A Curious and Interesting But Unsatisfying Book.,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican (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. The facts accrete, and in the end one is left seeing the disgusting and weak job of character assassination done in "Hitler's Pope". But the reader also wishes for a better story telling style. The reader also wishes for more cogently stated ammunition against the Pope haters, such as they are.
The real word on the Pope, World War II, and the moral obligations of the Papacy -- that story has yet to be told, as a story. This book will be a good resource to some future writer who wants honesty, facts, and can use them to tell the story.
Rezensentin / Rezensent