Even the most benign schoraly attempts of young American authors to understand and evaluate the implications of Hitler's Third Reich seem to unite in blaming 1.) the "German people", 2.) the Catholic Church, and 3.) Pope Pius XII for not having prevented the holocaust by protesting, resisting, and denouncing the government in groups or even mass rallies. I finally rediscovered two pieces of evidence which clearly demonstrate how humanly impossible these idealistic demands are unless one assumes mankind to consist of great numbes of heroes and saints ready to be martyred. [It may be of interest that none of the few authors I personally asked if they were willing to lose their jobs, or even life and limb for their persecuted neighbors, (Jews, negroes, or Muslems, as the case may be) sat up and shook their heads.]
1.) Archbishop von Galen protested against the killing of the "mentally and physically ill" who were burdens to the state. One Protestant and three Catholic ministers in the diaspora city of Luebeck distributed the bishops sermons, discussed them in groups and spoke up against the German war effort. They were arrested in June 1942 and executed in November. Nothing happened to the bishop--"Divide and conquer"
2.)The famous philosopher-nun Edith Stein was sent to a convent in Holland to protect her from Nazi persecution. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands the Dutch bishops protested "the deportation of Jews...Edith was taken on 2 August 1942. . . She died at Auschwitz on 9 August 1942" Nothing happend to the bishops.
I wonder if the authors in question still want to condemn Pope Pius XII for protesting in a minor key while saving like Schindler many Jews in real life.
[check www.luebeck.de/tourismus and www.ewtn.com/faith/edith_stein.htm]
Pius XII was the Pope of the Catholic Youth Movement in Germany during the thirties, especially during the Third Reich when it had to go "underground." This fact may explain why the recent publications condemning the Pope are deeply disturbing to the surviving members of "Neues Deutschland," "Katholische Pfadfinder," "Kolping," and other groups of the movement which flourished before Hitler came to power.
By diligently collecting and analysing the newspaper articles, books, and Vatican documents of the time in question Margherita Marchione's "Consensus & Controversy" reestablishes the facts the generation of the Second World War knew by experience: Pius XII did his best to help the victims of the Nazi regime. He saved more of them than all other national leaders, including the Zionist activists of the time, together.
This "archeological" piece of evidence confirms the facts related in "Consensus & Controversy." The immediate experience of witnesses will add a basis of validity to the understanding of a period which should never be neglected by later historians. Sister Marchione quotes Golda Meir and many other Jews whose testimonies fulfill this requirement....P> that condemn Pius XII are deeply disturbing"