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Camaldolese hid Jews, others in Roman monastery

Catholic World News - December 06, 2011

During World War II, the Camaldolese monastery of San Gregorio Magno al Celio in Rome hid Jews, anti-Fascist political figures, and “after Mussolini’s capitulation, even a few trembling, formerly influential, figures of the Fascist regime,” according to L’Osservatore Romano.

The monastery’s chronicler wrote at the time:

Jews – who were being sought to be locked up in those death camps known as concentration camps and who were divested of all their possessions – asked to be hidden, as did politicians who did not wish to collaborate with the reborn Republican Fascism; men who had escaped from the prisons and jails that had been opened for them as political offenders on 26 July; officers who were loath to belong to an army that was betraying national and popular principles; soldiers who sought refuge to avoid being deported to distant places; soldiers of the Anglo-American forces, prisoners of war who had managed to flee in the moment of confusion, and there were even a few Austrian and Polish soldiers who belonged to the German army.

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  • Posted by: filioque - Dec. 06, 2011 7:13 PM ET USA

    Gen. Vernon Walters, famed US diplomat and adviser to many presidents, told me that as an officer on the staff of Gen. Mark Clark, he directed a census in Rome after it was occupied by the Allies. They found more than 30,000 Jews (I have forgotten the exact number), hidden in churches, convents, monasteries, the Vatican itself. This was on the orders of Pius XII and at the risk of all those who helped the Jews. Shame on those who say Pius failed to help Jews. Donna Fitzpatrick Bethell.

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