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Hitler's Pope,

The Secret History of Pius XII

ISBN: 0-14-029627-1



John Cornwell a journalist and avid researcher into Vatican affairs spent several years researching what would turn into this book.  Initially he sought to vanquish the rumors which for years had tied, what many Italians still refer to as l'ultimo papa, the last Pope, to the Nazi's.  As Cornwell dug, instead of vanquishing the rumors--he instead found strong evidence supporting them.


The book is rich in detail regarding Eugenio Pacelli's, Pope Pius XII's, ascendancy.  The richness of detail also encompasses the history of the period, of the early 20th century, leading us from the turn of the century to the Pope's zenith in 1950.

In 1933 Pope Pius XI joined with the Nazis in signing the Reich Concordat, an agreement which "...marked the formal beginning of German Catholicism's acceptance of its obligations under the terms of the treaty which imposed  a moral duty on Catholics to obey the Nazi rulers. Thus Catholic critics fell silent... Who could now doubt that the Nazi regime had the blessing of the Holy See ?" (p. 160)


Pius XI would later also embrace the developing fascism in Spain, openly denouncing the Republicans and prasing Franco.  Over a period of years as fascism developed in Spain, Germany and in Italy, the Pope was steadfast in his support of fascism.  He failed to denounce invasions and aggression by the forces of fascism that resulted in atrocities.  It was in this milieu that Pope Pius XII, emerges.


Hitler's Pope takes a long, deep look at Pacelli's role in the rise of Hitler in Germany and the negotiations the ambitious cardinal undertook with the Nazis to ensure the survival of the German Catholic Church. In return for a guarantee of the Church's survival, Pius XII played a crucial role in Hitler's success by removing the influential German Catholics from the public debate. This, author John Cornwell argues, was a critical step in bringing Hitler to power. In Cornwell's words: "No other non-German did more to contribute to Hitler's rise to power."


Cornwell realized that the materials he had gathered on Eugenio Pacelli's life did not exonerate the pope of the charge of indifference, but implicated him in a much more damning charge of collusion. Cornwell discovered that Pacelli was a career anti-Semite, documented as far back as 1919, and gives greater detail than ever before of the pope's complete refusal to help the Jews of Rome as they were rounded up just outside the Vatican's walls to be taken for mass extermination.
















A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

ISBN: 0060926430



"Zinn has written a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those who have been exploited politically and economically and whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories. Extending its coverage... the book is an excellent antidote to establishment history.  Seldom have quotations been so effectively used; the stories of blacks, women, Indians, and poor laborers of all nationalities are told in their own words.  While the book is precise enough to please specialists, it should satisfy any adult reader."  LIBRARY JOURNAL


"One of the most important books I have ever read in a long life of reading... It's a wonderful, splendid book--a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future."  HOWARD FAST


"The coming of World War II weakened the old labor militancy of the thirties because the war economy created millions of new jobs at higher wages.  The New Deal had succeeded only in reducing unemployment from 13 million to 9 million.  It was the war that put almost everyone to work, and the war did something else: patriotism, the push for unity of all classes against enemies overseas, made it harder to mobilize anger against the corporations."  (p. 393)


"The CIA now had to prove it was still needed.  The NY Times (Feb. 4, 1992) declared that 'in a world where the postwar enemy had ceased to exist, the CIA and its handful of sister agencies, with their billion dollar satellites and mountains of classified documents, must somehow remain relevant in the minds of Americans.'  The military budget remained huge.  The cold war budget of $300 billion was reduced by 7 percent to $280 billion.  The Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, Colin Powell, said; 'I want to scare the hell out of the rest of the world.  I don't say that in a bellicose way." (p. 581)



Updated  August 17, 2005

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