NEW YORK (Apr. 24)
“Quiet wartime efforts” by the late Pope Pius XII had resulted in the saving of 860, 000 Jews from the Hitler annihilation program, a former Israeli Consul in Milan, claims, according to a Jerusalem dispatch published today by The New York Times. The former Israeli diplomat, Pinhas Lapide, has written a book to be published soon in Holland. He was quoted as saying that his work is primarily a reply to Rolf Hochhuth, the German playwright, whose drama, “The Deputy,” accused Pope Pius of having condoned Hitler’s anti-Jewish actions through silence.
“I have waited for the Vatican to stand up and say what it did,” the author said in Jerusalem. “Apparently, it doesn’t know the results of the Pope’s repeated interventions.” He said that Catholic clergymen in many countries, encouraged by quiet papal messages, had saved many hundreds of thousands of Jews. Mr. Lapide stated that, after the Papal Nuncio in Germany had intervened with Hitler himself against the deportation of Jews, and found Hitler angrily rejecting the Nuncio’s pleas, Pope Pius had decided that a public pronouncement on the issue would only aggravate the Jewish situation.