.- In comments to the newspaper, âLe Point,â Jewish historian Saul FriedlÃ¤nder defended Pius XII against accusations that he was âHitler's Pope.â FriedlÃ¤nder recalled that Pope Pacelli's aversion to Nazism was made known by his collaboration in the writing of Pius XI's encyclical, âMit brennender Sorge.â
FriedlÃ¤nder previously taught contemporary history at the University Institute of Higher International Studies in Geneva and also worked at universities in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. He is the author of such books as, âHitler and the United States,â âPius XII and the Third Reich,â and âReflections on the Future of Israel.â
In the interview with Le Point, which was covered by LâOsservatore Romano (LOR), the Jewish historian referred to the silent work of Pius XII.
While some say he did little to protest the deportation of Jews and the Holocaust, written records and witnesses tell another story. They testify to his actions in defense of the Jews. Accounts of his intervention to save 4,000 Jews from a ghetto in Rome and place them in convents and Catholic schools refute claims of his passiveness.
In response to accusations against Pius XII's character, LOR pointed out, âFriedlÃ¤nder says he does not want to transform Pius XII into âHitlerâs Pope,â as others have done. Instead, he recounts Pope Pacelliâs aversion to Nazism and his collaboration in the drafting of Mit brennender Sorge,â Pius XIâs encyclical condemning Nazi ideology.