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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust: Opening of the Vatican archives long overdue

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Auschwitz survivors around the world are welcoming the opening of the Vatican archives, the conclusions concerning Pope Pius XII’s attitude towards the Holocaust, and the participation of the Catholic Church in aiding Nazi perpetrators to escape from Germany to South America via so-called rat lines.

Commenting on this in Berlin, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee said:

"The opening of the archives is long since overdue. It is something Holocaust survivors have been demanding for many years. It is a good thing that independent researchers can now gain closer insights into the context and the involvement of the pope and other representatives of the Catholic Church. In the current times of new anti-Semitic world conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic attacks, it is crucial that the Catholic Church is open and honest towards the world and the Holocaust survivors about this important historical question, especially since this chapter in history can serve as learning material for the right kind of action. The Holocaust survivors are especially grateful to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) which has lobbied the Vatican for many years to open the archives on this specific issue."


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81