Written with economy and in chronological order, this book offers a
comprehensive account of the response to the Nazi tyranny by Pope Pius
XII, his envoys, and various representatives of the Catholic Church in
every country where Nazism existed before and during WWII.
Bartley makes extensive use of primary sources – letters, diaries,
memoirs, official government reports, German and British. He manifestly
quotes the works of several prominent Nazis, of churchmen, diplomats,
members of the Resistance, and ordinary Jews and gentiles who left
eye-witness accounts of life under the Nazis, in addition to the wartime
correspondence between Pius XII and President Roosevelt.
book reveals how resistance to Hitler and rescue work engaged many
churchmen and laypeople at all levels, and was often undertaken in
collaboration with Protestants and Jews. The Church paid a high price in
many countries for its resistance, with hundreds of churches closed
down, bishops exiled or martyred, and many priests shot or sent to Nazi
Bartley also explores the supposed inaction of the
German bishops over Hitler's oppression of the Jews, showing that the
Reich Concordat did not deter the hierarchy and clergy from protesting
the regime's iniquities or from rescuing its victims. While giving clear
evidence for Papal condemnation of the Jewish persecution, he also
explains why Pius XII could not completely set aside the language of
diplomacy and be more openly vocal in his rebuke of the Nazis.