The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965:

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9780253214713: The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965:

"Phayer offers exactly what was needed.... A fair and even-tempered account of a volatile subject." ―Kirkus Reviews

"An important addition to the literature of the Holocaust." ―Publishers Weekly

"Very valuable... a fine and judicious book." ―István Deák, The New York Review of Books

"Phayer has written a singularly important book on the role of the Catholic Church in both the Holocaust and its aftermath, up to and including Vatican II. Diligently researched and documented, judicious in its conclusions, comprehensive in its scope, compassionate and humane in its outlook, this book is an indispensable resource." ―Richard L. Rubenstein

"Phayer’s study of [the Catholic Church] as an actor in the tumultuous history of the [20th century] will serve as a model for other historians." ―Donald J. Dietrich, Boston College

Phayer’s book, particularly strong on German source material, is at pains to list Pius’s strong points his piety, his loathing of Hitler, the instances of personal warmth, the occasions when he criticized Nazism. Phayer examines not only Pius’s actions but those of other leading Catholics, and his study extends beyond the end of World War II to follow the evolution of official Catholic thinking during the rebuilding of Germany, the cold war, and the gradual theological reforms that led to Vatican II. This enables Phayer to show how the church completely reversed its position relative to the Jews, but it also gives him a more thorough reading of Pius XII’s overall record. It is a damning and convincing verdict that emerges." ―Commonweal

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About the Author:

Michael Phayer is Professor of History at Marquette University. His two most recent books, Protestant Catholic Women in Nazi Germany and (with Eva Fleischner) Cries in the Night: Women Who Challenged the Holocaust, deal
extensively with Catholic-Jewish relations before and during the Shoah.

Review:

"Phayer insists that the failures and deficiencies of Pius XII's leadership ought not lead to a simplistic condemnation. He looks carefully at the record of the pope as well as those of bishops, the church, and individual Catholics, and concludes that the record is mixed and complex. This reviewer recommends Phayer's text as the appropriate choice for all libraries having an interest in issues relating to the Holocaust." ―Choice, May 2001



This title has been reviewed jointly with Hitler, the war, and the pope, by Ronald Rychlak. John Cornwell's controversial book, Hitler's Pope (CH, Jun'00), serves as the backdrop for these disparate approaches to the question of papal complicity in the Holocaust. Cornwell's condemnation of Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) as Hitler's pawn and as an antisemite follows Rolf Hochhuth's 1964 play The Deputy, which condemned the silence of the pope. Both Phayer (history, Marquette Univ.) and Rychlak (Univ. of Mississippi School of Law) criticize Cornwell's attack on the papacy; Phayer crafts a carefully nuanced argument that recognizes the moral ambiguity of any response―including the pope's―to the horror of the Holocaust. Rychlak, an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church, seeks to defend the reputation of Pope Pius XII. Rychlak's publisher, Our Sunday Visitor, is a Catholic press that pledges (on its Web site (http://www.osv.com)) to support the teachings of the Church as proclaimed by the Holy Father. These partisan interests obscure what may have been interesting details about the activity of Pius XII during WW II. The question is whether the failure to act, speak, and object can be interpreted as acts of complicity. Rychlak argues that had Pius XII objected more strenuously, Hitler would have retaliated with even more violence. But could it have gotten any worse inside the gates of the hell of Auschwitz? By highlighting the suffering of German Catholic priests and bishops without giving adequate attention to the particularity of Jewish suffering, Rychlak seems insensitive to the horror suffered by the Jews during the Holocaust. Phayer acknowledges that Pius XII could not have halted the Holocaust, but that he could have done far more―for example, by disseminating information about the genocide, which the Vatican is known to have had. Phayer speculates that while Pius XII could have been more active, the pope's fixation on diplomatic solutions and his obsession with the threat of communism made him inflexible. Phayer insists that the failures and deficiencies of Pius XII's leadership ought not lead to a simplistic condemnation. He looks carefully at the record of the pope as well as those of bishops, the church, and individual Catholics, and concludes that the record is mixed and complex. This reviewer recommends Phayer's text as the appropriate choice for all libraries having an interest in issues relating to the Holocaust. General readers and undergraduates.P. K. Steinfeld, Buena Vista University, 2001may CHOICE.

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Descrizione libro Indiana University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Phayer offers exactly what was needed. A fair and even-tempered account of a volatile subject. -Kirkus Reviews An important addition to the literature of the Holocaust. -Publishers Weekly Very valuable. a fine and judicious book. -Istvan Deak, The New York Review of Books Phayer has written a singularly important book on the role of the Catholic Church in both the Holocaust and its aftermath, up to and including Vatican II. Diligently researched and documented, judicious in its conclusions, comprehensive in its scope, compassionate and humane in its outlook, this book is an indispensable resource. -Richard L. Rubenstein Phayer s study of [the Catholic Church] as an actor in the tumultuous history of the [20th century] will serve as a model for other historians. -Donald J. Dietrich, Boston CollegePhayer s book, particularly strong on German source material, is at pains to list Pius s strong points his piety, his loathing of Hitler, the instances of personal warmth, the occasions when he criticized Nazism. Phayer examines not only Pius s actions but those of other leading Catholics, and his study extends beyond the end of World War II to follow the evolution of official Catholic thinking during the rebuilding of Germany, the cold war, and the gradual theological reforms that led to Vatican II. This enables Phayer to show how the church completely reversed its position relative to the Jews, but it also gives him a more thorough reading of Pius XII s overall record. It is a damning and convincing verdict that emerges. -Commonweal. Codice libro della libreria APC9780253214713

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Descrizione libro Indiana University Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Phayer offers exactly what was needed. A fair and even-tempered account of a volatile subject. -Kirkus Reviews An important addition to the literature of the Holocaust. -Publishers Weekly Very valuable. a fine and judicious book. -Istvan Deak, The New York Review of Books Phayer has written a singularly important book on the role of the Catholic Church in both the Holocaust and its aftermath, up to and including Vatican II. Diligently researched and documented, judicious in its conclusions, comprehensive in its scope, compassionate and humane in its outlook, this book is an indispensable resource. -Richard L. Rubenstein Phayer s study of [the Catholic Church] as an actor in the tumultuous history of the [20th century] will serve as a model for other historians. -Donald J. Dietrich, Boston CollegePhayer s book, particularly strong on German source material, is at pains to list Pius s strong points his piety, his loathing of Hitler, the instances of personal warmth, the occasions when he criticized Nazism. Phayer examines not only Pius s actions but those of other leading Catholics, and his study extends beyond the end of World War II to follow the evolution of official Catholic thinking during the rebuilding of Germany, the cold war, and the gradual theological reforms that led to Vatican II. This enables Phayer to show how the church completely reversed its position relative to the Jews, but it also gives him a more thorough reading of Pius XII s overall record. It is a damning and convincing verdict that emerges. -Commonweal. Codice libro della libreria APC9780253214713

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