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The book describes the role way some Catholic Bishops attempted to resist the Nazi extermination of the Jews and other populations during the Holocaust. It shows that many Catholic Bishops throughout Europe risked life and limb sheltering Jews and other victims. While other scholars forward different opinions on the matter, Lapomarda’s analysis of Pope Pius XII uses factual evidence to show the Pope acted against the Nazis' treatment of the Jews, and facilitated massive movements against the final solution.


“The author introduces us to many relatively unknown heroes of the Church during the Holocaust... it is an emotional and moving read that provides deep insight into history, human nature, and faith.”

-Prof. Ronald J. Rychlak,
University of Mississippi

“I think the book is significant for its astonishing breadth, for its critical commentary, and for its positive contribution to the continuing debate about the role of Pope Pius XII in the Holocaust.”

-Dr. Edward J. Kealey,
Holy Cross University

“The author seeks to recover ‘the facts,’ the particulars that nuance and challenge facile global judgments.”

-Prof. Alice L. Laffey,
The College of the Holy Cross

"Vincent Lapomarda, S.J., professor of history and a Holocaust specialist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., focuses on the church heirachy, while including many other among the clergy and laity who risked or gave their lives in resisting the Nazis and aiding Jews. Lapomarda chronicles scores of bishops and priests, country by country, in a valuable but undetailed study. Particulars are often difficult to come by, since the clergy members who helped Jews sought no publicity and left few traces. He is forthright about those who were less than resistant to the Nazis but concentrates on the many who were heroes. Adding to the book's value as a resource is a bibliographical essay with country-by-country chapters. Extremely condensed, occasional details are reminders that some bishops also endured the horrors of concentration camps and some were martyred."

-James Donnelly,
May 6, 2013 Book Reviews
America The National Catholic Review

"Few subjects generate as much interest-and debate- as the Catholic Church's record during the Holocaust, and for understandable reasons...Focusing on the Catholic Biships - without overlooking nuncios, religious, and ordinary laymen - Lapomarda examines each country affected by the war, and consideres how Catholics, especially those in positions of power, reacted...All told, Fr. Lapomarda examines over twenty, [countries] and demonstrates how widespread and effective Catholic resistance was during the war years, disproving oft-heard claims that it was sparse and feeble...One thing that stands out in Fr. Lapomarda's valuable study is his command of the available evidence, including recent findings, from primary sources, specialized literature, and personal testimonies. He has a true historian's ability to synthesize a vast array of material and keenly assess it for the reader's edification...[it] is an outstanding example of the new scholarship taking place, and a sign that balance and integrity is finally returning to this important field of historical inquiry.
William Doino Jr.,
Contributing Editor,
'Inside the Vatican',

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ronald J. Rychlak i
Author’s Preface v
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
The Pope 2
The Successors of Pope Pius XII 3
The Papal Diplomats 6
Chapter 1: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in Italy 15
The Cardinal Archbishop of Florence 16
The Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa 17
The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan 18
The Cardinal Archbishop of Turin 20
The Cardinal Patriarch of Venice 21
Some Other Archbishops of Italy 22
Some Other Bishops of Italy 23
Italian Heroes and Heroines in the Shoah 27
Chapter 2: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in France 33
The Collaborationist Bishops 33
The Bishops Opposed to Vichy 35
French Heroes and Heroines 42

Chapter 3: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in the
Low Countries 47
Belgium 47
Luxembourg 54
Netherlands 56
Chapter 4: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
the Iberian Peninsula 63
Portugal 63
Spain 66
Chapter 5: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in Germany 71
The Cardinal Archbishop of Breslau 71
The Cardinal Archbishop of Munich 74
The Archbishops of Cologne 77
The Archbishops of Paderborn 79
The Bishop of Münster 80
The Bishop of Berlin 81
Some Other German Bishops 83
Bishops Who Supported the Nazis 91
Some Heroic Germans 94
Chapter 6: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in Austria 97
The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna 97
Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal 99
Some Other Austrian Bishops 100
Heroic Austrians 102
Chapter 7: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
Czechoslovakia 109
The Cardinal Archbishop of Prague 110
Some Other Czechoslovakian Bishops 111
The Bishops and the Jesuits in Slovakia 115
Dr. Jozef Tiso and the Jews 119
Chapter 8: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in Poland 121
The Primate of Poland 121
The Archbishop of Kraków 123
The Martyred Bishops of Poland 125
Some Other Prominent Bishops 129
Heroic Clergy and Religious 132
Chapter 9: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in the
Baltic States 143
Estonia 143
Latvia 145
Lithuania 147
Chapter 10: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in Hungary 155
The Primates of Hungary 155
The Archbishops of Hungary 157
Some Other Bishops of Hungary 158
Heroic Hungarians 160

Chapter 11: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
Yugoslavia 163
The Archbishop of Sarajevo 164
The Primate of Croatia 166
Other Archbishops and Bishops of Yugoslavia 170
The Jesuits 172
Chapter 12: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
Romania 179
The Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Rite 180
The Archbishops of the Greek Catholic Rite 182
The Rescuing of Jews 184
Chapter 13: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
Russia 187
The “Crusade Against Bolshevism” 188
The Sheptytsky Brothers 191
The Archbishop of Minsk 193
Chapter 14: The Bishops, Catholics, and Jews in
Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey 195
Bulgaria 195
Greece 198
Turkey 200

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