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Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – September 1999

3.9 von 5 Sternen 7 Kundenrezensionen

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In 1964, Pope Paul VI ordered the Vatican diplomatic archives covering the period of World War II opened, and they were eventually published in 12 volumes. Blet taught history at the Pontificia Academia Ecclesiastica for 17 years, and here constructs from those records an account of what is widely perceived as Pius XII's silence at the time about t

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Lawrence J. Johnson is the former executive secretary of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions and the former editor/director of The Pastoral Press. He has written several books on the liturgy and its music, including The Mystery of Faith: A Study of the Structural Elements of the Order of the Mass.


3.9 von 5 Sternen


Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
After reading the speculative and often fanciful calumnies of "Hitler's Pope" it is natural for a reader to hope that this work will provide a sweeping response. It does not.
This book is factual -- but not analytical, historical, or contextual. As a result, a reader bogs down in detail. The book does a good job of showing the tiny details that made up the Vatican's work against Hitler and for peace. The book lacks a critical overview.
Given that it is clear and demonstrable that the Vatican was for peace in World War II, the next question is one of effectiveness. Pius was a diplomat. This book does not explore whether a diplomat was the proper and best Church leader during this troubled time.
It is sad that there is any need for this debate, over whether the Vatican helped Jews "to the best of it's ability". The answer is of course, yes and no! No human organization is perfect.
A better question is, did Pius do his best as a man -- and the answer is yes, as this book proves -- and did he do his best as a Pope -- and the answer is no, because his skills and talents were not those of a moral leader, or a symbolically attuned leader. When the Church needed a John Paul II, they instead had a quiet force for good. Sometimes that is enough; here it might have been, barely, for many hundreds of thousands saved by the Church. But it was not enough for millions of others, who were not saved, and probably could not have been short of American armored divisions. That is an unsatisfying answer, but a true one.
This book builds details, in layers, like a bird building a nest. It is a frustrating book to read.
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Von Ein Kunde am 5. Dezember 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Pierre Blet's work is a major historical work that brings much needed balance to our perspective of Pope Pius XII's activities during World War II. Although considerably shorter than Cornwell's book, this brevity results from allowing the facts speak for themselves -- Cornwell's overwrought analysis of what the "facts mean" is avoided. This work relies extensively on the Vatican's historical records from this troubled period, and thus avoids the assumptions and inferences that mar other,less balanced works on this subject. Blet makes it abundantly clear that Pius XII was an informed and eloquent foe of Nazism, and directed Church activity in furtherance of saving innocent Jewish lives from what he deemed to be the unmitigated evil of Nazism. Moreover, Blet demonstrates that Puis XII's careful public statements denouncing anti-Semitism resulted not from cowardice, but from a firm belief that more pointed statements from him possessed the capacity to further inflame Nazi violence against Jews. Moreover, from Blet's work, it is clear that, in the context of that time, Hitler clearly understood that Pius XII's statements were directed at him and his government, and that he considered Pius XII an outspoken foe of the Nazi movement. After Blet's work, hopefully scholarship on this subject will focus on whether Pius's strategies were best under the circumstances, and not whether Pius was personally indifferent to the plight of the Jews. This work makes it clear that Pius XII was deeply affected by the plight of the Jews, and believed he was acting prudently in their defense. Perhaps that point may be debated, but the debate over Pius's prudence, Blet makes clear, should exclude any insinuation that Pius did not care.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Von John Seybold am 13. Februar 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The style reminds me of a Vatican Document. The author is driven to show a positive side to Pius XII in the world war situation. Unlike "Hitler's Pope", this book does not go off on the assumption game and the "what if" game. It tries show Pius XII in a positive like, but what it showed was a typical curial pragmatist who hoped for the best and did what he could when it didn't endanger his goal. Could the Pope had done for the suffering of others in concentration camps, yes. Was he an ally of the National Socialist Regime, no. After reading both books, Hitler's Pope and this, I am left with the question, what did the Jews do for themselves? It seemed in both books it showed the rabbis and Zionist groups asking other to intervene for them. Where were the cry of these for the Jehovah Witnesses, the Gypsies,the homosexuals, the socialist politicians who suffered just as cruel death in the camps as the Jews? Nothing short of winning the war could have stopped the National Socialist from their goal of racial purity, not even the Pope in Rome.
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Von Ein Kunde am 2. Februar 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The author, Pierre Blet, has probably followed the Vatican Archives very well. The book is a wealth of letters, memos, wires and notes of meetings between individuals. However, in covering them as he has by Countries and Regions it becomes very difficult to get a feeling for a passage of time. As you read, dates seem to become confused because you are reading about the same period of time over and over as you move from country to country. It is difficult, or moreso impossible, to comprehend what is happening at any one time in the world in general. A much clearer picture could have been presented as to what was being done in all areas just by moving, by commentary, from 1939 to the end of the war and giving a picture of Vatican Intervention everywhere.
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