The Holocaust Historiography Project

Arthur R. Butz archive

The Vatican During the ‘Holocaust’

by Arthur R. Butz

The main reasons for a focus on Vatican behavior during the Holocaust are, first, that the major events are supposed to have taken place in Poland, a Catholic country and, second, that the Vatican had a ubiquitous diplomatic corps to keep it well informed. It is true that the Germans imposed a censorship on communications to or from Poland, but there were many ways of circumventing the censorship, notably through Italians who had business of various sorts in Poland and points east, and through messages carried by private persons from Poland to the office of the Papal Nuncio in Berlin, who communicated with the Vatican through privileged diplomatic channels. There is no possibility that a program of physical extermination of Jews, as claimed in the legend, could have taken place without the knowledge of the Vatican.

Mainly for those reasons, I devoted an entire appendix of my book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century to the Vatican. That the Vatican did not act as though a program of extermination was in progress is fairly well known, and received wide publicity in March 1998 when Pope John Paul II released a statement that many considered evasive.

Central to this problem is the behavior of the wartime Pope Pius XII. Also of interest is an obituary I wrote on the death of Robert A. Graham, the American Jesuit who edited the publication of relevant Vatican documents.

Created 5 May 1998. Last revised 16 June 1998.

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