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on 12 October 2016
Not worthwhile. A lot of novelistic imagination about private conversations that no one was privy too, without any documentation or footnotes. From the book itself there is no way to know what is documented fact, and what is the author's benevolent imagination. If one does know the underlying documented history, however, one knows that the vast majority of the book is the latter, not the former. This book takes the bare bones of the positive actions that Pope Pius XII took, which have been far better documented elsewhere, and embroiders a sort of sugar-coated historical novel around them. And some of the history (such as the origin of the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge and the conflict between Pacelli and Pius XI over it), is incorrect. Far better books on the subject exist, such as Michael Phayer's "The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965" or Frank Coppa's "The Life and Pontificate of Pope Pius XII: Between History and Controversy". Both are written by Catholics as fair and balanced history, not polemical argument on one side or the other. This book, on the other hand, is a whitewashed fictionalized account that does not do justice to a far more complex situation and Pope.
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on 23 March 2013
This book is unlikely to be viewed positively by anyone who is not well disposed to the Catholic church since it demolishes many, if not all of the untruths which have been accepted about Pius X11 and his position on the Jewish people during the war. It is an easy read and the access which the author had to Vatican documents and diplomatic papers provide a fascinating account of a much maligned and misunderstood pontiff at a crucial time in European and world history. Critics of the Church of Rome have had many good reasons to state their opposition, but those who attacked Pius X11 rarely let the truth get in the way of their barbs.
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on 22 March 2013
Much has been written about the failure of Pope Pius to codemn the Nazis. Most of this is unfair and misguided: he did clearly condemn Nazi views shortly after he became Pope and there is a little evidence that stronger language would have made any real difference to the course of events. What this book clearly shows is that in the areas where he could make a difference he did so - although much of it had to be done in secret. He worked very strenuously both in ensuring that many priests in different countries provided documentation to enable Jewish people to escape from Europe and also in providing shelter for thousands of Jewish families in Rome itself.
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on 19 March 2013
At last-the truth about the heroic efforts and the members of the Roman Catholic church,at great danger to their lives,to help thousands of Jewish people from the gas chambers.I would like to see the late Pope Pius X11 declared a RIGHTEOUS GENTILE,and many others given recognition for their heroic work.Do not forget this happened all over Italy,not only around then Vatican and city of Rome,but especially in Assisi,the town of St.Francis.Michael de Felice. this book will go some way to answers the accusations of Cornwell and Hochhuth.
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on 6 May 2014
The accepted views of historians is that Pope Pius XII did nothing to prevent the deportation of Romrs 8,000 jews in 1943 nor did he take any action to condem Germanys Holocaust.
The authors research goes a long way to dispel these beliefs with meticulous research into historical detail and to right whatever wrongs were comitted by Pius XII however in my view not all the problems were addressed and a "Not Proven" verdict is the correct one.
There are a few good pictures, a principal personae list and a select bibliography.
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on 14 February 2013
While I praise Gordon Thomas' general position regarding Pope Pius XII I must correct some glaring errors in his account. Because he does not give any footnotes or endnotes to substantiate his version of events, his book is basically a novel. He excludes the actual role Pius XII had in stopping the roundup of the Jews on October 16. As Bishop Hudal's own diary records, Pius XII sent his nephew Carlo Pacelli to Bishop Hudal, specifically to urge him to write a letter to General Stahel, to stop the roundup. Pius XII then had Father Pfeiffer take that letter to General Stahel. Stahel wanted to comply but he said that Himmler wouldn't listen to such humanistic arguments. He knew a better way to get Himmler to stop. So he phoned Himmler and argued that if those roundups were to continue there would be a popular uprising in Rome and that furthermore he was going to have to withdraw his troops because they were needed elsewhere. Himmler fell for that argument, and stopped the roundup. This is very minutely documented in a book on Kindle by Gary Krupp, published by Pave the Way Foundation, "Pope Pius XII and WWII: The Documented Truth," with explicit references to the sources for each detail. This proves that the Pope had a hand in getting the roundup to stop, through his intermediaries Carlo Pacelli and Fr. Pfeiffer. Marilyn Mallory
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on 4 November 2014
Historical references not too clear
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on 7 January 2015
A really splendid book
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on 5 April 2016
Very interesting.
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