The Silence of Pope Pius XII and the Beginning of the “Jewish Document”
The silence of the Pope is only one example of a number of efforts, which had it been otherwise, could have saved Jews during the Holocaust years. The International Red Cross refused to demand from the Germans to grant ghetto Jews prisoners of war status. Catholic leaders in the USA were not united in their willingness to pressure the Pope to break his silence regarding the mass exterminations. Only in June 1944 did Pius XII send an open telegram to Hungary’s Regent Horthy to stop the deportations to Auschwitz. Simultaneously the King of Sweden made a similar request and the deportations ceased for some months. In September 1945, Kubovy, representing the World Jewish Congress met with the Pope in the Vatican. He had 2 requests: 1. that the Pope make a proclamation that Jews and Christians are descended from Abraham and that there is no truth in the accusations that the Jews murdered Christ, and 2. that Jewish children, taken in by the Church during the war be returned to their Jewish communities. The Pope promised to consider both requests, but Jewish circles were unable to supply the supporting documents as requested by the Pope.