Two Popes and the Holocaust

  • Frank J. Coppa


In june 1939, when Nazi Germany’s expansionist demands and blatant racism rendered the outbreak of a new cataclysm inevitable, the French Ambassador to the Holy See, François Charles-Roux, lamented the cautious and neutral position of the new Pope, Eugenio Pacelli, who assumed the name Pius XII. The Ambassador appreciated the Pope’s determination to preserve the peace, but resented his refusal to pass judgment or assign responsibility, treating aggrieved and aggressor alike. Charles-Roux considered this an unfortunate departure from the course of his predecessor, Achille Ratti, who pontificated as Pius XI (1922–39). ‘Without doubt all expected a change, because each has his own temperament and his own methods,’ the Frenchman explained, adding, ‘to many, however, the differences seemed excessive.’1


Racial Issue Nazi Regime Jewish Question Fascist Regime American Historical Review 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank J. Coppa

There are no affiliations available

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