Documents Reveal Pius XII Saved 11,000 Roman Jews

Pave the Way Foundation Announces Findings

By Jesús Colina
ROME, JULY  2011 ( The direct action of Pope Pius XII saved the lives of more than 11,000 Jews in Rome during the Second World War, according to documentation recently discovered by historians.

Pave the Way Foundation representative for Germany, historian and investigative researcher Michael Hesemann, discovered a number of very important original documents in his research of the open archives of Santa Maria dell Anima Church, which is the National Church of Germany in Rome.
The U.S.-based foundation, founded by Jew Gary Krupp, announced the findings in a statement sent to ZENIT.

“Many have criticized Pius XII for remaining silent during the arrest and when trains left Rome containing 1,007 Jews who were sent to the death camp Auschwitz,” Krupp stated. “The critics also do not acknowledge Pius XII’s direct intervention to end the arrests of Oct. 16, 1943.”

“New discoveries prove that Pius XII acted directly behind the scenes to end the arrests at 2:00 p.m., on the very day they began, but who was powerless to stop the ill-fated train,” he added.
According to a recent study by researcher Deacon Dominiek Oversteyns, there were 12,428 Jews in Rome on Oct. 16, 1943.
“Pope Pius XII’s direct action saved the lives of over 11,400 Jews,” Krupp explained. “On the morning of Oct. 16, 1943, when the Pope learned of the arrests of the Jews, he immediately ordered an official Vatican protest with the German ambassador, which he knew would no doubt be fruitless.

“The Pope then sent his nephew, Prince Carlo Pacelli, to meet with Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal. Bishop Hudal, head of the National Church of Germany in Rome, was by some accounts, sympathetic to the Nazi’s and had good relations with them. Prince Carlo Pacelli told Hudal that he was sent by the Pope, and that Hudal must write a letter to the German Governor of Rome, General Rainier Stahel, to demand that the arrests stop.”

Bishop Hudal’s letter to General Stahel stated: “Just now, a high Vatican source […] reported to me that this morning, the arrest of the Jews of Italian nationality has started. In the interest of a peaceful dialogue between the Vatican and the German military command, I ask you with urgency to give order to immediately stop these arrests in Rome and the surrounding area. The German reputation in foreign countries requires such a measure and also the danger that the Pope would openly protest against it.”

The letter was then hand-delivered to General Stahel by a close confidant to Pope Pius XII, German Father Pancratius Pfeiffer, superior general of the Society of the Divine Savior, who personally knew General Stahel.

The following morning, General Stahel responded by telephone: “I forwarded the affair immediately to the local Gestapo and to Himmler personally, Himmler ordered that, concerning the special status of Rome, these arrests are to be stopped immediately.”
These events are further confirmed by the testimony obtained during the investigation of relator (high Judge) to the cause of Pius XII, Jesuit Priest Father Peter Gumpel.

Father Gumpel stated that he personally spoke to General Dietrich Beelitz, who was then liaison officer between Kesselring’s office and Hitler’s command. General Beelitz listened in to the Stahel-Himmler telephone conversation and confirmed that General Stahel used a threat of military failure to Himmler if the arrests were to continue.

An additional document titled “The direct actions to save innumerable persons of the Hebrew nation” states that Bishop Hudal managed — through his contacts with Stahel and Colonel Baron von Veltheim — to get “550 religious colleges and institutions to be exempt from inspections and visitations of the German military Police.”

Just in one of these places, the Institute of St. Joseph, 80 Jews were being hidden.

The note also mentions the involvement “for a great part” of Prince Carlo Pacelli, the nephew of Pius XII. “The German soldiers were very disciplined and respected the signature of a high German official … Thousands of local Jews in Rome, Assisi, Loreto, Padua etc. were saved due to this declaration.”

Michael Hesemann stated that it is obvious that any public protest by the Pope when the train departed could have triggered the resumption of the arrests.

In addition, Hesemann explains that Pave the Way has on its Web site the original SS order to arrest 8,000 Roman Jews, who were to be sent to the work camp at Mauthausen — to be held as hostages — not the death camp in Auschwitz. One may speculate that the Vatican may have felt they could negotiate their release.

We have learned that it was also Bishop Hudal who was acknowledged by the Vatican as actively participating in helping some Nazis war criminals escape arrest after the war’s end.
Because of his political position, Bishop Hudal was persona-non-grata at the Vatican and in fact, was chastised in writing by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini (later Pope Paul VI), for even suggesting that Vatican help any Nazi escape arrest.

Gary Krupp, President of Pave the Way, further commented that “Pave the Way has devoted vast resources in order to obtain and post publicly all of this information for historians and scholars. Curiously, none of the most outspoken critics of Pope Pius XII, has bothered to either come to the open Vatican Archives (completely opened since 2006 up to 1939) for original study, or even accessed our restricted free Web site, according to sign in sheets in Rome and our registration records.”

Krupp further commented that he has the sincere hope that the scholarly representatives of the Roman Jewish community, research original materials only steps from their homes.

“I believe they will find that the very existence today of what Pope Pius XII called ‘this vibrant community’ is because of the secret efforts of Pope Pius XII to save every life,” said Krupp. “Pius XII did what he could, while under the threat of invasion, death, surrounded by hostile forces and infiltrated by spies.”

Elliot Hershberg, chairman of Pave the Way Foundation, added: “In the service of our mission, we are committed to try to bring some resolution to this controversy, which affects over 1 billion people.
“We have used our international connections and trust to obtain and post on our free restricted Web site over 46,000 pages of original documents, original news articles, video eyewitness, and scholarly interviews in order to spoon-feed this documentation to the historians and scholars.

“The international publicity from this project has yielded new documentation almost weekly, which show how we have moved to eliminate the academic logjam that has existed since 1963.”

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19 Responses to Documents Reveal Pius XII Saved 11,000 Roman Jews

  1. toadspittle says:


    “Lucky” to be a Roman Jew then. Carping to wonder what happened to Jews from Milan, Toad supposes. At least nobody can suggest Pius didn’t know what was going on.

    Toad read this yesterday in El Pais. His translation. Is this allegation true?

    There are irrefutable documents which indicate that the actual pontiff, when he was cardinal Ratzinger, instructed the bishops how to behave in face of the pederasty cases amongst the clergy. He did this from the powerful Congregation (Assembly) for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is how the the sinister Holy Office of the Inquisition is now called.
    The prelates got the word. The order was to handle the cases with delicacy, treat the offenders with charity and conceal the offences from the civil authority.”

    Is this allegation common knowlege? More to the point is it correct? Toad has not seen it put so bluntly and specifically before. Maybe it’s all lies. ‘Pais’ is not-over fond of the Church.
    What do his friends on here know?


  2. Mr Badger says:

    El Vaticano sabe por experiencia que no hay peor cuña que la de la misma madera. Lo vivió en la España del nacionalcatolicismo falangista, cuando el dictador Franco quiso erigirse en jefe de una Iglesia nacional reclamando para sí hasta el nombramiento de obispos. Por discutirle ese poder tras el concilio Vaticano II, a punto estuvo de romper relaciones con la Santa Sede, que terminó cediendo.

    Los abusos sexuales abren una crisis entre Irlanda y el Vaticano
    La noticia en otros webs
    webs en español
    en otros idiomas
    Lo vuelve a sufrir Roma frente a la muy católica Irlanda, donde florece el anticlericalismo de derechas tras saberse sin ningún género de dudas que decenas de miles de muchachos y muchachas, de variada clase y condición, sufrieron décadas atrás todo tipo de abusos a manos de eclesiásticos ante la pasividad de las jerarquías, tanto civiles como eclesiásticas. El informe oficial con las infamias llena 2.500 páginas y ha roto de vergüenza o ira el corazón de Irlanda y también de Reino Unido, adonde escaparon miles de víctimas para superar las secuelas.

    Las cifras claman al cielo, se ponga como se ponga Benedicto XVI. Hay documentos irrefutables que indican que el actual pontífice, cuando era cardenal Ratzinger, aleccionó a los obispos sobre cómo comportarse ante los casos de pederastia entre su clero. Lo hizo desde la poderosa Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, que es como se llama ahora el siniestro Santo Oficio de la Inquisición.

    Los prelados le tomaron la palabra. La orden era llevar los casos con delicadeza, tratar a los delincuentes con caridad y ocultar los delitos a la autoridad civil. El principio de tal estrategia es multisecular: cada obispo se cree antes súbdito del Estado vaticano que de su lugar de nacimiento y de trabajo.

    Los tiempos ya no admiten situaciones semejantes, ni siquiera allá donde la mayoría de la población se cree católica. Se acabó la impunidad, también para el imperio católico. Además, cuando una organización decide amontonar la ropa sucia en casa, la porquería termina saltando por la ventana con estruendo, ensuciando de forma irreparable a toda la institución.

    Es verdad que Benedicto XVI ha pedido perdón en público, de manera especial en Irlanda. Ha rectificado, además, su orden del pasado: los obispos deben ahora colaborar en el esclarecimiento de hechos delictivos de sus subordinados.

    Pero el Estado irlandés -Gobierno y, sobre todo, oposición- tiene la impresión de que todo eso no son más que palabras. El Vaticano llama a consulta a su embajador (nuncio) en Dublín, quizás para respaldarlo en este conflicto. Mejor haría si le urge a entenderse mejor con el Gobierno y con la sociedad.

    Los hechos son testarudos, según el informe oficial. Además, hay dinero por medio, lo que también cuenta ante una crisis especialmente aguda en Irlanda. De los varios miles de millones de euros en indemnizaciones que van a recibir las víctimas, apenas un 10% correrá por cuenta de los obispos.

    Es el resultado de un acuerdo de 2002 entre Dublín y la jerarquía católica. Un mal acuerdo, que ahora se vuelve abusivo. El Ejecutivo irlandés de entonces creía que las indemnizaciones no superarían los 300 millones de euros. Ya se han pagado o comprometido 1.200 millones.


  3. Mr Badger says:

    Toad, I don’t know any Spanish. But if there is anything in the article that would expand upon, clarify, or give context to, the accusation you mention, your help would be appreciated.


  4. joyfulpapist says:

    Dates or titles of the ‘irrefutable documents’ would be helpful.


  5. Gertrude says:

    For the benefit of non-Spanish speakers-thanks to Goggle Translate – probably accurate enough to understand Mr. Badgers reply:
    The Vatican knows from experience that there is no worse wedge of the same wood. She lived in Spain in the National-Falange, when the dictator Franco wanted to establish itself as a national church leader claiming for itself until the appointment of bishops. For arguing that power after the Second Vatican Council was about to break relations with the Holy See, which ended up giving.

    The sexual abuse crisis opened between Ireland and the Vatican
    The news on other websites
    Websites in Spanish
    in other languages
    Roma suffer it again against the very Catholic Ireland, where it blooms right after the anticlericalism of knowing without a doubt that tens of thousands of boys and girls of varying type and condition, suffered decades all sorts of abuse at the hands of the passivity of ecclesiastical hierarchy, both civil and ecclesiastical. The official report with the full infamy and broke 2,500 pages of shame or anger the heart of Ireland and the UK, where thousands of victims escaped to overcome the aftermath.

    Figures cry to heaven as it gets put Benedict XVI. There is irrefutable documents indicating that the current pontiff, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, the Bishops coached on how to deal with cases of pedophilia among the clergy. He did so from the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is how the incident is now called the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

    The prelate spoke. The order was to take cases with care, treat with charity and conceal criminal offenses to civil authority. The principle of such a strategy is centuries: each bishop was created before the Vatican State subject to its birthplace and work.

    Times longer support such situations, even beyond where most of the population is Catholic believes. No more impunity, including for the Catholic empire. In addition, when an organization decides to pile dirty clothes at home, the dirt jumping out the window ends with a crash, irreparably fouling of the entire institution.

    It is true that Benedict XVI has apologized in public, especially in Ireland. Been rectified further order of the past: the bishops must now cooperate in the investigation of criminal acts of their subordinates.

    But the Irish state-government and, above all, opposition has the impression that all this are just words. The Vatican called its ambassador (nuncio) in Dublin, perhaps to support you in this conflict. Best if urged to do better understood with the government and society.

    Facts are stubborn, according to the official report. In addition, there is money in between, which also has a crisis especially acute in Ireland. Of the several billions of euros in compensation they will receive the victims, only 10% borne by the bishops.

    It is the result of a 2002 agreement between Dublin and the Catholic hierarchy. A bad agreement, which now becomes abusive. The Irish then Executive believed that the compensation would not exceed 300 million euros. Have already been spent or committed 1,200 million.


  6. Mr Badger says:

    Google doesn’t provide the most elegant translations does it?? 🙂


  7. Gertrude says:

    Absolutely not – but I guess folk will get the ‘gist’. I think I would agree with Toad that this paper does not present the best case. Father Sean on Valle Adurni though has posted on the Irish Catholic Church as it was in his fathers time, and make some very interesting points about the ‘psyche’ of the Irish.
    This is not to excuse in any way what has happened, but provides a fascinating insight.


  8. Mr Badger says:

    Gertrude, just for fun I translated your text into Basque and then back into English. It begins to take on a surreal beauty:

    Figures cry to heaven as it gets put Benedict XVI becomes the rather haunting phrase Figures from the sky to mourn the Pope Benedict XVI.

    The Basque back to English version also yielded this delightful sentence: Facts are stubborn, according to official reports. Brilliant.


  9. toadspittle says:


    Toad agrees that if he were still in ‘the media’ he would very much like to see at least a photocopy of the said document(s) before proceeding much further. Because the existence of such a letter would be dynamite, and it ought have surfaced by now. Thinks Toad..

    Badger, you reprinted the very article from which Toad took the extract. Para four starting: “Las cifras…”

    Teresa, Toad was trying to discover if, or not, this is “news.” It would seem not.


  10. Gertrude says:

    Mr. Badger – I think, just for the prose, I prefer Basque!


  11. Gertrude says:

    Whilst in the process of replying to another comment, and relevant to this post, I came across the following (H/T to Rory O’Conner):
    Another historical point. I recently read a review of a book about Pope Pius X11 and the Nazis which was written by a Jewish Rabbi. The Rabbi said that the lies about Pius as “Hitler’s Pope” came from 3 separate sources [1]

    Stalinist propaganda during the Cold War (1940s and 50s)
    The “New Left” in the 1960s
    “Liberal” Catholics after the Vatican Council who saw Pius X11 as the hero of “reactionary” Catholics and demonised him as a way of demonising them.

    Interesting do you not think?


  12. toadspittle says:


    So…after the to-ing and fro-ing did Cardinal Ratzinger behave badly, or not? Toad is inclined to think he did.


  13. joyfulpapist says:

    What is your reason for that opinion, Toad? In the absence of any idea about what document or documents the article is referring to, I haven’t been able to form an opinion.


  14. Gertrude says:

    According to Catholic Culture, there was a document, reported to have been seen by Irish TV who televised a report last January.

    “The RTE program implies that the decisions of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos represented the official policies of the Vatican. The documentary argues that in the 1990s, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, was similarly anxious to cover up clerical misconduct in his post as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, “Unspeakable Crimes” reports, Cardinal Ratzinger eventually changed his views and became the Vatican’s most outspoken champion of tough disciplinary responses to sexual abuse.

    They do not however name or produce the document. However, it concludes:

    “•The documentary does not report the important revelation, made in December of last year, that Cardinal Ratzinger had been pushing for swifter dismissal of abusive priests as early as 1988. Instead the RTE program makes the unsustainable suggestion that the future Pontiff’s attitudes changed as a result of efforts by the English-speaking bishops”

    It would appear that the Holy Father (even as Cardinal Ratzinger) is innocent of any such charge.


  15. joyfulpapist says:

    I don’t have any doubt that there were – and are yet – cover-up supporters in the Vatican bureacracy. Whether they were and are misguided, deluded, or plain corrupt is for God to decide. I would like to see them exposed and (at a minimum) sent off to carry bedpans in an African AIDS ward somewhere. However, six years of strenuous trying by liberal priests, nu-Church feminists, gay activists, ambulance chasing lawyers, and various media outlets has uncovered only the most tenuous and tortuous links between the Pope and the scandal. This makes me fairly certain that we can have confidence he is, indeed, innocent of any such charge.


  16. The Raven says:


    This looks like El Pais have done a “Johann Hari” with the Times story about the 2001 instruction that was published last year (which gave it the same spin, from recollection). The story (which was uncritically repeated by a number of media outlets) was gruesomely inaccurate: conflating canon law with civil law.

    Unless El Pais have got something new, I suggest you file this under “Xerox Journalism”.


  17. toadspittle says:

    .“What is your reason for that opinion, Toad? In the absence of any idea about what document or documents the article is referring to, I haven’t been able to form an opinion.”

    Asks Joyful. Well, as you can see, it’s nothing as strong as an ‘opinion.’ Just a nagging little thought that we are not getting the full picture here. If Cardinal Ratzinger did write something innocuous, let’s see it. Simple.
    But if he didn’t write anything regarding the pedophile scandal, Toad supposes we might possibly ask, “Why the silence?”


  18. joyfulpapist says:

    Yes, I agree. If the paper knows of documents we haven’t yet seen, why hasn’t it said so. If it is just referring to documents we have already seen, why doesn’t it name them so that we can know. Why the silence, indeed?


  19. toadspittle says:


    Toad has decided to get to the bottom of all this by hacking the Pope’s mobile phone.



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