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The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958$
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John Pollard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208562.001.0001

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Pius XII

Pius XII

War and Fascist Genocides

(p.326) 9 Pius XII
The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958

John Pollard

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the Vatican’s response to the spread of the Second World War to the USSR, the Atlantic, Africa, and Asia after the launching of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. After examining Pius XII’s changing relationships with the Grand Alliance and Axis powers, it focuses upon his response to the Holocaust and other fascist genocides, revisiting the controversy over his alleged silences and examining the role played by the Church in the rescue of European Jews. The spotlight is then turned on Pius XII’s increasingly difficult relationship with Italy, particularly after Mussolini’s overthrow in July 1943, and, subsequently, the even more dangerous relationships with the German occupation forces and the Resistance in Rome. Consequently, the Vatican’s response to various Nazi atrocities in Rome is scrutinized. The chapter ends with an appraisal of Pius XII’s relations with the Western Allies, including De Gaulle, at the end of the war.

Keywords:   Operation Barbarossa, Grand Alliance, Axis powers, Holocaust, silences of Pius XII, Italy, occupation of Rome, Italian Resistance, De Gaulle

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