The Vatican publishes the letters of the Jews to Pius XII on the Internet

One of the documents of the “Jews” series in the Historical Archives of the Vatican State Secretariat, available for online consultation

At the request of the Pope, theHistorical Archive of the State Secretariat It makes a virtual reproduction of an entire archival series relating to the pontificate of Pope Pius XII called “The Jews” available to everyone on the Internet, because it was intended to preserve requests for help addressed to the Pope by Jews from all over Europe, after the beginning of the Nazi-fascist persecutions.

The news was provided today by the Vatican Press Office, which specified that the archive series consists of 170 volumes, digitally equivalent to nearly 40,000 files – 70% can already be traced back, the rest will be completed through renovations – and that the file with Analytical inventory of the series, where all the names of the recipients of assistance found in the documents are noted.

This is the Jewish series of the Historical Archives of the State Secretariat – Department of Relations with States and International Organizations (ASRS). A series of 170 volumes in total, part of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs Fund (AA.EE.SS.), relating to the Pontificate of Pius XII – Part I (1939-1948), already available as of March 2, 2020, in the Reading Room In the historical archive, by scholars from around the world.

Applications can be aimed at obtaining visas or passports for expatriates, asylum, reunification with a family member, release of a detainee, transfer from one concentration camp to another, news of a deported person, supplies of food or clothing, Or financial support, or spiritual support. and more. Each of these cases constituted a practice which, once evaded, was destined to be preserved in a documentary series called “The Jews”. L ‘Then the Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs commissioned a skillful diplomat, Monsignor Angelo del Acqua, to deal with requests for assistance that came to the Pope from all over Europe, with a view to rendering every possible assistance.

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As Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, wrote today in the L’Osservatore Romano, “Thousands of persecuted because of their affiliation with Judaism, or simply because of ‘non-Aryan’ origin, have resorted to the knowledge of the Vatican that others have been helped, The requests reached the foreign minister, where diplomatic channels were activated to try to provide all possible assistance, taking into account the complexity of the political situation on a global scale.”

“Yes, I am writing to you today, and please help me from afar,” for example, reads a letter from a 23-year-old college student, a German of Israeli descent who was baptized in 1938, and who turns 17 in January 1942 looking for A method for the release of a detainee in the Miranda de Ebro concentration camp in Spain. In fact, he has a chance to reach his mother, who fled to America in 1939. Everything is ready to be able to leave Lisbon, all that is required is the intervention of an “outside person” until the authorities agree to release him. Because “for those without help abroad, there is little hope,” Barash explains. He then wrote to an old Italian friend of his, asking her to turn to Pius XII so that the Apostolic Nuncio in Madrid would intervene on his behalf, knowing that “others who had intervened from Rome were able to leave the concentration camp.” After two papers, it turned out that within a few days the State Secretariat deals with the case, and reports it “again” to the ambassador in Madrid. Then the file stops. He doesn’t talk about the fate of this young German student. But we know that Barash was released from Camp Miranda the following year, and in 1945 he was able to join his mother and sister in the United States. There he continued his studies at Berkeley, MIT, and the University of Colorado, before working as a chemist in California.

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