Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,680 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican newspaper recalls German Jew hired by Pius XI

Catholic World News - April 20, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to Hermine Speier (1898-1989), a German Jewish archeologist hired by Pope Pius XI in 1934 as an archivist. During the Nazi occupation of Rome, Speier was hidden by nuns. Following World War II, she converted to Catholicism, after which her family broke ties with her.

“The story of Speier can be read in different ways and through a variety of perspectives: as a page from the history of intellectual Jewish emigration from Germany, as a salient step in the affirmation of a feminine presence in the Vatican, or as an important moment in the work undertaken by the Holy See in the 1930’s and 40’s to aid a persecuted minority,” reflects Paolo Vian, director of the manuscripts department at the Vatican Library.

“But it is the story of the archeologist which, on closer look, appears to be a parable rich in significance: a German Jew, student of classics, finds refuge in the Vatican during the dark nights of 20th-century barbarism, and discovers in the shadow of St. Peter’s a place from which to shelter and witness a sense of that humanism which is the highest inheritance of the most authentic German spirit.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($128,367 to go):
$150,000.00 $21,632.70
86% 14%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 2 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - 12 hours ago
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6