Rabbi: "There Is Nobody Who Did More To Rescue Jews Than Pius"

It's taken longer to unravel the Black Legend surrounding the saintly Pius XII than global warming, but it's happening! See this story from The Jewish Ledger.
Pave The Way Foundation held a symposium Sept. 15-17 on Pius' Legacy. Among the 80 participants from around the world - Jewish and Christian clergy, historians, journalists, and authors - was Rabbi Eric Silver of Temple Beth David in Cheshire.
Silver was blown away by what he discovered:
"We studied the documents in the Vatican's archives and had eye-witness interviews, and what we learned was truly world-shaking," Silver says. "There is nobody who did more to rescue Jews than Pius."
Right after the war everyone understood this. Jewish historian Pinchas Lapide estimates Pius was personally responsible for saving some 860,000 Jews from the Nazis.
On Dec. 1, 1944 the New York Times reported that the World Jewish Congress publicly thanked the Holy See's protection of Jews, especially in Hungary. In October 1945, the World Jewish Congress made a financial gift to the Vatican in recognition of Pius's work to save the Jews. In May 1955, the Israel Philharmonic played at the Vatican as a gesture of thanks to the pope for his services to Jews during the war.
And Golda Meir named him a righteous gentile:
We share in the grief of humanity…When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace.
And Rabbi Zolli, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, converted to Catholicism and took the name Eugenio (Pius XII was Eugenio Pacelli) after the war. Et cetera.

It was only a 1963 smear job that started this Hitler's Pope rot.
Why is there no paper trail proving the Pope opened convents and actively encouraged hiding Jews, the manufacture of false baptismal certificates, Vatican passes and other subterfuges you ask?

Oy. Look who I'm talking to! Rabbi Silver says:
Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out why there is no paper trail? Rome was occupied by the Nazis, there were German spies in the Vatican, so what would have happened if they had found physical evidence of the pope's actions? There is not a paper trail linking the Final Solution to Hitler. If you don't want to give credit to the pope because there was no paper trail, you can't blame Hitler for the Final Solution, because there was no paper trail there either."
If it happened today, of course, The Gray Lady would announce the secret Vatican plan to provide baptismal certificates to Jews on the front page.

Why didn't Pius XII "speak out"? Nu, look who knows so much?
Silver cites Hitler's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, who allegedly claimed at the Nuremberg Trials that he had "a whole desk full of protests" from the pope, and from no other European leader. "Eichmann, in his diary, records that his efforts are being frustrated by the pope; he just can't prove it,"
He goes on:
"People say, 'Why didn't the pope speak out? He should have denounced Hitler,'" Silver says. "That was easy for FDR to do 4,000 miles from Rome. The Vatican is 110 acres, the world's smallest country, and it was ringed by German-occupied Rome, with the closest German 200 yards away. If the pope speaks out and Hitler invades the Vatican, Pius can fight back with his 22 Swiss Guards. Dutch clergy ran up a trial balloon by speaking out, and immediately, 40,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up, including Edith Stein."
Here's the Gray Lady (back when she was Gray and a Lady) on Christmas Day, 1941, commenting on the Pope's radio address.
The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas.
And on Christmas, 1942:
No Christmas sermon reaches a larger congregation than the message Pope Pius XII addresses to a war-torn world at this season. This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent. The Pulpit whence he speaks is more than ever like the Rock on which the Church was founded, a tiny island lashed and surrounded by a sea of war. In these circumstances, in any circumstances, indeed, no one would expect the Pope to speak as a political leader, or a war leader, or in any other role than that of a preacher ordained to stand above the battle, tied impartially, as he says, to all people and willing to collaborate in any new order which will bring a just peace.

But just because the Pope speaks to and in some sense for all the peoples at war, the clear stand he takes on the fundamental issues of the conflict has greater weight and authority. When a leader bound impartially to nations on both sides condemns as heresy the new form of national state which subordinates everything to itself: when he declares that whoever wants peace must protect against “arbitrary attacks” the “juridical safety of individuals:” when he assails violent occupation of territory, the exile and persecution of human beings for no reason other than race or political opinion: when he says that people must fight for a just and decent peace, a “total peace” — the “impartial judgment” is like a verdict in a high court of justice.

Pope Pius expresses as passionately as any leader on our side the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were a lifeless thing.
These things are kind of old hat if you've been following the story, but it's nice to see word getting out. And I love this fellow Krupp who grew up reviling Pius as a collaborator:
"This is the greatest character assassination in the 20th century," Krupp says, "I'm doing this for the Jewish people - for when the Holocaust happens again, not if it happens. If the guy who did so much for us last time is demonized, what will the next guy who wants to help us say?"
A mensch.

One thing I am grateful for this Thanksgiving is the witness of honest men who are willing to follow evidence where it leads instead of forming fixed opinions from headlines. Curtsy: Insight Scoop.