Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy

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9780300093100: Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
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Pope Pius XII has often been criticized for his silence during the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. In his defense, some have alleged that the pope was doing a great deal to help the Jews but that his efforts were necessarily behind the scenes. This meticulously researched and balanced book examines exactly what the pope, his advisers, and his assistants at the Vatican Secretariat of State did to help the Jews of Italy. It finds that they did very little.

The book begins by discussing prewar Vatican and Jesuit publications, in which Zuccotti uncovers a hitherto unsuspected prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment. These publications, along with archival documents, indicate that Vatican protests against Italian anti-Jewish laws were limited to measures affecting converts and Jews in mixed marriages with Catholics, as was help with emigration; the papal nuncio’s visits to foreign Jews in Italian internment camps did not differ from those to non-Jews and in no way eased their material discomfort; and interventions by diplomats of the Holy See for Jews threatened with deportation were rare, always polite, and seldom decisive.

Above all, Zuccotti finds no evidence of a papal directive to church institutions to shelter Jews and much evidence to suggest that the pope remained uninvolved. The notion that Pius XII was benevolent and helpful to Jews behind the scenes proves to be a myth.

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Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy describes what the Vatican did--or did not do--to help Jews in Italy in World War II. Author Susan Zuccotti, who has written two other books about the Holocaust, demonstrates that little help of any kind came from Popes Pius XI and XII or their senior officials. She finds that the most significant gestures of help offered by the Church to Jews in Italy were made by clerics and believers--mostly nuns, monks, and priests--uninvolved in top-level Vatican discussions. By 1942, the pope "knew and believed a great deal about the exterminations." In 1943, when Germans took control of northern and central Italy and attempted to exterminate the region's Jewish population, the Vatican knew very clearly the magnitude of the genocide. The Vatican's silence, Zuccotti argues, still resonates in the Church's statements about the Holocaust today.

The Church has not yet completed the process of dealing honestly with its history during the Holocaust. It has not yet made clear whether popes and high Vatican officials are to be included among its sons and daughters in every age who sometimes committed regrettable errors.
Zuccotti's research ranges wide, from the anti-Jewish tone of Jesuit publications in the years leading up to World War II to contemporary interviews with Holocaust survivors. Her book is a significant addition to a chapter of Christian history that the Church has still to reckon with. --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Publisher:

Winner of the 2000 National Jewish Book Award in the Jewish-Christian Relations category
Winner of The 2002 Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Prize awarded by the German Studies Association

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Pope Pius XII has often been criticized for his silence during the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. In his defense, some have alleged that the pope was doing a great deal to help the Jews but that his efforts were necessarily behind the scenes. This meticulously researched and balanced book examines exactly what the pope, his advisers, and his assistants at the Vatican Secretariat of State did to help the Jews of Italy. It finds that they did very little. The book begins by discussing prewar Vatican and Jesuit publications, in which Zuccotti uncovers a hitherto unsuspected prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment. These publications, along with archival documents, indicate that Vatican protests against Italian anti-Jewish laws were limited to measures affecting converts and Jews in mixed marriages with Catholics, as was help with emigration; the papal nuncio s visits to foreign Jews in Italian internment camps did not differ from those to non-Jews and in no way eased their material discomfort; and interventions by diplomats of the Holy See for Jews threatened with deportation were rare, always polite, and seldom decisive. Above all, Zuccotti finds no evidence of a papal directive to church institutions to shelter Jews and much evidence to suggest that the pope remained uninvolved. The notion that Pius XII was benevolent and helpful to Jews behind the scenes proves to be a myth. Seller Inventory # AAV9780300093100

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Pope Pius XII has often been criticized for his silence during the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. In his defense, some have alleged that the pope was doing a great deal to help the Jews but that his efforts were necessarily behind the scenes. This meticulously researched and balanced book examines exactly what the pope, his advisers, and his assistants at the Vatican Secretariat of State did to help the Jews of Italy. It finds that they did very little. The book begins by discussing prewar Vatican and Jesuit publications, in which Zuccotti uncovers a hitherto unsuspected prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment. These publications, along with archival documents, indicate that Vatican protests against Italian anti-Jewish laws were limited to measures affecting converts and Jews in mixed marriages with Catholics, as was help with emigration; the papal nuncio s visits to foreign Jews in Italian internment camps did not differ from those to non-Jews and in no way eased their material discomfort; and interventions by diplomats of the Holy See for Jews threatened with deportation were rare, always polite, and seldom decisive. Above all, Zuccotti finds no evidence of a papal directive to church institutions to shelter Jews and much evidence to suggest that the pope remained uninvolved. The notion that Pius XII was benevolent and helpful to Jews behind the scenes proves to be a myth. Seller Inventory # AAV9780300093100

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Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 424 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 5.0in. x 1.1in.Pope Pius XII has often been criticized for his silence during the extermination of European Jewry during World War II. In his defense, some have alleged that the pope was doing a great deal to help the Jews but that his efforts were necessarily behind the scenes. This meticulously researched and balanced book examines exactly what the pope, his advisers, and his assistants at the Vatican Secretariat of State did to help the Jews of Italy. It finds that they did very little. The book begins by discussing prewar Vatican and Jesuit publications, in which Zuccotti uncovers a hitherto unsuspected prevalence of anti-Jewish sentiment. These publications, along with archival documents, indicate that Vatican protests against Italian anti-Jewish laws were limited to measures affecting converts and Jews in mixed marriages with Catholics, as was help with emigration; the papal nuncios visits to foreign Jews in Italian internment camps did not differ from those to non-Jews and in no way eased their material discomfort; and interventions by diplomats of the Holy See for Jews threatened with deportation were rare, always polite, and seldom decisive. Above all, Zuccotti finds no evidence of a papal directive to church institutions to shelter Jews and much evidence to suggest that the pope remained uninvolved. The notion that Pius XII was benevolent and helpful to Jews behind the scenes proves to be a myth. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780300093100

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