[ the actual title of this page:]
http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/SaviorsofJews

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European Nations
where Jews were shielded
from the Holocaust

Some European countries
treated Jews better than others :


On page 93 of his book, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" (which I pan on my www.CatholicArrogance.Org/HitlersPope.html) page, the "Jewish Rabbi" David Dalin – who has been on the payroll of an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic institution for years – makes the preposterous claim that, during the Nazi holocaust, the Jews in the more Catholic countries fared better than the Jews in other countries.


The facts, as laid out below, show that the very opposite was true !  See how

  1. Predominantly Orthodox Christian Bulgaria saved most of its Jews
  2. Predominantly Muslim Albania saved most of its Jews
  3. Predominantly Lutheran Denmark saved most of its Jews
  4. Predominantly Lutheran Norway saved most of its Jews
  5. The leaders of Japan, the least Christian of the Axis nations,
    refused to persecute any of its Jews.
  6. See also these Heroic Individuals who saved large numbers of Jews

The Jews fared much worse in the much more Catholic countries of Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, France and Poland, all with a long history of subjection to Roman Catholic teaching and example.

1) How Bulgaria saved
most of its Jews :

"Beyond Hitler's Grasp" The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews, by Michael Bar-Zohar  is the true account of what happened ( it might be better to say what didn't happen ) to the Jews of Bulgaria , one of Europe's least Catholic countries :

"In March 1943 Bulgaria's 48,000 Jews were ordered to pack a few belongings and get ready to be taken away by the police.  Yet, this deportation order led to such an outcry from the Bulgarian people, including many intellectuals and church leaders, that the government rescinded the order, and Jews already taken into custody were released.  Joining in the opposition were pro-fascist politicians and the royal court.  In May, 1943  a second deportation attempt was made, but the orders were canceled once again.

In the face of constant German demands, Bulgaria's government refused to deport the nation's Jewish citizens.  Instead, as the Bulgarian-born Israeli politician Michael Bar-Zohar writes in this fine contribution to Holocaust studies, "the Bulgarian Jews became the only Jewish community in the NAZI sphere of influence whose number increased during World War II."

Bar-Zohar attributes the Bulgarian government's successful resistance to a general absence of anti-Semitism among the populace: most Bulgarian Jews were of the working class and had long since been culturally assimilated; even many of the ardent fascists in the government opposed their being murdered.  To be sure, Bar-Zohar writes, the Jews of Bulgaria were persecuted – yet thanks to the efforts of leaders like the parliamentarian Dimiter Peshev and the Orthodox Metropolitan Stefan, they were spared the terrible fate of so many other Jews in the region.

Zohar, who was born in Sofia in 1938 and immigrated to Israel in 1948, spent four years researching this book.  He interviewed survivors and gained access to the Central National Archives in Bulgaria, to various ministries' archives, the archives of the Saint Synod, the diplomatic and SS archives in Germany, and others."


Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis preached about this topic in a sermon on April 12, 2002:

"Bulgaria is the only case where a country (with the exception of Denmark and Finland) allied or occupied by Germany saved the entirety of its Jewish population.  50,000 Jewish lives were saved because of the Bulgarian people.  We single out the Bulgarian people, those who came from different faiths, different religions, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Moslems and unbelievers, people from every walk of life who would not pretend deafness, who would not feign aphasia, the fateful silence that in history is so often tantamount to consent to murder.

We single out the heroism of priests: the Metropolitan Stefan of Sophia, the Metropolitan Kiril Plovdiv, the Metropolitan Neofit of Vidin.  Those important bishops who sent telegrams to King Boris III relentlessly pressure d by the Nazis, demanding that the trains, some of which were already loaded with Jews, "packed like Sardines in cattle cars" be halted.  Those bishops, who sent word to the king that they would lie down on the railroad tracks in front of any train carrying Jews to the death camp.  We remember religious leaders who convened the Synod of the Bulgarian Church that not only condemned the racial anti-semitic policy of the deputies of the Sobranie but issued mass baptism certificates to Jews as a safeguard against the racist purity laws and deportation.  When the government tried to stop the church by threats and intimidation, the bishops spoke out clearly.  They answered "No." That "no" is the voice of conscience.  That "no" reverberated throughout the nation.  To say "no" to evil is the deepest affirmation of the existence of God."

"The rescue of the Jewish population of the Bulgarian Kingdom was a product of the united efforts of three forces -- the king, the Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian society.  None of them could have achieved it alone.  Without any doubt, the key role in this noble endeavor belongs to the man who was then at the highest place and who made the ultimate decision -- King Boris III." 

[from http://www.b-info.com/places/Bulgaria/Jewish/jul12.shtml ]

My earlier versions of this page claimed that Bulgaria had saved all of its Jews (as opposed to most), but an article I read in 2010 indicated that Jews over which that country had authority outside of Bulgaria proper (in Macedonia if I recall correctly) were allowed to perish at the hands of its Nazi allies.

2) Predominantly Muslim Albania
saved MOST of its Jews :

"There were only about 200 Jews in Albania before the war. More than 70 per cent of the population of about 900,000 was Muslim. By the end of the war, it was home to more than 2,200 Jews who had come from neighbouring Italy, Macedonia, and Serbia, and even from as far as Austria and Poland, to escape Nazi persecution.

It wasn’t just the Albanian farmers and villagers who shielded the Jews from the Nazi occupiers. The government at the time also issued them Albanian passports to help them blend in with the local population and offered them employment.

The State of Israel has granted dozens of Albanians the title of Righteous Among Nations, the highest honour awarded to "the few who helped Jews in the darkest time in their history." Their names are inscribed on the Righteous Honour Wall at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem."

[ see the rest of this heart-warming story at Albania's heroic, little-known role rescuing Jews in WWII, including the heroism of a Roman Catholic family there.]

3)Predominantly Lutheran Denmark
saved MOST of its Jews :

Leni Yahil writes:

"The struggle of the [Danish Lutheran State] Church against Nazism in general and anti-Semitism in particular is a chapter in itself.  We have already seen how the priests organized themselves within the underground movement even before the crisis broke out.  But they did not hesitate throughout the entire occupation to express their views publicly and from the pulpit.  Kaj Munk said in one of his sermons that in the event of the Germans trying to behave towards the Danish Jews as they had behaved toward the Norwegian Jews (who had been persecuted and deported), the Christian citizens of Denmark would publicly declare that the Nazis had thereby canceled all rights and turned the social order into chaos.

Many of the priests also found a way to express their views in articles published in newspapers or in the ecclesiastical press.  In one such article Pastor Johannes Nordentoft called for an active struggle against anti-Semitism.  He wrote that to stand aside was the same as participating in anti-Semitic activities."

The Danish Lutheran State Church, in the person of Bishop Hans Fuglsang-Damgaard of Copenhagen, supported by all its bishops, also sent a letter of protest to the German authorities before the deportations began, which their pastors read from every pulpit in Denmark on Oct. 3, 1943, thereby helping to mobilize national sentiment and to move ordinary Danes to act on the Jews' behalf, secreting them away and ferrying them to safety in neutral Sweden:

'Whenever persecutions are undertaken for racial or religious reasons against the Jews, it is the duty of the Christian Church to raise a protest against it for the following reasons:

. . .  Because the persecution of the Jews is irreconcilable with the humanitarian concept of love of neighbors which follows from the message which the Church of Jesus Christ is commissioned to proclaim.  With Christ there is no respect of persons, and he has taught us that every man is precious in the eyes of God. . .

. . .  race and religion can never be in themselves a reason for depriving a man of his rights, freedom, or property. . .  We shall therefore struggle to ensure the continued guarantee to our Jewish brothers and sisters [of] the same freedom which we ourselves treasure more than life.

. . .  We are obliged by our conscience to maintain the law and to protest against any violation of human rights.  Therefore we desire to declare unambiguously our allegiance to the word, we must obey God rather than man.'

What did the Germans do to the Danish Lutheran Church with all of its activities in defense of the Jews, including its ringing call for a national "struggle" against the Germans on behalf of the Jews?  Nothing.  What did Danes suffer for their collective thwarting of the Germans' exterminationist onslaught?  Nothing."

[ A Moral Reckoning, pp. 50-51]

Danish rescuer of Jews
tells a story of simple humanity

Lesley Pearl, Bulletin Staff-member
San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc.,
dba Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.

October 20, 1995

Preben Munch-Nielsen has been telling his story for 10 years, and he still doesn't understand why people make such a fuss over it. . .  "Frankly, I'm embarrassed at the responses.  I don't understand that to act in a decent way is so unique."

As a member of the Danish resistance in his youth, he helped save nearly 7,000 Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis. . .  Like many Danish teens living in war-torn Europe during the 1940s, Munch-Nielsen "did what we had to do.  We couldn't do anything else."

During the early years of World War II, Denmark remained mostly unscathed.  However, when Germany interned the Danish Army and Navy personnel, in 1943, the Danish Resistance quickly took action. Young men and women like Munch-Nielsen published underground newsletters "to tell the real truth," he said.  They issued warnings of Nazi intentions that were often disclosed by disloyal Germans. . .  And so, the Resistance mobilized its rescue of Danish Jews, hiding them in churches and homes until they could ferry them across the North Sea straits to Sweden.  At night, 12 at a time, the Jews would sail in 21-foot boats to freedom.  The nearly 30-minute boat ride could take hours, as Munch-Nielsen and other Resistance members had to evade German ships at sea.

Of the country's 7,200 Jews, only 60 were not saved.  The resistance also saved 700 non-Jewish relatives of Jews.

There were no passenger lists.  In fact, Munch-Nielsen doesn't know the names of any of the people he helped save. "Why should I?  They don't know my name.  This was all done in secrecy." Besides, he added, "Some people talk too much."

Munch-Nielsen did not speak publicly about the rescue until 10 years ago, when a friend asked him to share his story with a group of Jewish travelers in Denmark.  At 59, his speaking career began.

Now he talks about the rescue at least once a month to groups in Denmark, Israel and the United States.  He tells audiences of his childhood home near the beach, the first boat he owned at age 10 and a life spent sailing.  He speaks of a government with a history of making necessary reforms without the pressure of revolution or uprising. He emphasizes that Danish Jews were considered neighbors, friends, schoolmates and nothing else.  "This is our history.  We have no scapegoats.  No pogroms.  No Holocaust.  It's so simple," Munch-Nielsen said.  "We didn't think of Jews as Jews, but as Danes," he added.  So when word got out that the Germans were planning to round up the Danish Jews to take them to concentration camps, Danes actively resisted what they saw as wrongdoing.

"The Jews were not criminals.  For the most part they weren't members of the Danish Resistance movement.  They were victims of an insane movement created by lunatics," Munch-Nielsen said.  "If you wanted to retain your self-respect, you did what you could.  "That your fellow citizens should be doomed because their human value was considered nothing [by Nazis] because of their race is an impossible thought."

Following the war many Danish Jews returned to Denmark.  Munch-Nielsen is uncertain how many came back because, as he stresses, he doesn't think about who is a Jew or non-Jew.  But now that Jews have returned, he added,"Denmark is complete again."

www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/denmark.html

"On September 28, 1943, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, a German diplomat, secretly informed the Danish resistance that the Nazis were planning to deport the Danish Jews.  The Danes responded quickly, organizing a nationwide effort to smuggle the Jews by sea to neutral Sweden.

Warned of the German plans, Jews began to leave Copenhagen, where most of the 8,000 Jews in Denmark lived, and other cities, by train, car, and on foot.  With the help of the Danish people, they found hiding places in homes, hospitals, and churches.  Within a two-week period fishermen helped ferry 7,220 Danish Jews and 680 non-Jewish family members to safety across the narrow body of water separating Denmark from Sweden.

(In the end, of the 8000 Danish Jews) all but 51 survived the Holocaust, largely because Danish officials pressured the Germans with their concerns for the well-being of those who had been deported.  The Danes proved that widespread support for Jews and resistance to Nazi policies could save lives."

Daniel Goldhagen, writes
in "A Moral Reckoning" :

"The contrast between the general failure of the Catholic Church and, for that matter, of most ordinary Germans, whether Catholics or Protestants, to act well regarding Jews, and the exemplary conduct of the Danish church and the Danish people toward the Jews could not be starker.  The cause of these differences is equally clear.  The Danish Lutheran State Church and the Danish people understood that the Jews were innocent.  So they defended them as people, not merely as the despised objects of overly harsh and morally impermissible punishment.  They defended them not only at the last moment – immediately before the Germans were about to deport and kill them, or well after the Germans and their helpers had already killed millions across Europe – but at the first moment, when the Germans occupied Denmark.  The Danes neither aided nor supported the initial eliminationist measures; they did not stand by or remain silent, and they did not allow the Germans to implement such measures."

All this they did because the Jews were innocent.  And when the moment of peril came, Danes easily, immediately rose to the Jews' defense and aided them with determination, insistence, and fervor.  And, as we know, they succeeded in their rescue operations." {Goldhagen,  p. 118 |


The Pope's defenders typically overlook the famous and most relevant case for assessing the efficacy of acting on behalf of Jews: that of Denmark.  Leni Yahil writes:

'The struggle of the [Danish Lutheran State] Church against Nazism in general and anti-Semitism in particular is a chapter in itself.  We have already seen how the priests organized themselves within the underground movement even before the crisis broke out.  But they did not hesitate throughout the entire occupation to express their views publicly and from the pulpit.  Kaj Munk said in one of his sermons that in the event of the Germans trying to behave towards the Danish Jews as they had behaved toward the Norwegian Jews (who had been persecuted and deported), the Christian citizens of Denmark would publicly declare that the Nazis had thereby canceled all rights and turned the social order into chaos.

Many of the priests also found a way to express their views in articles published in newspapers or in the ecclesiastical press.  In one such article pastor Johannes Nordentoft called for an active struggle against anti-Semitism.  He wrote that to stand aside was the same as participating in anti-Semitic activities.'

The Danish Lutheran State Church, in the person of Bishop H, Fuglsang-Damgaard of Copenhagen, supported by all its bishops, also sent a letter of protest to the German authorities before the deportations began; which their pastors read from every pulpit in Denmark on October 3, 19, thereby helping to mobilize national sentiment and to move ordinary Danes to act on the Jews' behalf, secreting them away and ferrying them to safe in neutral Sweden:

Whenever persecutions are undertaken for racial or religious reasons against the Jews, it is the duty of the Christian Church to raise a protest against it for the following reasons:

  • ...  Because the persecution of the Jews is irreconcilable with the humanitarian concept of love of neighbors which follows from the message which the Church of Jesus Christ is commissioned to proclaim.  With Christ there is no respect of persons, and he has taught us that every man is precious in the eyes of God....
  • ...  race and religion can never be in themselves a reason for depriving a man of his rights, freedom, or property....  We shall therefore struggle to ensure the continued guarantee to our Jewish brothers and sisters [of] the same freedom which we ourselves treasure more than life.
  • ... We are obliged by our conscience to maintain the law and to protest against any violation of human rights.  Therefore we desire to declare unambiguously our allegiance to the word, me must obey God rather than man."

What did the Germans do to the Danish Lutheran Church with all of activities in defense of the Jews, including its ringing call for a national "struggle" against the Germans on behalf of the Jews?  Nothing.  What did the Danes suffer for their collective thwarting of the Germans' exterminationist onslaught?  Nothing. . . 

From the point of view of assessing the Pope, the fate of the close to five hundred Danish Jews whom the Germans did manage to deport is also important.  In part because the Danish officials passionately demonstrated their concern for their country's Jews, the Germans sent them not to Auschwitz but to Theresienstadt, where the Germans permitted Danish officials and Red Cross officials to visit them and to monitor their well-being.  Ninety percent of Denmark's deported Jews survived the war.  The Pope and his representatives, however, made no genuine effort to look after the Jews deported from Rome or from other parts of Italy and other countries.  The most they did was to make occasional, perfunctory inquiries."

For More on the heroism of the Danes, see www.auschwitz.dk/Denmark.htm


And for a similar story about Finland, read the book :

Finland and the Holocaust: The Rescue of Finland's Jews
by Hannu Rautkallio

4) Predominantly Lutheran Norway
saved MOST of its Jews :

The Norwegian Protestant churches, upon the impending deportation of the Jews of Norway, also protested pointedly in a letter to Vidkun Quisling, the nation's collaborating leader.  The letter was read from the pulpit twice in late 1942 all over Norway, and ministers led their congregations in saying prayers for the Jews.  The letter was also published as the New Year's message for 1943, and broadcast to Norway and Sweden:

" For ninety-one years Jews have had a legal right to reside and to earn a livelihood in our country.  Now they are being deprived of their property without warning....  Jews have not been charged with transgression of the country's laws much less convicted of such transgressions by judicial procedure.  Nevertheless, they are being punished as severely as the worst criminals are punished.  They are being punished because of their racial background, wholly and solely because they are Jews....  According to God's Word, all people have, in the first instance, the same human worth and thereby the same human rights.  Our state authorities are by law obliged to respect this basic view."

After speaking forthrightly, in a manner that belies the Pope's defenders' claim that he never could or should have spoken out, the Norwegian bishops resumed:  'To remain silent about this legalized injustice against the Jews would render ourselves co-guilty in this injustice.'  With the leadership provided by the Norwegian Protestant church leaders, Norwegians managed to help over 50 percent of the country's Jews escape to safety in Sweden.  How did the Catholic Church of Norway contribute to the rescue?  It did not, pointedly deciding not to participate in the protest.  Its concern was restricted to five Christian families that had converts from Judaism."

"The Germans took no retribution on the Norwegian, French, Bulgarian or Greek churches for championing the Jews, just as they had refrained from acting against the Danes."  [ A Moral Reckoning, pp. 52 – 53]

the special case in Holland :

"In Holland, the first deportation of Dutch Jews was denounced by the Bishops in strong, condemning terms, and in Belgium the local priests were active – with the support of their Bishops, in hiding Jewish children.

These condemnations by locally influential clergymen did not, however, cause the Germans to abstain or in any way change the measures they took.  (because) They knew that the Vatican would back them up whatever the locals said, and the cooperation they received in Poland, the Baltic countries – in fact wherever Catholics worked with them on the extermination plan – was not endangered.  Only a firm announcement by the Holy Father could have influenced Germany's partners in the annihilation process. . . 

The protests by some courageous Catholic clerics against what they saw happening all around them appears not to have given the Pope the feeling that in regards to the Holocaust he was out of step with the main body of the Catholic hierarchy.  (Pope Pius XII) never condemned what happened in Germany as far as Hitler's program to murder all Jews went.  His position was well known to the conclave that in 1939 elevated him to the papacy.  Of all those eligible, the cardinals elected the one who had since its birth observed the National Socialist party, and knew Hitler's and the party's determination to solve the 'Jewish problem' in the way Hitler had promised.   In electing him to be the new Pope, the cardinals were aware that they were putting into St. Peter's chair a man who would not take a stand against the plan to kill all the Jews of Europe. Certainly most of the cardinals assembled for the conclave were ready to take the German annihilation plan into their stride. The question may be asked to what degree this cardinals assembly made itself co-responsible with Pius XII when he continued to act in regards to the Holocaust after the election as he had done before as Secretary of State.

        "Holy See" ?
    Isn't it amusing how English-speaking Catholic churchmen insist on translating the Latin "Sancta Sedes" into the meaningless "Holy See", instead of the correct, but silly sounding "Holy Seat"?

Papal-typeThroneFree
a papal throne

Dutch and Belgian Catholic clerics stand out the more with their courageous acts, as they knew that this position was not backed by the Holy See.  When the French puppet government of Marshall Pétain introduced special "Jewish statutes" and the cardinals and bishops of France announced their disapproval of these measures, the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See, M. Leon Berard informed Pétain that the Vatican did not consider such legislation to be conflicting with Catholic teachings. No principal conflict, it was just asked that the new statutes be applied with "charity" and "justice ".

NazisvsWomen&Children

In the case of the Vatican, silence was a conspiracy of moral support of the Holocaust because it was (i.e. should have been) a main function of the Pope and his staff to provide moral leadership to the 400 million Catholics. Silence in the face of the annihilation process could only mean that this carnage ongoing without a respite, did not offend the principles of morality. . .  It seems that, notwithstanding an individual intervention here and there, the Vatican did not think that morality was involved.
        In an English language broadcast in September 1940, the Vatican defended its policy of "neutrality" but assured at the same time that where morality was involved, no neutrality was possible." Thus the silence amounted to "there is no moral question involved in these mass murders."  (The Holocaust Conspiracy" by William R. Perl, p. 198 – 200)


The following is from a leading papal defender. It shows that the Vatican recognized what should be done when others did it, but chose not to "go and do likewise".

"When 13,000 Jews were rounded up on July 16, 1942, the French bishops issued a joint protest. At the direction of Pope Pius XII, the protests from French bishops were broadcast and discussed for several days on Vatican Radio. This angered Pierre Laval who reaffirmed his decision to cooperate in the deportation of all non-French Jews to Germany. Archbishop Saliège instructed priests "to protest most vehemently from the pulpit against the deportation of the Jews." His pastoral letter stated: "There is a Christian morality that confers rights and imposes duties. ...The Jews are our brothers. They belong to mankind. No Christian can dare forget that!" L'Osservatore Romano praised Saliège as a hero of Christian courage.

"In France, special efforts were made to protect an estimated 7,000 Jewish children. A force of Protestant and Catholic social workers broke into a prison in Lyons and "kidnapped" ninety children who were being held with their parents for deportation. The parents were deported the next day; the children were sheltered in religious institutions under the protection of Cardinal Pierre Gerlier with the assistance of Father Pierre Chaillet, a member of the cardinal's staff. When the Cardinal refused to surrender the children, Chaillet was arrested and sent to a "mental hospital" for three months."

[ from Consensus and Controversy: Defending Pope Pius XII, by Sister Margherita Marchione, p.148

"The best that the Pope's defenders can do is point to the Netherlands, where the Dutch Catholic Church's protest of the deportation of the Jews in July 1942 led the Germans to deport Catholics who had converted from Judaism.  But this example is misleading in several ways.

The Germans' murder of these people is relevant to a discussion of the Church's solicitude for Catholics (who, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, were no longer Jews) , which no one doubts or fails to applaud, but it is disingenuous to present this as an instance of the Church attempting to help Jews, leading the Germans to kill Jews they would not have killed otherwise.  Even if the Germans considered these victims to be Jews, in the eyes of the Church and the victims themselves, they were Catholics; they had renounced Judaism, been baptized, and declared themselves to be Catholics – believers in the divinity of Jesus and subordinate to the authority of his Catholic Church.  Moreover, the Church quickly learned that these Catholics were doomed, destined to be murdered regardless of its protest.  Soon after deporting these Catholics, the Germans deported the Dutch Protestants who had converted from Judaism, even though the Protestant churches had not publicly protested the deportation of the Jews." [ A Moral Reckoning, pp. 50]

The fate of the Jews in
in the more Catholic countries :

How did the Jews fare during the holocaust in the more Catholic countries?  According to Rabbi Dalin, those were the better countries to be Jewish.

What about Slovakia?

"In Slovakia the Catholic Church was not just extremely influential, its priests were political founders and leaders of the newly independent state.  The antisemitic Father Andre Hlinka established the Slovak People's Party in 1905.  After his death in 1938 Monsignor Josef Tiso became his successor, and then in 1939 the first President of the German satellite state of Slovakia and the avowedly devout Catholic Vojtech Tuka became Prime Minister.  Their government instituted comprehensive antisemitic laws modeled on Germany's and instigated the deportation of the country's Jews, by requesting at the beginning of 1942 that the Germans deport twenty thousand Jews. . .

"In August 1942, during the first phase of the deportation of the country's Jews to their deaths, the president-priest Tiso preached in a holiday mass, using Nazi antisemitic idioms and arguments, that expelling the Jews was a Christian act because Slovakia had to free itself of 'its pests.'  He invoked the authority of his priestly predecessor, Father Hlinka, who, sharing the views of many Catholics of the time, had proclaimed – in violation of official Church policy – the racist doctrine: 'A Jew remains a Jew even if he is baptized by a hundred Bishops.' 

Although individual Slovak bishops decried these policies, the majority of the Church leadership supported its country's eliminationist program. 

They themselves said as much.  During the height of the deportations, in April, 1942, the Slovak bishops collectively issued a pastoral letter that essentially justified the deportation of the Jews as Christ-killers: 'The greatest tragedy of the Jewish nation lies in the fact of not having recognized the Redeemer and of having prepared a terrible and ignominious death for Him on the cross.' They complemented this with modern anti-semitic charges:  'The influence of the Jews [has] been pernicious.  In a short time they have taken control of almost all the economic and financial life of the country to the detriment of our people.  Not only economically, but also in the cultural and moral spheres, they have harmed our people.  The Church cannot be opposed, therefore, if the state with legal regulations hinders the dangerous influence of the Jews.'  Earlier the Slovak bishops had protested to their government, effectively, on behalf of Christians who had converted from Judaism but not on behalf of the Jews.  These Christians were subsequently not deported.

It should therefore come as no surprise how one priest in Slovakia counseled a critical perpetrator about the deportation of the Jews.  Vojtech Tuka, Slovakia's mass-murdering Catholic Prime Minister, conveyed to a German diplomat that he had once told his father confessor that his conscience was clear about his deportation of Slovakia's Jews.  As long as his deeds were, in Tuka's words, done 'for the good of his people,' the priest was 'not opposed to his actions.'

The bishops waited until March 1943 – almost one year after deportations, with all their visible brutalities, had begun and when three quarters of Slovakian Jewry had already been transported to their deaths – to issue pastoral letter against the deportation.  But they were clearly going on the record only because the war was going badly for the Germans, and even still, many bishops opposed the letter.  The Slovakian bishops chose to have the letter read in Latin, which few Slovaks understood, so the letter would be guaranteed not to rally many people to sympathize with or aid the Jews.  The letter was so opposed by the clergy that many priests refused to read it or altered its content so that it no longer condemned the anti-Jewish onslaught.

The Vatican did privately protest, in vain, several times to the Slovak government, though mainly on behalf of Catholics who had converted from Judaism and those in mixed marriages.  It was acutely worried that this avowedly Catholic regime would implicate the Church and the Pope in mass murder because in Slovakia the Church's fingerprints were undeniably on the trigger.  The German government had earlier commented with 'undisguised gratification' that the Slovaks' antisemitic laws 'had been enacted in a state headed by a member of the Catholic clergy.  Pius XII's representative warned President Tiso in October 1944, when the Germans' defeat was around the corner, of the injury that further deportations would do to the Church:  'The injustice wrought by his government is harmful to the prestige of his country and enemies will exploit it to discredit clergy and the Church the world over.  ' This intervention, as the Church itself made clear, had much to do with the Church's selfish political interests and little to do with compassion for the soon-to-be slaughtered Jews.' As with the Pope's late appeal to Horthy in Hungary, the Church was donning a fig leaf of quarter-hearted intervention to cover up its indefensible stances for an expected postwar world under Allied domination.'

What did the Catholic Church do to President Tiso, the priest who, explicitly invoking the Church's authority as justification, contributed to the mass murder of Jews?  What did it do to the Catholic clergy in the Slovak Parliament, not one of whom voted against the legislation legitimizing the deportation of the Jews to their deaths?  No public condemnation.  No excommunication.  Nothing.'  By allowing Father Tiso and the other priests to remain Catholics – not merely lay Catholics but priests who administered the sacraments – and by refusing to publicly and emphatically dissociate itself from him and the other priests who contributed to and gave their blessings to deportations and mass murder, and by refusing to excommunicate this man and the others acting publicly in the name of the Church, Pius XII and his bishops showed that they believed that people complicit in the mass murder of Jews were worthy of representing this Catholic Church in its most sacred duties."{Daniel Goldhagen, A Moral Reckoning,  p. 49 – 54 }

What about Croatia ?

"This incredible state of affairs was even more starkly etched in Croatia, where many priests themselves committed mass murder, including as commanders of approximately half of the twenty death camps set up by the Nazi-like Ustasha regime: 'Dozens, perhaps even hundreds of priests and monks shed their priestly apparel and donned Ustasha uniforms, in order to share in the `sacred work' of murder, rape and robbery.'

The most notorious camp was Jasenovac, where the Croats killed 200,000 Jews, Serbs, and Gypsies.  Forty thousand of them perished under the unusually cruel reign of 'Brother Satan,' the Franciscan friar Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic.  Pius XII neither reproached nor punished him or the other Croatian priest-executioners during or after the war.  Instead, Pius XII supported their country's mass-murdering regime."{Daniel Goldhagen, A Moral Reckoning,  p. 49 – 54 }

Although a puppet of Hitler, Ante Pavelic, the dictator of Catholic Croatia, once chided Hitler on a visit to Berlin about his `lenient' treatment of German Jews, boasting that in comparison he had completely solved the Jewish question in Croatia, while some Jews remained alive in Hitler's Third Reich."        See more details at CatholicArrogance.Org/Catholic/CroatianHolocaust.html

What about Lithuania ?

Why is it that, thanks to the very active role played by the local population, the highest percentage of success in making their country "Jew-free" goes to Lithuania, which managed to murder more than 95% of its Jews?  In 1939, 85% of that country's citizens identified themselves as "Roman Catholic" (according to Gabriel Wilenski, the author of Six Million Crucifixions.

"In Lithuania in August 1941, when the Germans' and Lithuanians' slaughter of the country's Jews was in full swing, the leaders of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, in the words of a contemporaneous German report, 'forbade the priests to help Jews in any way whatsoever';  and they issued this prohibition after representatives of the Jewish community had approached the Church leadership begging for help.  Although some individual priests helped Jews, the Lithuanian Church as a whole collaborated with the Germans until the war turned against Germany (when a greater number began to help Jews, especially Jewish children). . ."

{Daniel Goldhagen, A Moral Reckoning,  p. 49 – 54 }

“As documented by eyewitness testimony, photographs, and Nazi records, the Christian majority welcomed the Germans as liberators and right-wing paramilitary groups began massacring their Jewish neighbors before German rule had even been firmly established. Over the next three years of German occupation, around 200,000 Jews, more than 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jewish population, were murdered—a more complete destruction than befell any other European country. In an of inversion of Denmark, the nation where massive local resistance to the Nazi occupiers saved the lives of most Danish Jews, in Lithuania, zealous local collaboration ensured near-complete extermination. One of the only ways for a Jew to survive the Holocaust in Lithuania—the deadliest place on a deadly continent—was the way Yitzhak Arad did: as a partisan fighting the Nazis and their collaborators in the forests."
        ( from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2015/07/
        lithuania_and_nazis_the_country_wants_to_forget_its_collaborationist_past.html )

What about Italy and Rome ?

"As of (early) September 1943, not a single Jew had been deported from the Italian sphere of occupation in Yugoslavia, southeastern France, and Greece. . .  it was not in the nature of Italians to countenance, or to collude in, the liquidation of the Jews; in fact, the overwhelming evidence is that they did all in their power to hamper and thwart the process." (Cornwell, p. 302 – 03 )

As bad as Mussolini was, it wasn't until his dictatorship ended and the German Nazis occupied parts of Italy that the extermination of the Jews of Italy began.

"Did Pius XII know of the Danish church's protest (described above) ?  Of course he did.  It happened two weeks before the Germans began deporting the Jews of Rome, and months before the Germans' deported Jews from other parts of Italy, such as Trieste (Dec. 7, 1943, to Feb. 24, 1945), and from other parts of Europe, including Hungary (starting in May 1944).

Here was a model of successful action against the annihilation of the Jews that Plus XII chose to reject.  Here is a model of successful action that Pius XII's defenders choose not to mention – all the more striking in light of the fact that (almost) 100 percent of the more than 7,000 rescued Jews of Denmark survived the war.  This cannot be said of the 1,900 Jews whom the Germans deported from Rome to Auschwitz in October 1943 and in the ensuing months.  If the Catholics in Italy who did take the initiative to help Jews, sometimes to the Vatican's displeasure, had instead followed the Pope's lead and done nothing, then the Germans would have killed thousands more.

They took no retribution on (Roman Catholic) Bishop Antonio Santin of Trieste, who during a mass in early November 1943, with Germans and Italian Fascists present, denounced in the name of Jesus the roundup of the Jews as violations of "charity, goodness, and humanity' and urged that within his diocese "every hand offer help" to them.  The Germans did nothing to him, to his parishioners, to Jews married to Catholics or to Catholics who had converted from Judaism.  Having suffered no punishment for his actions, Bishop Santin wrote a letter imploring the Pope to help the Jews – - "I humbly beg Your Holiness to intervene with the German ambassador to the Holy See in favor of these unhappy people." Two weeks later he traveled to the Vatican to make the same plea – - all in vain.

That the Pope would bring danger upon himself and the Church for speaking out was then, and is now, a convenient fiction.  Moreover, the Pope himself proved definitively that such considerations played no role whatsoever in his decisions to remain publicly silent while the Germans murdered Jews.  After the Allies liberated Rome on June 4, 1944, the Germans were in the process of gradually deporting the Jews of Trieste, which they still occupied.  The Pope and the Vatican were completely safe.  More than half a year had passed since Bishop Santin's appeal.  Yet Pius XII still did absolutely nothing to help Trieste's Jews.  Fifteen of the twenty-three trains that brought almost twelve hundred Jews mostly to Auschwitz departed Trieste when the Pope was safely under Allied protection.

Quietly, behind the scenes, Pius XII personally could have also done many things to try to help the Jews, particularly of Italy, with no risk to himself or the Church.  He chose not to.

"The notion that had the Pope spoken out and tried to mobilize Catholics, ecclesiastic and lay, and non-Catholics to resist the Germans' slaughters, then more Jews would have died is about as bizarre and nonsensical an argument as I have read by anyone writing about the Holocaust, except of course the fulminations of Holocaust deniers and their fellow travelers who blame the Jews for their own destruction or, now, for speaking the truth about the Holocaust after the fact' No one has ever demonstrated – or even plausibly argued – that papal silence and the Church's inaction saved Jews anywhere.  No one has ever demonstrated or even plausibly argued that there was a good reason at the time for the Pope to believe that abandoning the Jews to their German-ordained death sentence was the way to save them."{Daniel Goldhagen, A Moral Reckoning,  p. 49 – 54 }

How France
saved some of its Jews :

"That the Holy See had no intrinsic objection to a policy of subjecting the Jews to discriminatory legislation became again clear when in June, 1941, Marshal Pétain's government introduced special 'Jewish statutes' (the French version of the infamous 'Nuremberg laws' stripping Jews of all rights and legal protections). The cardinals and archbishops of France made known their strong disapproval of these measures, but M. Léon Bérard, the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See, , was able to report to Pétain, after lengthy consultations with high Church officials, that the Vatican did not consider such laws in conflict with Catholic teaching.  The Holy See merely counseled that no provisions on marriage be added to the statutes, and 'that the precepts of justice and charity be considered in the application of the law.' ". ;(Lewy, p. 297)

One doesn't need a degree in theology and / or philosophy to know that it is impossible to implement intrinsically unjust or evil laws with 'charity' and 'justice.'

In July 1942, all the bishops and cardinals of occupied France sent a declaration to Marshal Pétain stated:

"Profoundly shocked by the mass arrests and the inhumane treatment meted out to the Jews, we cannot stifle the outcry of our conscience.  In the name of humanity and of Christian principles we raise our protest in favor of the inalienable rights of the human being. . .   We ask you to comply with this appeal so that justice and charity be respected."

This was strong language, but the protest was directed to the wrong person.  [ because Pétain was nothing but a powerless puppet of the Germans, and the Germans didn't care what the local bishops said, so long as the Pope's policy was to be tight-lipped about everything that the Nazis did].  (p. 197)

On Sunday, August 22,1942, Jules Gerard Saliege, Archbishop of Toulouse, had read from all pulpits under his command a statement that unequivocally condemned the deportations of the Jews as cruel inhumanity and sin.  It also accuses the Catholic hierarchy of having surrendered.  [ which was surely true of the Vatican]

"Children, women and fathers have been treated like animals.  That the members of one family can be severed and shipped like cattle to unknown destinations is a sad spectacle reserved for our days.  Why does the right of asylum no longer exist in our churches?  Why have we surrendered?  Lord, take pity with us."

The Prefect of Toulouse had learned of the impending reading of that message and ordered the Archbishop to withdraw it.  Saliege refused in words that should have been used by the Pope.

'It is my duty to teach morals to the members of the diocese and when it is necessary to teach them also to government officials.' "

        And the message was read from the pulpits of 400 churches. 

What was the Pope's reaction to the courageous stand which those bishops took in defense of what they felt to be their moral responsibility?  He did promote Archbishop Saliege to the rank of Cardinal.  He did that in 1946, well after the Germans' unconditional surrender.

And how about the Germans?  Did the Germans arrest and kill the Archbishop?  They did neither; he was too popular a figure.  Archbishop Saliege's standing up against the German horror was not a lone occurrence among leading French clerics.  Monsignor F. W. Theas, Bishop of Montauban, had from the pulpits under his jurisdiction the following message and condemnation read :

"Scenes of indescribable suffering and horror are occurring in our land.  In Paris, tens of thousands of Jews are being subjected to the most barbaric treatment.  In our diocese we are witnesses to the most heartbreaking happenings of similar uprooting of men and women being treated like beasts. In the name of Christian conscience, I am protesting and I proclaim that all men are brothers created by one God. The current anti-Semitic measures constitute a violation of human dignity and of the sacred rights of the individual and the family.  May God comfort those who are persecuted and may He give them strength."(Guenter Lewy, p. 198 – 200)

In a neighboring diocese another bishop likewise defied the Nazis:

"Pierre-Marie Theas (born in September 14, 1894) was ordained as bishop of Montauban France on July 26, 1940. He wrote a pastoral letter condemning the Nazi deportation of Jews in the summer of 1942 in which he said: "I give voice to the outraged protest of Christian conscience and I proclaim… that all men, whatever their race or religion, have the right to be respected by individuals and by states." For his attempts to prevent the Jewish deportations and persecutions he would become one of the few individuals who received the honorary title: "Righteous Among Nations".

Pierre continued to oppose the Nazi policies culminating in a fiery sermon in his cathedral in which he condemned the "Cruel and inhuman treatment of one of our fellow men" in 1944. He was arrested the night after the sermon by the Gestapo. He was sent to a concentration camp where he spent 10 weeks and then was released and returned to his parish."


"The contemporaneous French bishops' public protest of the deportation of Jews from France undermines any argument that the Church could have genuinely believed that silence in this context was golden.  The French bishops' protests did not lead to more Jews dying or suffering.  This was clear at the time.  On the contrary, their protests spurred Catholics, clergy and lay, to save Jews."  [ A Moral Reckoning, p. 50]

The following is a great summary of the way Jews were treated throughout the country's secular history: , including the following insights;
       ' The constant harassment and scapegoating of the Jewish population was about money, according to historian Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci. "When they (Kings) needed money” they would use “any pretext” to chase out Jews and confiscate their property". . . 'Much of the hatred stemmed from Jews being employed in occupations considered socially inferior, such as rent collection and money lending. Catholic doctrine at the time forbade Christians from lending money for interest as it was “sinful”, leading to Jews to work in financial businesses and the characterization of the "Jewish banker"—centuries later symbolized by families such as the Rothschilds.

Emancipation of Jews

'Fast forward a few centuries and within two years of the French Revolution, in 1791, France became the first country in modern Europe to emancipate the Jews —granting them equal rights under the law.'



the French Hierarchy's
"Declaration of Repentance" :

In 1997, the Catholic bishops of France published a "Declaration of Repentance", which prompted this response from the foremost Jewish critic of the Catholic Church's role in the Holocaust, Daniel Goldhagen: "They forthrightly reject many of the current Pope's and the Church's defenders' prevarications about the past.  Their apology is obviously heartfelt in a way that still eludes the Vatican:

"For this failing of the Church of France and of her responsibility toward the Jewish people are part of our history:  We confess this sin.  We beg God's pardon, and we call upon the Jewish people to hear our words of repentance. . . To the extent that the pastors and those in authority in the Church let such a teaching of disdain develop for so long, along with an underlying basic religious culture among Christian communities which shaped and deformed people's attitudes, they bear a grave responsibility.  Even if they condemned antisemitic theories as being pagan in origin, they did not enlighten people's minds as they ought because they failed to call into question these centuries old ideas and attitudes.  This had a soporific effect on people's consciences, reducing their capacity to resist when the full violence of National Socialist antisemitism rose up, the diabolical and ultimate expression of hatred of the Jews, based on the categories of race and blood, and which was explicitly directed to the physical annihilation of the Jewish people." [ A Moral Reckoning, p. 226 ]

For much more on the Church and the Holocaust,
see http://CatholicArrogance.Org/RCscandal.html.

the Catholic (Uniate) Orthodox Church

One of the reasons the Catholic hierarchy of the time gave for supporting Hitler was their fear of the atheistic Communist revolutionaries.  Compared to the Bolshevists, who made no bones about their antipathy toward the church, and the Nazis, who pretended to be friends of the Church, Pius XII and the German hierarchy thought it best to befriend the devil that they knew best, rather than the one at a distance. 

"The true face of the Nazi was revealed to Archbishop Szepticky. `Little by little, the government has instituted a truly unbelievable regime of terror and corruption ... Today, the whole country feels that the German regime is if anything worse, almost diabolically worse, than the Bolshevists.  It was not only the 200,000 Jews who had already been killed who troubled the Archbishop; `hundreds of thousands of Christians' were being systematically slaughtered by the Nazis and their local Ukrainian henchmen. The survival of the Ukrainian Catholic Church was threatened: Archbishop Szepticky was writing to tell the Pope that soon the clergy in the Ukraine would be extinct."[ Unholy Trinity, p. 174 ]

The minutes of the Wannasee Conference that finalized plans for the Jewish Holocaust included the following provisions:

"The Jews themselves, or their Jewish political organizations, financed the (prior) emigration. In order to avoid impoverished Jews' remaining behind, the principle was followed that wealthy Jews have to finance the emigration of poor Jews; this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e., an emigration tax, which was used for financial arrangements in connection with the emigration of poor Jews and was imposed according to income."

A - Heroic Roman Catholics who
saved Jews from the Nazi Holocaust :

Until mid-May of 2018, the lower part of this page celebrated individual Catholics who performed heroicly during the Third Reich. You will now find that section at the top of this other page.

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