For one thing its not just about Pope Pius XII. It covers the whole attack plus great stuff on the real threat to Jews. Funnily enough there was a cleric in cahoots with the Third Reich and he wasn’t Catholic. It was the Mufti of Jerusalem who was the one to watch.
Rabbi Dalin explains where the whole defamation case came from. It was years after the end of the war, years after the Pope’s death. Before that everyone was saying how great this Pope was until a play came out. A Play. Not a scholarly work looking at evidence but a polemical but successful bit of entertainment that had it in for traditional Christianity.
There’s a chapter on Pope John Paul II and his relationship with the Jews. Mel Gibson even gets a mention for his movie the Passion of the Christ.
Then when I was reading a part about Yasser Arafat my husband says he got a Nobel Peace Prize!
So the overall impression was: how crazy can the world get!
So a good read to get you up to speed with some of the rubbish circulating out there. Not that long, a good chunk of the book is all the footnotes.
My favourite quote was one from Einstein.
Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. . . .
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s Campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
From Time, 23 December 1940, 38-40
This was a regular loan from my local library. Get them to order it in if they don’t have it already.