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                Introduction: The Stakes
        The controversy surrounding the actions and principles of the Vatican during World War II has been episodically disputed since the early nineteen-sixties.  There is essentially one core issue to the controversy, as well as several peripheral ones.  The core issue concerns the response of Pope Pius XII to the Holocaust.  As the Vicar of Christ on Earth, did he do what was expected, even required, of someone in such an exalted position?  Did he provide the leadership and moral authority worthy of his responsibility and obligation?  The ancillary issues concern the consequences of what many consider his "silence" during the Holocaust.  Did his restrained diplomatic stance aid or indirectly harm the Jews?  Given what Pius knew about the Holocaust, was his prudence justifiable? What was his motivation behind this "silence"?  Because of the actions and attitude he assumed during such a barbaric time, can he still be worthy of sainthood?
    What is at stake here is not simply the reputation of Pius XII.  Since he was primarily not a political or military leader, and bound to a clear and definite mission to act as Christ's Vicar on Earth, how are his actions judged?  Pius had to view the war from a more profoundly spiritual level than Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Roosevelt or Churchill.  The peripheral questions have endured to this day.  How did Pius' actions affect Judeo-Christian relations then, as well as now?  How could the Holocaust happen in such "Christian" countries?  Certain scholars accused the Vatican of having a myriad of less than virtuous intentions and interests.  Was the Papacy more concerned about the threat of Communism, damage to Papal assets, or possibly losing her followers than combating the irreligious forces of Nazism?  What function did centuries of Church sanctioned anti-Semitism perform in creating the Nazi mentality and environment?
    The critics and defenders of Pius have been debating these questions for some 40 years.  It is a contentious and unsettled dispute. This paper will examine, in a chronological approach, how scholars interpreted the documentation, testimony and other information involving the actions of the Vatican during the Holocaust.  The first chapter analyzes the origin of the controversy, namely, how scholars responded to Rolf Hochhuth's play, "The Deputy."  The second describes the debate as it evolved throughout the 1960s and 1970s.  The final chapter explores the contention over Pius reputation under the current Pope, John Paul II.   The conclusion summarizes the problems of ascertaining the truth behind such a nebulous, polemical and inconclusive controversy.


      Pius XII and "The Deputy"                        
    During his reign, Pius XII was generally held in high esteem.  Upon his death in 1958, many obituaries specifically praised his actions involving the Jews during the Holocaust.   Eulogies came from many important people in the Jewish community, including Dr. Nahum Goldmann (President of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization), members of the Zionist Executive Committee, and President Ben-Zvi of Israel.  As Israel's Foreign Minister Golda Meir wrote to the Vatican the day Pius died:
                
      We share in the grief of humanity at the passing away of His Holiness Pope Pius XII.  In a generation afflicted by wars and discords, he upheld the highest ideals of peace and compassion.  When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims.  The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict.  We mourn a great servant of peace.

And as chief Rabbi of Rome, Dr. Elio Toaff, eulogized:
                                                        More than anyone else, we have had the opportunity to experience the great compassionate kindness and the magnanimity of the late Pope, during the years of persecution and terror, when it seemed that there was no more hope for us.                                                           
   The early nineteen sixties, however, were a turbulent time for Roman Catholicism and the reputation of Pope Pius XII.  With the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the theatrical production of Anne Frank's diary, and the beginning sessions of Vatican Council II, there was a significant reevaluation of the Church's positions and deeds during the war.   The worst blow to Pius' standing, however, came not from a historian but from a 32-year-old German playwright, Rolf Hochhuth.  The Deputy, first performed in 1963, portrayed Pius as an aloof, calculating diplomat, more interested in the Church's revenue than in saving Jewish lives.  It was a pivotal event in the interpretation of Pius' actions.  As a popular work of fiction, it gave many people their most expressive and symbolic view of the Papacy, however inaccurate it may have been.  Even the well-respected Dr. Albert Schweitzer concurs with some of Hochhuth's questionable opinions.  Implying the Catholic Church was enormously powerful and yet did nothing, Schweitzer wrote in the Preface to The Deputy, "After all, the failure was not that of the Catholic Church alone, but that of the Protestant Church as well.  The Catholic Church bears the greater guilt for it was an organized, supra-national power in a position to do something, whereas the Protestant Church was an unorganized, impotent, national power.    
Though the actor playing the Pope is not on stage very long, the Papal presence is felt throughout.  When the Pope does appears, he delivers such lines as:
                                                    
    Certainly the terror against the Jews is loathsome,but we must not allow it to incense Us so that We forget the duties that devolve upon the Germans for the immediate future as the present protectors and rulers of Rome.  Moreover, Germany must remain viable not only to hold the frontiers against the East, but also to hold the balance of power.
                                                
    Four pages later, as the Pope is dictating a non-committal, prosaic speech about peace and brotherhood, he stops and asks his counselor "One of those checks, Fontana, Which you delivered to Us today, reminds Us of the securities of the Hungarian Railroads.  Will you see to it, dear Count, that We suffer no losses even if the Red Army should occupy Hungary?"                .

    It is an emotionally powerful scene, as Fontana's son, Father Riccardo, is pleading for the Pope to publicly condemn the horrors of the Holocaust, of Auschwitz, of the Roman Jews being led away under the Pope's very windows.  The Pope finishes dictating, without specifically referring to any of this, and then symbolically washes his hands.  Hochhuth's conclusion was "Perhaps never before in history have so many people paid with their lives for the passivity of one single politician."
    Due to its scandalous, spiritual, and emotional subject matter, this play generated an enormous amount of controversy.  With the Vatican's tradition of not releasing a Pope's official records until 75 years after his death, the opinions of both Pius' critics and defenders have frequently become dogmatic, passionate, and biased.  Pius' critics portrayed him to be indifferent, pusillanimous, greedy, unworthy, unfit, cowardly, criminal, or even pro-Hitler.  He was even depicted by some to be a sinister, silent partner of the Nazis. The malicious tradition of Catholic anti-Semitism, nearly two millennia old, was contributory to many Nazi principles.        His defenders were just as unyielding and opinionated.  To almost all that knew him, these allegations of personal venality were bitter falsehoods, promulgated either from vindictiveness, malice or ignorance.  Pius' supporters portrayed him as a man of faith, sympathetic to all those damaged by the war.  They perceived him as a sincere, warm, peace-loving and even saintly man.  Unsubstantiated unflattering opinions of Pius malign both his reputation and that of the entire Roman Catholic Church.  Pius' official proclamations during the war did not specifically mention the Jews, the Holocaust, the concentration camps, or Hitler.   Pius believed in restraint, diplomacy and balanced relations between countries.  He believed all the belligerent nations were amoral on a variety of issues.  He believed he could not denounce Hitler without denouncing Stalin as well.  He determined (along with many others) that neither Stalin nor Hitler was willing to be guided by the Vatican's wishes.  Direct public protest could cause increased wickedness instead of alleviating it.  This is the essential issue behind the "silence" controversy.  Is silence equated with inaction, collaboration or cowardice (as Pius' critics state)?  Or did his actions, in such a troubled, murderous time, serve the Church and humanity the best they could?                                                                                                                                                                                The Post "Deputy" Controversy

    A reevaluation of the Pope's actions occurred.  Within one year after the publication of The Deputy came Carlo Falconi's The Silence of Pius XII.  Though far better researched than Hochhuth's play, the inference was the same.  Falconi blamed Pius for silence on a variety of issues: the murder of civilian, the massacres of Russian
prisoners, the "euthanasia" program, the persecution and annihilation of the Jews, and even the outbreak of war and its prosecution.  Falconi states that the Pope even could have prevented the war in the first place.  In his chapter, "What Should He Have Done?" Falconi asserts that excommunications, anathemas or theatrical gestures probably would not have stopped Hitler.  He believes if the Pope had only agreed to participate in a plan presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the British House of Lords on March 20, 1939, World War II may have been prevented.  Falconi assumes Pius actually had quite an easy, righteous option to take.  As Falconi claims:
      The answer is simple.  To form a united religious front against the Nazis, Pius XII had no need to pioneer with this idea but merely to    agree to it… One would like to believe that the Pope's refusal had not been dictated by a desire to win for himself and the Holy See the exclusive credit for any eventual success in the various diplomatic negotiations then under way, or even for the success of future negotiations which, somewhat ingeniously, he tried to encourage by offering the Vatican Palaces as a meeting ground.

Whether Hitler would have listened to the united spiritual force of Christendom remains doubtful.  He was not a man who suffered ultimatums lightly, even when they were backed by force.  The possibility of Christian religions combining together (for the first time since the Reformation) and forcing a change in Nazi practices was also highly doubtful.  Why did Falconi place such emphasis on the Archbishop's fanciful plan and not the Vatican's highly organized diplomatic corps?  Pius was heavily involved with preventing the outbreak of war.  Although Falconi attempts to attribute conniving motivations to Pius, utilizing the Vatican Palaces as a neutral and non-partisan meeting ground is reasonable.  Falconi does convey several reasons why the Pope (in Falconi's opinion) did not publicly and specifically condemn the Nazis. Future writers used these critiques to vilify or explain the Pope's actions.
The Pope was deeply concerned about divided loyalties, responsibilities and allegiances among Catholics.  The psychological and religious dilemmas of Axis Catholics (especially Germans) troubled the Pope.  As Guenter Lewy wrote in his book The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany published in 1964:

   Given the indifference of the German population toward            the fate of the Jews, and the highly ambivalent attitude of the
   German hierarchy towards Nazi anti-Semitism, a forceful stand        by the supreme pontiff on the Jewish question might well have        led to a large-scale desertion from the Church… the Pope knew    that the German Catholics were not prepared to suffer martyrdom    for their Church; still less were they willing to incur the wrath of their     Nazi rulers for the sake of the Jews, whom their own bishops had     castigated as a harmful influence in German life.

   According to Falconi, other rationales for the Pope's silence were: his desire to preserve a powerful and influential Church for the future, his diplomatic training, his Germanophilia, and his revulsion against melodramatic gestures.
    The well-respected historian Saul Friedlander published Pius XII and the Third Reich: A Documentation in 1964.  In his Preface and Introduction, he expounds upon the difficulties involved with fully analyzing the Vatican's World War II documentation. Due to its strict regulations concerning publication, the Vatican can prohibit full disclosure of documents for up to 75 years after a Pope's death.  These policies forced Friedlander to concentrate on German, British and some Jewish/Zionist documents.  His approach to discovering the truth behind Pius' silence involves examining the documents, the "one possibility of honest investigation."  Unfortunately, many Papal documents concerning Pius XII were denied him.  An important selection in Friedlander's work is the Pope's Christmas message of 1942, along with the diplomatic response to it.  The significance of this message lies in the various interpretations of its careful phrasing.  To some, including the Pope himself and the Gestapo, Pius had finally spoken out, albeit diplomatically, against Nazism.  To others, the language was so cultivated, indistinct and refined that it became practically meaningless.  The lines in question are:
        
    … To unite and to take a solemn vow never to rest until, among all     the peoples and all the nations of the earth, the names of those         shall be legion who are resolved to lead society back to the divine     law, the indestructible center of gravity, and whose aspiration is to     dedicate themselves to the service of the human person and the     community ennobled in God?
    …Humanity owes this vow to the thousands upon thousands of         people who, through no fault of their own and solely because of     their nation or their race, have been condemned to death or         progressive extinction.     Humanity owes this vow to the thousands     upon thousands of noncombatants --- women, children, the sick     and the aged; those whom the air war --- and we have, from the         outset, often denounced its horrors --- has deprived, without         distinction, of life, possessions, health, homes,refuges, and places     of worship.                                                                            
    The assistant to the American Special Envoy to the Vatican, Harold Tittman, described the Pope's reaction upon hearing the criticisms of his speech:                                                                
    …that he was sincere in believing that he had spoken therein        clearly enough to satisfy all those who had been insisting in the        past that he utter some word of condemnation of the Nazi            atrocities, and he seemed surprised when I told him that I thought    there were some who did not share his belief.                        He said that he thought that it was plain to everyone that he     was referring to the Poles, Jews, and hostages when he declared    that hundreds of thousands of persons had been killed or tortured    through no fault of their own, sometimes only because of their        race or nationality.                                          He explained that when talking of atrocities he could not         name the Nazis without at the same time mentioning the Bolsheviks     and he thought might not be wholly pleasing to the Allies.

    This statement from Pius, in the midst of the Holocaust, is important because of what it illustrates about his attitude, personality and motives. For once, he was not silent.  He knew millions would hear his message.  But how effective and unambiguous was it?  What response was he hoping for?  By encompassing all civilians, did the Pope dilute his message (after all, German civilians were being bombed as well)?  Or was it seen as a barely screened strike against Nazi barbarism (as Pius believed).  Many people, the Allies especially, did not believe Pius' message went far enough.                       
    Pius' Christmas message is also consequential in terms of how scholars employ it to further their assertions and frame their interpretations of Pope Pius XII.  His anti-Communist rationale behind specifically condemning the Nazis is controversial.
Friedlander succinctly relates his conclusion:                         
    I must content myself with pointing out that on two important points     the German documents show impressive agreement: on the         one hand, the Sovereign Pontiff seems to have a predilection for     Germany which does not appear to have been diminished by the     nature of the Nazi regime and which was not disavowed up to 1944;    on the other hand, Pius XII feared a Bolshevization of Europe more     than anything else and hoped, it seems, that Hitler Germany, if it     were eventually reconciled with the Western Allies, would become     the essential rampart against any advance by the Soviet Union         toward the West.16        


   During the mid-1960s, the reputation of many conservative, tradition-bound establishments were being reexamined.  The Vatican was no exception.  In response to the one-sided criticism it was suffering, the Vatican allowed four Jesuits to edit the World War Two papers of Pius.  The Holy See and The War in Europe: March 1939-
August 1940 was released in 1965.  One problem with these edited documents is in their limited time frame.  "Jews" were referred to merely four times and never by Pius specifically.  Though additional volumes were released, they were hampered by the sameeditorial problems.

    In 1967, the noted Jewish scholar Pinchas E. Lapide released Three Popes and The Jews.  The time span examined is actually from the time of Christ until 1966.  His well-researched revelations and unbiased scholarship aided Pius' reputation a great deal.  After thoroughly analyzing what Pius did and did not do, Lapide assertively decided in favor of Pius' actions.  He understands Pius was not faultless.  Lapide summarizes:

    Frail and fallible, Pius had choice thrust upon him time and time         again, which would have made a lesser man falter.  The 261st         Pope was, after all, merely the first Catholic, heir to many             prejudices of his predecessors and shortcomings of his 500         million believers.  The primary guilt for the slaughter    of a third of my     people is that of the Nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust.            But the secondary guilt lies in the universal failure of         Christendom to try to avert, or at least mitigate the disaster… Only     against the background of such monumental egotism, within the     context of millennial Christian anti-Judaism, can one begin to         appraise the Pope's wartime record.  When armed force             ruled well-nigh omnipotent, and morality was at its lowest ebb, Pius     XII commanded none of the former and could only appeal to the     latter, in confronting, with bare hands, the full might of evil… Who,     but a prophet or a martyr could have done much more?17                
                                                    For nearly 150 pages, listing country by country, Lapide describes what the Catholic Church actually achieved.  From money provided, facilities freely opened, passports given, people hidden or helped to escape, Lapide mentions many instances of altruism to verify the value of the Vatican's quiet diplomacy.  He asserts:

To which we may add, in the light of the preceding chapters, that the Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pius XII was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000, Jews from certain death at Nazi hands. (The total number of Jew who survived Hitler in ex-Nazi-occupied Europe, excluding Russia, thanks, in part at least, to Christian help, is approximately 945,000).18                            
    Lapide immediately followed with an analysis of the effectiveness of the Red Cross and other government relief organizations in their response to the Holocaust.  His judgment was that no single organization did everything it could to prevent the slaughter.  Singling out Pius for condemnation, according to Lapide, is a tremendous historical inaccuracy.  In fact, Lapide notes, "It was as if this crusade of rescue was meant to atone, in part, for the hateful teachings of the past.  These figures, small as they are in comparison with our six million martyrs whose fate is beyond consolation, exceed by far those saved by all other churches, religious institutions and rescue operations combined."19
Lapide also catalogues the many emphatic positive testimonials concerning Pius, especially from Jews.  "Still," he writes, "no Pope in history has ever been thanked more heartily by Jews for having saved or helped their brethren in distress."20  He also describes the difficulties with, and the punishments meted out, when one did speak out against the Nazis.  Lapide uses the example of Holland's clergy (Protestant and Catholic) when they decided to speak out against the deportment of Holland's Jews.  At the last minute, the Protestant clergy backed down.  The Catholic bishops allowed a protest to be read from the pulpits.  Immediately, Dutch Jews and Jewish converts to Catholicism (including philosopher Edith Stein) were rounded up and shipped to concentration camps.  Jewish converts to Protestantism were given a stay of execution.  The Nazis were not moved by righteous indignation; in fact, they often viciously punished those who expressed it.   Lapide shrewdly notes:

        The saddest and most thought-provoking conclusion is whilst the Catholic clergy protested more loudly, expressly and frequently against persecutions that the religious hierarchy of any other Nazi-occupied territory, more Jews - some 110,000 or 79 percent of the total - were deported from Holland to death camps; more than anywhere else in the west. 21

    With the documentation and analysis Lapide provides, a more precise assessment of the Pope's role in the Holocaust has become available.  For several years, this is where the debate remained.  Possibly due to the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the "silence" of Pius no longer automatically provided an animated argument. Two works were published in the mid 1970s, Anthony Rhodes' The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators (1973) and Sam Waagenaar's The Pope's Jews (1974).  These books are important because, though published almost simultaneously, they interpret the Vatican's actions and motivations from contradictory viewpoints.  Rhode's book analyzes the complexity of what the Vatican was trying to achieve diplomatically.  He explains the problems involved with simply critiquing what Pius did and did not do.                                                                
    All these writers examine the relations of the Vatican with         Nazi Germany, without referring to other aspects of Vatican diplomacy in the inter-war years.  In this book, an attempt has been made not only to assess the validity of these accusations against the Vatican, but also to show that its attitude towards Nazi Germany was the logical sequence of the new foreign policy inaugurated by Pius XI immediately after the First World War, and applied in his dealings with a number of European States.                                                Rhodes bibliography includes all of the previous works discussed, including Falconi and Hochhuth.  He balances his sources well.  In his final chapter, "Pius XII and the Jews" he contrasts Lapide's conclusions concerning the saving of Jewish lives with Gunther Levy, who surmised, "A church which considers that a moderate form of anti-Semitism is justified, and objects only to immoral extremes is surly poorly prepared to act effectively against the Nazi doctrine of Hate."                    Rhodes himself believes that Hochhart's characterization of the Pope is nonsense.  Pius was responsible for the Church and for people's souls.  He was not interested in money, territory or power.  He could not do certain things publicly because in the long run they would be harmful.  He did what he could secretively because it was more effective that way.  Rhodes writes:

        In private, the Pope undoubtedly did an immense amount            for the Jews.  He instructed the churches, monasteries and        convents to raise the limit of the number of guests normally         taken in, so that as many Jews as possible could find asylum.        …. In gratitude for this, the American Jewish Welfare Board        wrote to Pope Pius XII on the 21st July,1944, "We ar deeply        moved by this remarkable display of Christian love, the             protection afforded to Italian Jews by the Catholic Church         and the Vatican during the German occupation of Italy ---             particularly as the risks    incurred were immense."  It is             therefore, I think, established beyond all doubt that the             humane work of the Pope in helping suffering European             Jewry during the Second World War, not only by large             donations but by hiding them from their persecutors, was            in the finest charitable traditions of the Catholic Church.

    Sam Waagenaar's The Pope's Jews followed Rhodes' accomplished work the next year.  He essentially tries to repudiate the Vatican's rationalizations for her actions.  In fact, in the chapter "Vatican Claims", concerns itself with the amount of money and lodgings the Vatican provided….a very nebulous subject when it pertains to illegal refugees.  Another chapter is "More Vatican Claims," in which Waagenaar refutes Rhodes' work (without footnotes).  An Example of Waagenaar's style of analysis:

        Historians are not supposed to "speculate," but it can't be helped here.  Now suppose the Pope had been kidnapped.    Would not "the civilized world" indeed have protested, including most likely millions of devout Catholics in Germany and German-occupied territories?  Might this not even have changed the course of the whole war?    
    In his chapter, "The Converted Rabbi," he relates the story of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israele Zolli.  According to Waagenaar, Zolli and his family converted to Catholicism not out of gratitude and respect for the Catholic Church and Pius (Zolli took "Eugenio", Pius' baptismal name, as his own), but out of "spite" for his Jewish compatriots. This is true to a certain extent, but the real reasons are naturally more complex.
    Waagenaar's bibliography also lists all the previous books discussed here, though without proper footnotes it is difficult to tell exactly where his sources came from.  He has taken the clandestine work of the Church, transposed it into a myth, and blamed the upper echelons of Christians and Jews alike.  The Nazis were barely, if at all, mentioned.  The appalling tragedies of the Holocaust are due to the faults of the victims and their rescuers.
    Neither book created much of a stir in the immediate post-Watergate period.  The intrigues and diplomacy of the Vatican were swiftly fading into the almost forgotten past.  The remaining volumes of Records and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War were not even translated into English (probably due to the lack of public interest and not any sinister motivations).  It would take a new Pope to attract interest in the Vatican's practices and accomplishments.

 

the debate remained.  Possibly due to the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the "silence" of Pius no longer automatically provided an animated argument.  Two works were then published in the mid-1970s, Anthony Rhodes' The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators (1973) and Sam Waagenaar's The Pope's Jews (1974).  These books are significant because, though published almost simultaneously, they interpret the Vatican's actions and motivations from contradictory viewpoints. Rhodes' book analyzes the complexity of what the Vatican was trying to achieve diplomatically.  He explains the problems involved with simply critiquing what the Pope did and did not do.  Rhodes explains:

   All these writers examine the relations of the Vatican with            Nazi Germany, without referring to other aspects of Vatican         diplomacy in the inter-war years.  In this book, an attempt has been     made not only to assess the validity of these accusations against     the Vatican, but also to show that its attitude towards Nazi Germany     was the logical sequence of the new foreign policy inaugurated by     Pius XII immediately after the First World War, and applied in his     dealings with a number of European states.21
   
Rhodes himself believes that Hochhuth's characterization is nonsense.  Pius was responsible for the Church and for people's souls.  He was not influenced by the lure of money, territory or power.  He could not be bought or frightened.  He simply believed, in the long run, that it was more effective for him to do certain things covertly.  Rhodes explains:
    
    In private, the Pope undoubtedly did an immense amount            for the Jews.  He instructed the churches, monasteries and         convents to raise the limit of the number of guests normally taken     in, so that as many Jews as possible could find asylum.              … In gratitude for this, the American Jewish Welfare Board wrote     to Pope Pius XII on the 21st July, 1944, "We are deeply moved by    this remarkable display of Christian love, the protection afforded to    Italian Jews by the Catholic Church and the Vatican during the         German occupation of Italy --- particularly as the risks incurred were    immense."  It is therefore, I think established beyond all doubt that    the humane work of the Pope in helping suffering European Jewry     during the Second World War, not only by large donations but by    hiding them from their persecutors, was in the finest charitable        traditions of the Catholic Church.22

    Sam Waagenaar's The Popes Jews followed Rhodes' work the next year.  He essentially tries to repudiate the Vatican's rationalizations for her actions.  In the chapter "Vatican Claims," Waagenaar concerns himself with trying to account for the money and lodgings the Vatican was reputed to have provided.  This is not an easy task when it pertains to illegal refugees the Vatican was purposely trying to keep hidden.  The following chapter "More Vatican Claims" attempts to refute Rhodes' work.  An example of Waagenaar's style of analysis:

    Historians are not supposed to "speculate," but it can't be helped    here.  Now suppose the Pope had been kidnapped.  Would not     "the civilized world indeed have protested, including most likely         millions of devout Catholics in Germany and German-occupied         territories?  Might this not even have changed the course of the         whole war?"23


    In his chapter concerning the conversion of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israele Zolli,  Waagenaar states Zolli and his family converted to Catholicism not out of gratitude and respect for the Roman Catholic Church and Pius (Zolli took "Eugenio," Pius' baptismal name, as his own), but out of  "spite" for his Jewish compatriots.24 For many, his conversion was the ultimate display of thankfulness, especially toward Pius.  His difficult relations with his Jewish brethren is one reason, but the real reasons are much more complex.25
    Waagenaar's bibliography also lists all the previous books discussed here, but without proper footnotes it is difficult to tell exactly the authenticity of his sources.  With the historical hindsight not prescient to the participants, Waagenaar has taken the clandestine work of the Church, transposed it into a myth, and then blamed the upper echelons of Christians and Jews alike.  The Nazis appeared almost incidental.         After these publications, the intrigues and diplomacy of the wartime Vatican were swiftly fading into the past.  The remaining volumes of the edited Records and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War were not even translated into English.  This was probably due to the lack of public interest in the U.S.A. and Britain, and not any Machiavellian motivations to keep anything secret.  It would take a new Pope to spark interest into the Vatican's practices and accomplishments.  On October 16, 1978, Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II.  A new era in examining and questioning the Papacy had begun.






                    Conclusion

    The issues raised in Pope John Paul II's "We Remember" document tragically created more controversy than resolution.  Newsweek and Time printed articles about the controversy.  The Public Broadcasting Station produced a discussion, hosted by Margaret Warner, debating this issue (see appendix two).   Pat Buchanan, George Will, the editors of the "New Republic",William F. Buckley ,and Dr. Yehuda Bauer all discussed it (see appendices four and five.). The emotional and spiritual details involved with this horrific controversy obviously continue to this day.  
    That same year, 1998, Holocaust Scholars Write to the Vatican, edited by Harry James Cargas, was published.  Some of these essays were written after the release of Pope John Paul II's "We Remember".  The castigation for the denial of responsibility for the Vatican and for Catholics in general is manifest.  As the scholar Pierre Sauvage writes:     
    By refusing to accept a significant measure of responsibility, by     merely condemning "selfishness" and "hatred," the Church, once     again, fails to provide leadership.  The repentance that consists in     saying, "To the extant that I did something wrong, I am sorry," is the     repentance of the non-    repentant.  Surely for Catholics too,         repentance requires a desire to know and understand your sin….    All this verbiage and no recognition of the central fact: the         Holocaust would    not have been possible without the complicity of     most Christians and without the virulent tradition antisemitism that     had long infested the very soul of Christianity. 35

   Cargas' Forward analyzes these complexities:

        The problematic theme is the virtual presumption of that "the    Pope,"…remained universally and absolutely "indifferent" and        "silent" in the face of Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.  There     is prima facie truth to this, of course, since 6 million people were     systematically murdered in a part of the world that supposedly had     been "Christian" for some centuries.  But given what we already     know of the facts and events and complexities and ambiguities of     that most massive struggle in human history that was World War II,     the absoluteness of the language of "silence" is true only in a         symbolic and not in an actual historical sense.  The discussion, as     John Pawlikowski has trenchantly observed, will be best served by     retiring such fractious absolutes entirely.  Real     history in this         century, as in all others, tends to be complex and ambiguous,        not neat and simple, as the categories of "silence" and             "indifference" mislead us into believing.36


        Unfortunately, all the evidence so far, as well as the Pope's "We Remember" document, will not mollify this controversy.  We may have to wait until 2033 for the release of the entire relevant Vatican documents.  Even then, quite possibly, it will be difficult to apportion blame or judge actions.  So much of what the Vatican did was undocumented.  Pius was certainly not inactive, anti-Semitic or uncaring.  Yet his position was such that he was aware of the suffering, of his responsibilities, and of his duties.  The scope of the suffering is unforgivably enormous.  What the Pope did, he did not write down.  The paper trail so important to historians simply is not there.  To possibly comprehend the full truth, eventually, is it still reasonable to judge Pius?