Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Pope's Jews: The Vatican's Secret Plan to Save the Jews from the Nazis


Rating: 3 Stars


I read less and less about the Holocaust these days, I just can't - it's seems to be that way about anything heartbreaking since I became a mom. It's impossible to not imagine it being your family, your child.

That being said, this was a complete 180 of anything I thought I knew of Pius XII. Granted, all I really knew if him was that he was 'Hitler's Pope' - yet that always seems strange to be, as Catholics were among the many groups rounded up by this murderous regime and sent to their deaths. Yet I never really questioned the moniker because it's been the loudest and really, only, viewpoint offered of him in my lifetime. This book will offer something quite different, and works to bring to light the plans and networks used by the Vatican to save as many Jews as possible.

Could he have done more? Of course. Many people could have and should have done more. But here we finally have an account of what was actually done - far more than 'nothing', as previously proclaimed.

As for the text itself, it's a bit slow in some places, and the sheer number of names can be overwhelming. A list of important players is offered at the beginning, but even that is useless at times if you go to look someone up and can't remember what their affiliation is, so you're still forced the read through every band until you find who you're looking for.

Certainly recommended for those interested in the Holocaust. While I can't say I'm 100% on board with this yet, and I may have to do further reading myself, it certainly portrays Pius XII far differently than what we've been taught.

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