. it can avoid
greater evils; it might not appear
as heroic from the outside, but it
might be the only right thing before
God and the _conscience. We have
mentioned the motives which might
have determined Pius XH's decision
not to make a public protest against
the Jewish persecutions. •
"Poliakow fairly admits that in
front of Hitler's terror the Churches
were active in their immediate hu-
manitarian actions, with the approval
and the encouragement of the Vat-
ican. However, Poliakow states that it
is painful to underline the fact that
throughout the war (while the facto-
ries of death were incessantly work-
ing, the Pope kept silent and did not
pronounce that solemn condemnation
which was ardently awaited by the
persecuted, although acknowledging
the fact that it is hard to evaluate

what the consequences would have

Bnai . Brith president Label A.
Katz of New Orleans was elected
chairman of the organization's
International Council.
The Council's executive com-
mittee, acting on the resignation
of Philip M. Klutznick as chair-
man, unanimously selected Katz
at its sessions in Washington.

been, for the Jews and for the
Church, had such a condemnation
been pronounced."

The article, which can be
considered the firmest and
most authoritative Catholic
evaluation and defense of
Pius' attitude t ow a r d the
Jews, concludes by citing sev-
eral examples of gratitude
shown by many Jews for what
the Pope had done. One of
the exam con-
vers
ome's Chie
I
Zolli, who, then, whe
ptized, ok the name
the Pope
example
to the
by Go a Meir in
nked him for
wised
hi
of the Jews.
"It has been stated," con-
cludes Father Leiber, "that on
the issue of the Jews, Pius XI
would perhaps have taken a
firmer stand than his succes-
sor Pius XII, quoting the en-
cyclical 'Mit Brennender Sorge'
as an example. For this ency-
clical Pius XII, then Secretary
of State, was just as responsible
as Pius XI.
"We can admit that it was
as difficult to dissuade Pope
Pius XI from taking a public
stand on burning issues, just
as to persuade Pius XII to
take one. Possibly, for this very
reason, the Divine Providence
entrusted the leadership of the
Church during the war years
to Pius XII and not to Pius
XI."

Klutznick is now U.S. repre-
sentative to the UN Economic
and Social" Council.
The Council, composed of rep-
representatives from North
America, Latin America, Great
Britain, , Continental Europe and
Israel, directs Bnai Brith's inter-
national activities.

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3 -- THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, March 10, 1961

Katz Heads Bnai Brith International Council

`Firmest Catholic Evaluation' Made
of Pius' Stand on Jews Under Nazis

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