The Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem announced that a placard regarding the actions of Pope Pius XII and the Vatican during the Holocaust has been updated.
New York July 3, 2012
Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) commends the work of Yad Vashem’s scholars in their research and more accurate account of Pope Pius XII. On July 2nd, Yad Vashem announced that a placard describing the actions of Pope Pius XII has been replaced. The new placard is titled “The Vatican” and provides additional historic detail, softening what had previously been harsh criticism of the actions of Pope Pius XII himself. According to Yad Vashem’s press release, this update is based on new research, conducted in the last few years, based in part the opening of the Vatican archives through 1939.
Pave the Way Foundation is pleased with the changes Yad Vashem has made in the placard, in light of their review of the newly revealed documentation. We fully appreciate that further research is needed and that access to the closed section of the Vatican Secret Archives is needed before the researchers at Yad Vashem can render further opinion. We recognize their dedication to historic accuracy and comment their willingness to change the previously incorrect information on Pius XII, with the review of the newly revealed documentation currently available.
Elliot M. Hershberg, of Pave the Way Foundation commented, “I have absolute confidence that when the Vatican Archives are opened, a full vindication of Pope Pius XII will be realized. Five years ago, we undertook a bold research project, to gather eyewitness accounts and to uncover documentation as much documentation as possible. With no purpose at the outset except setting the record straight, our research project has revealed that his work to mitigate the suffering of the Jews during World War II was monumental. I’m certain that through our work and with the opening of the Vatican Archives, the controversy will be ended and Eugenio Pacelli will be recognized for his extraordinary efforts and for saving possibly hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.”
The new placard states, in part, “The reaction of Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, to the murder of the Jews during the Holocaust is a matter of controversy among scholars.” This is certainly a true statement and has caused great difficulty in the matter of Jewish/Christian relations.
Gary Krupp, President, and Founder of PTWF said, “Pave the Way Foundation works to identify and remove obstacles between religions. We have recognized that this controversial matter is a major source of discord between these two major religions and we have worked diligently to help find the truth.”
Some of the Pope’s positive actions are recognized in the placard, specifically the fact that The Holy See did appeal to the rulers of Slovakia and Hungary on behalf of the Jews, and that in his Christmas radio address of 1942 he referred to, “the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or ethnic origin, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline.” While he didn’t mention the Jews by name, the message is transparent.
About Pave the Way Foundation
PTWF is a nonsectarian public foundation whose mission is to identify and work to resolve obstacles between religions. Our mission is to ultimately remove the use of religion as a tool to justify private agendas and violence.