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Sir Martin Gilbert: Vatican Archive holds answers to questions on Pope Pius

December 05, 2008

Vision Book Cover Prints

Sir Martin Gilbert, the distinguished British Jewish historian who is viewed as a defender Pope Pius XII’s wartime record, wrote in an Israeli newspaper column yesterday that “if the Vatican feels today, as Pope John Paul II felt, that the Pope's behavior during the Holocaust merits particular recognition, it should send-- as I have several times urged-- to the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem the notarized material-- the evidence in the Vatican archives-- on which to base an application for him to be made a Righteous Gentile.”

Archival material that will not be released until 2013, said Gilbert, is the key to forming the most accurate historical judgment about Pius. Citing several instances in which Catholics saved Jews from deportation during World War II, Gilbert said that archival evidence would be crucial in understanding whether Pope Pius initiated or supported those actions.


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