Hitler's intention to exterminate the Jews was known by the Vatican before it signed the concordat, yet the Holocaust never became a factor in the Church's subsequent dealings with the Fuehrer. On April 1, 1933, about four months before the Vatican would sign its concordat with him, Hitler began his systematic program with a boycott against the Jews. He justified it with these words: "I believe that I act today in unison with the Almighty Creator's intention. By fighting the Jews I do battle for the Lord." When the Italian ambassador, speaking for Mussolini, asked Hitler to reconsider his harsh attitude toward the Jews, Hitler "predicted `with absolute certainty' that in five or six hundred years the name of Hitler would be honored in all lands `as the man who once and for all exterminated the Jewish pest from the world."'3
Hitler had the backing of many German psychiatrists who would later declare that Himmler, Hoess, and the other Nazi mass murderers were quite "normal." As for the German psychiatrists' feelings about the Jews, Carl Jung expressed the view of many when, as president of the New German Society of Psychotherapy, he wrote:
The Arian unconscious has a higher potential than the Jewish.... Freud [a Jew] ... knew the German soul as little as his idolators knew it. Did they learn something from the powerful appearance of National Socialism upon which the world looks with amazed eyes ...?4
SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolph Eichmann's role as director of the extermination of Jews from all over Nazi-occupied Europe was just a job and had nothing to do with God or religion. Unlike Catholics, he had no quarrel with Jews.
Even Simon Wiesenthal, who devoted his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals, said that Eichmann had "no motive, no hatred [against Jews in particular].... He would have done the same job if he had been ordered to kill all men whose name began with P or B, or all who had red hair."5
For Hitler, however, the Holocaust was a highly spiritual undertaking. In line with his conviction that he was doing God's will in exterminating the Jews, Hitler ordered that the Final Solution be executed "as humanely as possible." In spite of his persecution of the Church whenever he perceived that it stood in his way, Hitler insisted to the very end, "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." He was convinced that the plan he had conceived as a good Catholic would complete the massacre of "those Christ killers" which the Catholic Church had begun during the Middle Ages but had executed so poorly. John Toland explains:
The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God-so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty. Himmler was pleased to murder with mercy. He ordered technical experts to devise gas chambers which would eliminate masses of Jews efficiently and "humanely," then crowded the victims into boxcars and sent them east to stay in ghettos until the killing centers in Poland were completed.6
Church Support of Nazi Anti-Semitism
Hermann Goering and Franz von Papen on their mission to work out a concordat were well-received at the Vatican. Rome's friendly attitude toward the Nazi regime was made clear. Had no one read Mein Kampf? Of course they had, but Rome and Berlin had much in common, including persecution and killing of Jews. There was no lack of Catholic leaders who openly supported the purge of Jews. During the years 1933-39, the writings of leading Catholics, "all published in journals edited by priests or in books bearing the Imprimatur" presented ideas such as the following:
The Jews had a "demoralizing influence on religiosity and national character." [They] had brought the German people "more damage than benefit." The Jews had displayed "a mortal hatred for Jesus, while the Aryan Pontius Pilate would gladly have let him go free." ... The Jews. .. "in their boundless hatred of Christianity were still in the forefront of those seeking to destroy the Church."7
Curate Roth, who became an official in the Nazi Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, called the Jews "a morally inferior race who would have to be eliminated from public life." Dr. Haeuser, in a book with the Imprimatur of the diocese of Regensburg, called the Jews "Germany's cross, a people disowned by God and under their own curse [who] carried much of the blame for Germany having lost the [First World] War...." Father Senn called Hitler "the tool of God, called upon to overcome Judaism." Nazism, he said, provided "the last big opportunity to throw off the Jewish Yoke."8
The Church cooperated fully with the Nazis "in sorting out people of Jewish descent...." A priest wrote in the Klerusblatt, "We shall do our best to help in this service to the people." The Church continued this diabolical "cooperation" all through the war, even when being Jewish meant "deportation and outright physical destruction."9 The Church was well aware of the Jews' dread fate. In a speech on January 30, 1939, only months before his attack upon Poland began the war, Hitler had declared that if war broke out it would result in "the extermination of the Jewish race."10
Hitler's totalitarianism was approved by the Church so long as it could be his partner. Guenter Lewy's extensive sifting through the relevant documents of the entire Nazi period indicates that "the Holy See was no more opposed to the central political doctrines of Nazism than the German bishops themselves."11 Cardinal Faulhaber "went out of his way to make clear that he was not concerned with defending his Jewish contemporaries." One had to distinguish, he said, between the Jews before the crucifixion of Christ and afterward. In 1939, Archbishop Grober declared that -
Jesus Christ. .. had been fundamentally different from the Jews of his time-so much so that they had hated him and demanded his crucifixion, and "their murderous hatred has continued in later centuries."
Jesus had been a Jew, admitted Bishop Hilfrich of Limburg... in 1939, but "the Christian religion has ... had to make its way against this people."
Theologian Karl Adam defended the preservation of the German people's pure blood as a justified act of selfdefense, for. .. "the myth of the German, his culture and his history are decisively shaped by blood."
An article on the revolution of 1918 in the paper of the Bavarian priests exposed the role of the Jews in this stab in the back of the undefeated German army [and on and on it went in similar vein]. 12
Cardinal Bertram, head of the East German church province, and Archbishop Grober, head of the Upper Rhenish province, along with other bishops, expressed concern for the dismissals of Catholic civil servants by the new government. At the same time, however, the bishops rejected reports of brutality in the new concentration camps. Grober even became a "promoting member" of the SS and kept up his financial contributions to the bitter end.
What the Vatican and German Bishops Knew
Nazism was opposed by Catholic leaders only where it conflicted with "Church matters and interests." Thus while remaining silent regarding the Holocaust as a whole, the Church spoke up for and attempted to protect Jewish converts to Catholicism. That fact makes its failure to oppose the Nazi extermination of Jews all the more reprehensible.13 "There were 30 million Catholics in Germany. Although Jews were helped secretly [by some Catholic individuals], the Church never publicly recognized that the defense of the Jews was a Christian duty."14 The Vatican sternly banned other books, but it never put Mein Kampf or the poisonous anti-Semitic works of numerous Church leaders on its Index of forbidden reading.15
Joseph Muller, a military intelligence officer and confidant of Cardinal Faulhaber, "kept the episcopate well informed about the systematic atrocities committed in Poland." So did Hans Globke, a Catholic high official in the Ministry of the Interior "entrusted with handling racial matters." The Vatican and the German bishops, along with most of the German population, knew full well that Jews were being rounded up and exterminated. Viereck reminds us:
Hitler's extermination-expert, R[udolf] Hoess, wrote in Commandant ofAuschwitz: "When a strong wind was blowing, the stench of burning flesh was carried for many miles and caused the whole neighborhood to talk about the burning of the Jews." He notes, of still another camp, that whenever a bus with victims drove past, even the German children chortled in the street: "There comes the murder box again!"16
The Church well knew what was happening but closed its eyes as well as its lips. Kurt Gerstein, a covert member of the evangelical opposition to Hitler, became an SS officer in order to discover the secret of the extermination camps and tell it to the world. He brought his report to the pope's personal representative in Berlin, who refused to see him when he explained his errand.
"There were tens of thousands of priests in cities, towns, and villages throughout Europe. They saw houses emptied, villagers deported; they heard confessions. They were unusually well informed." Catholic soldiers returned periodically from the Russian front with tales of the wholesale massacres. "The Vatican was among the first to know of the genocidal programs. Authoritative information on the killing was sent to the Vatican by its own diplomats in March 1942."17
Hitler flaunted his evil intentions and deeds to the world. The Vatican had no excuse for its Nazi partnership or for its continued commendation of Hitler on the one hand and its thunderous silence regarding the Jewish question on the other hand. As the evil mounted, the Roman Catholic Church continued to work with the Fuehrer and even to praise him. Even after Hitler's troops, in spite of promises to the contrary, marched in and took over the demilitarized Rhineland, Catholic leaders all over Germany lauded him, among them Cardinal Schulte in Cologne's cathedral.18
The concordat with Hitler was nothing new. The popes had been partners with evil rulers for centuries. Would Jesus make a deal with Pilate or the apostle Peter with Nero? Yet those who claimed to be Peter's successors had been in unholy alliances with pagan emperors from Constantine onward, and continued in the alliance with Hitler until the end of the war, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in payments from the Nazi government to the Vatican.
The Moral Failure of Silence
Pius XII was known for his outspoken warnings to the faithful against the "abuse of human rights," 19 yet he was silent about the Holocaust. He never spoke a public word against Hitler's systematic extermination of the Jews, because to do so would have condemned his own Church for its similar deeds. This silence, historians agree, encouraged Hitler and added to the unspeakable genocide.
The pope boasted that he was the moral watchdog for the world, yet said nothing in the face of the worst crime in human history. In his first encyclical, issued in October 1939, Pius XII declared that his office as Christ's vicar demanded that he "testify to the truth with Apostolic firmness." He went on to explain:
This duty necessarily entails the exposition and confutation of errors and human faults; for these must be made known before it is possible to tend and to heal them....
In the fulfillment of this our duty we shall not let ourselves be influenced by earthly considerations nor be held back by mistrust or opposition, by rebuffs or lack of appreciation of our words, nor yet by the fear of misconceptions and misinterpretations.20
These were high-sounding words, but proved to be absolutely empty. The very day Pius XII commenced his pontificate, Mussolini expelled Italy's 69,000 Jews and the pope said nothing. A few weeks later Italy invaded Albania. The pope protested, but "not because a country had been wantonly attacked, but because the aggression had been carried out on a Good Friday."21 This was Christ's "vicar"?
Like their pope, the German bishops repeatedly promised "fearlessly to condemn injustice." In 1936 Cardinal Faulhaber declared that a bishop could not be God's servant "if he were to speak to please men or remain silent out of fear of men." In July 1941, Bishop Galen claimed to be the defender of every man's God-given "basic rights and liberties" and that his duty was to "courageously ... brand as an injustice crying to heaven the condemnation of defenseless innocents." Similar empty rhetoric was thundered from pulpits by other bishops, all of whom remained silent while 6 million Jews were systematically exterminated like so much vermin. The continued hypocrisy more than proves this is not the true Church.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now in his third five-year term as head of the modern equivalent of the Holy Inquisition, served in the military in Germany during the war, though he saw no combat. By his own admission he was aware of the Holocaust. No German could have been totally ignorant. "The abyss of Hitlerism could not be overlooked," Ratzinger now confesses.22 Yet he overlooked it when it would have cost him something to speak out against it.
Surely now, as the watchdog of orthodoxy and the longest serving and most powerful official in the Vatican next to the pope, Ratzinger could make amends both for his own silence and that of his Church all during the Holocaust. Why not offer genuine repentance and sorrowful apology to the Jews? But Ratzinger and John Paul II continue Pius XII's stony silence. And how could they apologize without admitting that their popes and Church have sinned grievously against Christ's natural brethren, and thus that the very claim to infallibility and being the one true Church is a fraud?
No Escape from Guilt
It has been argued that had the pope protested, as many begged him to, it would only have made things worse for the Jews. Could it have been any worse? Did the Vatican's silence save anyone? Obviously not. De Rosa puts it so well: "There was one man in the world whose witness Hitler feared, since many in his armies were Catholics. That one man did not speak. In the face of what Winston Churchill was to call `probably the greatest and most horrible single crime ever committed in the whole history of the world' he chose to stay neutral."23
The Church minced no words in opposing the Nazi euthanasia program and succeeded in stopping it. The bishops spoke out against the mistreatment of Jews who had become Catholics and against classifying as Jews Catholics who were only partially Jewish. It opposed the forced divorce of Jews married to Catholics and the subsequent deportation of the Jewish partner. But it never spoke out against the destruction of the Jews. As Guenter Lewy said:
When thousands of German anti-Nazis were tortured to death in Hitler's concentration camps, when the Polish intelligentsia was slaughtered, when hundreds of thousands of Russians died as the result of being treated as Slavic Untermenschen [subhumans], and when 6,000,000 human beings were murdered for being "non-Aryan," Catholic church officials in Germany bolstered the regime perpetrating these crimes. The Pope in Rome, the spiritual head and supreme moral teacher of the Roman Catholic Church, remained silent.
In the face of these greatest of moral depravities which mankind has been forced to witness in recent centuries, the moral teachings of a Church [allegedly] dedicated to love and charity could be heard in no other form but vague generalities.24
When, in February 1943, the Gestapo in the process of deporting the last German Jews to the East for death "seized several thousand Christian non-Aryans in mixed marriages [about 6,000
in Berlin alone] ... something unexpected and unparalleled happened. Their Aryan wives followed them to the place of temporary detention and there they stood for hours screaming and howling for their men. With the secrecy of the whole machinery of destruction threatened, the Gestapo yielded and the non-Aryan husbands were released. Here was an example of what an outraged conscience could achieve, even against Hitler's terror apparatus."25
When Edoardo Senatro, L'Osservatore Romano correspondent in Berlin, "asked Pius XII whether he would not protest the extermination of the Jews, the pope reportedly answered, `Do not forget that millions of Catholics serve in the German armies. Shall I bring them into conflicts of conscience?"' Guenter Lewy sums it up:
The Pope knew that the German Catholics were not prepared to suffer martyrdom for their Church; still less were they willing to incur the wrath of their Nazi rulers for the sake of the Jews whom their own bishops for years had castigated as a harmful influence in German life.
In the final analysis ... the Vatican's silence only reflected the deep feeling of the Catholic masses of Europe-those of Germany and eastern Europe in particular. The failure of the Pope was a measure of the Church's failure to convert her gospel of brotherly love and human dignity into living reality.26
While the World Turned Its Back
Pope Pius XII's silence concerning the Holocaust was, at the first, condoned and encouraged by the United States (President Roosevelt was silent as well), Britain, and "neutral" Switzerland. These countries literally turned fleeing Jews back to the Nazis and certain death. In the crucial months when there was still a chance for many Jews to leave Germany, the U.S. State Department deliberately blocked the immigration of Jews and delayed processing valid papers until the applicants were hauled off to Nazi extermination camps.
Such was the fruit of the anti-Semitism which was rampant in the 1920s and 1930s across America. It was one of the blackest pages of American history. The horrifying facts of America's complicity in the Holocaust at the highest levels of government were presented in part on April 6, 1994, on television by the Public Broadcasting System:
[Senators and Congressmen] openly spewed anti-Semitic poison in the very halls of the nation's capital. ... There were anti-Semitic campaigns conducted by over 100 organizations across America....
Father Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest, was the most influential anti-Semitic spokesman in the country. His radio broadcast reached more than 3 million people.27
Documents recently uncovered prove that both the United States and England were unwilling to take Jews in and obstructed their emigration. Far from pressuring Hitler to stop the killings, England and America feared that the Fuehrer, if unduly pressed, might dump thousands of Jews on the Americans and British. It was the last thing those hypocritical governments wanted in spite of their public hand-wringing about Nazi atrocities. The Western powers, like the Vatican and in partnership with it, were actually accomplices in the Holocaust. The truth is almost too terrible to face.
No less significant is the fact that the Church never excommunicated Hitler, Mussolini, Himmler, or any of the other key players in the Holocaust. They remained Catholics to the end under the shelter of Mother Church. Moreover, the Church has deliberately lied about its role, spreading "a legend of resistance" to the Nazis that needs to be corrected.28 Except in rare instances of a few individuals, there was collaboration, not resistance. Furthermore, those who worked with the Nazis, far from being reprimanded, were rewarded by Rome. Guenter Lewy provides a few examples:
This concealment [of the truth about Catholic cooperation] has been so bold and successful that in Germany ... not a single bishop had to resign his office [for cooperation with the Nazis].
Quite the contrary, Bishop Berning, who had served until the downfall of Hitler in Goering's Prussian State Council, in 1949 was given the honorary title of Arc bishop. Herr von Papen [who helped negotiate the 1933 concordat] was made Papal Privy Chamberlain in 1959.
Such rewards for men deeply involved with the Nazi regime represent a mockery of heroic figures... who died fighting Hitler.29
Pius XII claimed that his encyclicals were just as binding upon the Church as ex cathedra declarations.30 Therefore, had he given a directive to the members of his Church the chances are that he could have brought down Hitler at the very beginning. The sequence of events, with the Roman Catholic Church literally putting Hitler in power and supporting him thereafter, disproves the claim by the popes that they are Christ's vicars and led of the Holy Spirit.
Anti-Semitism on the Rise
Memories are short and deceitful, and the conscience of the world is easily hardened, necessitating a recent ad by the United Jewish Appeal which has appeared in major magazines. It displays a picture of a black-shirted, unofficial military unit in today's Russia (apparently connected with the surprising rise to power of Fascist fanatic, Vladimir Zhirinovsky), giving the Fascist extended arm salute. Headlined "FOR JEWS IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, THE EXIT SIGNS ARE CLEARLY MARKED," the appeal goes on to state:
The signs are all too familiar. Black-shirted Fascists march. Synagogues mysteriously go up in flames. Right-wing extremist Vladimir Zhirinovsky rants against Jews and "Zionist plots." And his party wins more votes than any other in Russia.
Once again, opportunists blame terrible conditions on their traditional scapegoat-the Jews.
And for Jews, anti-Semitism just adds to the misery of life in the former Soviet Union: severe economic hardship. Political instability. The depressing lack of opportunity for an education, for a better life.
But there is hope. Operation Exodus.
So far, the UJA-Federation Operation Exodus Campaign has helped rescue 500,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union 69,132 in 1993 alone. And brought them home to Israel.
Yet 1.4 million Jews remain. With your support, they can leave the hatred and despair behind. Before it's too late.
Please give generously to Operation Exodus and the Annual Campaign. This time we can clearly see what's happening over there. And all the signs point in the same direction. Out.
Call Operation Exodus now at 1-800-880-1426. Or call your local Jewish Federation.
The former Soviet republics are not the only places where there is an obvious renewed threat to Jewish life and culture. Anti-Semitism is on the rise everywhere, including the United States. A recent Associated Press dispatch reported:
Anti-Semitic assaults, threats and harassment jumped 23 percent in the United States last year.... The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) reported 1867 anti-Semitic acts overall in 1993, the second-highest number in the survey's 15-year history. The highest was 1879 in 1991. The 1992 total was 1730.
The survey found 1079 reports of anti-Semitic assaults, threats and harassment, compared with 874 in 1992. The worst incidents included an arson and a bombing. No deaths or serious injuries resulted....
Alan Swartz, ADL research director, also cited renewed efforts by a Holocaust revisionist to place ads in college newspapers stating that the Holocaust never happened.31
The Hebrew prophets foretold such hatred and abuse of God's chosen people and that (except for periodic times of apparent relief) it would not end until Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rescue His people (Zehariah 12:10). Behind much of the anti-Jewish propaganda and violence worldwide it is only logical to suspect the machinations of the anti-Semitic war criminals to whom the Vatican, by smuggling them out to South America, gave a new opportunity to carry on their evil work.
The callous indifference to the Holocaust when it was in process and the desire to have it fade into the forgotten past is what one might expect from those who make no pretense of knowing God. The Vatican, however, claims to represent Christ and to set the moral standard for the world. The pope periodically preaches peace and love and lectures others for their moral failures, yet his Church's hands are stained with the blood of millions of innocent victims.
The Duplicity Continues
In 1986, John Paul II went to Rome's synagogue, not far from his palace. In his speech there he deplored the crimes of the past committed against the Jews "by anyone." When he repeated that last phrase, spontaneous applause broke out. The pope and chief rabbi Elio Toaff embraced. However, the implied regret for abuse of the Jews by his Church was a weak ploy. What was needed was a specific admission of exactly what the Church had done to the Jews, from their confinement in ghettos and slaughter throughout history to its partnership with the Nazis in the Holocaust. Without such an admission and full apology all other polite gestures are deceptive.
On December 30, 1993, after 18 months of intensive negotiations, Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli, undersecretary for foreign states at the papal Secretariat of State, and Dr. Yossi Beilin, Israel's deputy foreign minister, signed a 14-article "Fundamental Agreement" establishing full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel. Its preamble refers to "the unique nature of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people" as well as the "historic process of reconciliation" and the "growth in mutual understanding and friendship between Catholics and Jews."32
The "unique nature of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people" has been that of persecutor and persecuted, slayer and slain. As for the "historic process of reconciliation," the repentance by Rome to start the process is still missing. How can a meaningful reconciliation take place unless the party which has so horribly abused the other is willing to make a full confession, a sincere apology, and serious restitution?
Since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, Rome had for nearly 46 years refused to even acknowledge Israel's existence. Even now it insists that Jerusalem must be an international city not governed by Israel. Why then the current "agreement"? With Israel's borders and relationship to the PLO being redefined, the Vatican realizes that to have a say in Israel's future it must establish diplomatic relations with her. And it wants that influence.
Present Israeli leaders apparently have forgotten that it took the Italian army to liberate the Jews from Rome's Vatican-imposed ghetto. Forgotten, too, must be Pius X's statement which Golda Meir quotes in her Autobiography: "We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem, but we would never sanction it.... The Jews have not recognized our Lord; we cannot recognize the Jews." It is dangerous to trust those whose past words and consistent deeds for centuries give the lie to the "agreement" now being reached.
In the agreement the Vatican requires Israel's pledge "to observe the human right to freedom of religion and conscience." What unmitigated gall! Rome has never been willing to grant such rights to others whenever it has been in control. We have thoroughly documented that Roman Catholicism is the sworn enemy of freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and that popes have consistently suppressed these freedoms whenever they had the power to do so.
The agreement, furthermore, commits Israel and the Vatican to work together against anti-Semitism. Of what value is such an agreement without Rome's admission that she has. practiced the most vicious anti-Semitism for centuries, and without her sincere apology for having done so? Without that minimal gesture, the agreement is cause for weeping rather than rejoicing on Israel's part.
History Still Cries Out
Rome's deceitful attempt to cover its anti-Semitism is found also in Vatican II. There the Jews, though not named, are alluded to as those "from which Christ was born according to the flesh" and are called "most dear for the sake of the fathers. . . ."33 That statement hardly squares with the way Rome has treated God's chosen people throughout t One despairs of hearing truth from such a source. The next sentence presents a lie no less brazen:
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.34
What blasphemy to call Islam's Allah the Creator and thus identify the ancient Kaaba's chief pagan deity (the god of Muhammad's Quraish tribe) with Jahweh, the God of the Bible. Islam specifically denies that Allah is a father or has a son or that he is a triune being of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Islam thus has no explanation for "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26). Allah is merciful only to those who do good and he hates sinners, whereas the true God is love and He loves all. Allah is a distant god with whom it is impossible to have a personal relationship, since he lacks the attributes of holiness, grace, and love, and he authors evil. Allah is the very antithesis of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As for holding "the faith of Abraham," that patriarch looked forward to the coming of Christ as God's Lamb who would die for our sins (Genesis 22:8; John 1:29; 8:56)-a truth which Muslims adamantly oppose. Islam denies that Jesus is God or God's Son, denies that He died on the cross for our sins (someone else allegedly died in His place), and of course it denies His resurrection. Yet this section in Vatican II suggests that the Muslims are nevertheless included in "the plan of salvation." We will come back to Rome's incredible ecumenism in a later chapter.
Allah is Jahweh and Islam is the "faith of Abraham"? Is Rome being generous to the Muslims in order to curry their favor? In fact, this section in Vatican II suggests that everyone, even idol worshipers, will eventually come under the saving umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church-everyone, that is, except Protestants. There are limits to Rome's generosity, though her iron fist is now clothed in a velvet glove. Israel is being wooed at the moment, but common sense tells us that the motives are less than pure. History still cries for our attention.
Jerusalem has its Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) to keep ever before the world's conscience the 6 million Jews killed by Hitler. In contrast, there is no memorial to the untold millions of both Jews and Christians murdered by Holy Mother Church. The deceptively sweet words emanating from the Vatican cannot eliminate the haunting question from recent history which Guenter Lewy raises:
When Hitler set out on his murderous campaign against the Jews of Europe, truth and justice found few defenders. The Deputy [Vicar] of Christ and the German [Catholic] episcopate were not among them. Their role gives a special relevance to the question the young girl in Max Frisch's Andorra asks her priest: "Where were you, Father Benedict, when they took away our brother like a beast to the slaughter, like a beast to the slaughter, where were you?"
This question still waits for an answer.35