By Jesus J. Chao

9 of 11



Pius XII, a man of great personal courage dared to be involved in a high risk venture that could even endanger the very existence of The Church-the support of the internal resistance to the Nazis inside the German Armed Forces. The French and the British governments were deaf to the pleas of the Vatican to assist the German internal resistance to the Nazi government. From the very beginning Pius XII tried to persuade the Allies to support the inside German opposition, but they did not heed the Pope.

A number of anti-Nazi plotters inside the Abwehr, the intelligence branch of the armed forces, made repeated, and ultimately futile attempts through the Holy See to reach and persuade the British to back, or even to talk with the German resistance. They were all killed in the July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Hitler, the last in a long line of foiled attempts to get rid of the dictator. The leader, a Roman Catholic officer, Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was shot on he spot. Other conspirators, mostly Protestants, were not so lucky; they were hung by using piano strings from butchers’ hooks and filmed on Hitler’s orders so that he could watch it himself later.

According to historian O’Carroll, in 1983 the Italian magazine Gente, published the testimony of General Wolff, the commander of the German forces in Italy during WWII. He revealed that in 1943 Pius XII had invited him to the Vatican and tried to persuade him to end the war in Italy on his own initiative. General Wolff was impressed and gave the matter thought; he finally decided against the Pope’s plea. But he recorded the immense personal impression that Pius XII made on him. How many people, great and small, have said or written just that about Pius XII. We already mentioned how the whole leadership of the Italian resistance found refugee in the Church’s facilities in Rome.

Pius XII also served as a conduit for an offer made by a group of anti-Nazi German generals to topple Hitler from power. They wanted to know if the British would make peace with Germany if they succeeded in arresting Hitler and removing him from power. The proposal was made by Colonel-General Ludwig Beck (four star general), who latter was made chief of the German General Staff, but who resigned in 1938 convinced that Hitler was a criminal. Pius XII had known Beck when he was Nuncio in Berlin and "highly esteemed his honesty and integrity."

The Pope also allowed the Vatican diplomatic corps, which was protected by diplomatic immunity, to carry messages between the Allied powers. There was a close collaboration between the Vatican and the Allies’ intelligence services. In fact, the Vatican forewarned Holland and Belgium of the upcoming German invasion.


1. Pius XII and the Holocaust, Myth and Reality

2. Pius XII & the Holocaust - Historical Frame

3. Pius XII and the Holocaust - 1933

4. Was Pius XII "Hitler's Pope"

5. Were Pius XII and the Church really silent during the Holocaust?

6. The Allies were slow in responding to the Pleas of the Jews

7. Pius XII - The forgotten victims of the Holocaust

8. The Rescue of the Jews: The Holy See made every possible effort to help the Jews

9. Pius XII and the Resistance

10. Pius XII- Allies slow in responding to the pleas of the Jews

11. Pius XII - Conclusion


Copyright © 2000 Jesus J. Chao

Printed on June 13, 2001 by Leap of Faith- www.faithleap.org  with Permission from Mr. Jesus J. Chao.


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