Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust

Front Cover
John Roth, Carol Rittner
Bloomsbury Academic, Jun 1, 2004 - Religion - 304 pages
2 Reviews
Collaborative effort by a number of the world's leading experts on the Holocaust. Lively, but not sensationalistic, this book is balanced but on the cutting edge of one of the most important debates in this field: how should Vatican policies during World War II be understood? Specifically, could Pope Pius XII have curbed the Holocaust by vigorously condemning the Nazi killing of Jews? Was Pius XII really 'Hitler's Pope', as John Cornwell's provocative book recently suggested? Or has he unfairly become a scapegoat when he is really deserving of canonization as a Roman Catholic saint instead? In Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust, well-informed scholars--including Michael Marrus, Michael Phayer, Richard L. Rubenstein and Susan Zuccotti--wrestle with these questions. The book has four main themes: (1) Pope Pius XII must be understood in his particular historical context. (2) Pope Pius XII put the well-being of the Roman Catholic Church--as he understood that well-being--first and foremost. (3) In retrospect, Pope Pius XII's priorities--understandable though they are--not only make him a problematic Christian leader but also raise important questions about post-Holocaust Christian identity. (4) Jewish and Christian memories of the Holocaust will remain different, but reconciliation can continue to grow. On all sides, relations between Christians and Jews can be improved by an honest facing of history and by continuing reflection about what post-Holocaust Christian and Jewish identities ought--and ought not--to mean.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

References to this book

About the author (2004)

John K. Roth is the Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, where he has taught since 1966. In 1988, he was named National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Roth is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington. Carol Rittner, R.S.M., is distinguished professor of holocaust and genocide studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Bibliographic information