The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965 by Michael Phayer

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"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

 

About Michael Phayer

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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, dealextensively with Catholic-Jewish relations before and during the Shoah.
 
Published July 1, 2001 by Indiana University Press. 328 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965

Kirkus Reviews

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A fair and even-tempered account of a volatile subject.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Following hard upon John Cornwell’s controversial Hitler’s Pope (not reviewed), and John Paul II’s unprecedented apology to Jews in Israel, Phayer (History/Marquette Univ.) offers exactly what was needed all along: a more incisive, if somewhat dry, view of Pius XII that portrays him not as a powe...

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Publishers Weekly

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Phayer makes an important addition to the literature of Holocaust studies: he provides evidence that Pope Pius XII (who reigned over the Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958) knew in early 1942 what was happening to Europe's Jews (and to non-Jews in Croatia and Poland)--yet he remained silent.

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Project MUSE

Although the Vatican tacitly supported the convents, monasteries, and parish churches in Italy that hid Jews, it did nothing to discourage the German deportation of Jews from Rome when German diplomats deeply feared that it would.

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https://muse.jhu.edu

But when the striving for objectivity which is and remains the normative idea of all science, also of contemporary history, is so obviously dominated by an historico-political intention, i.e., to reveal the leadership of the Church by Pius XII as wrong, then, in spite of all recourse to printed a...

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