American Catholics During the Holocaust
by Gershon Greenberg
I say to destroy Jews anywhere is to destroy Christians everywhere. Let those who would write your final epitaph first prepare the inscription on my tomb.1
Although Jewish behavior in America during the Holocaust has been explored in detail 2 and scholarly attention has been given to the Protestant reaction,3 the Catholic response has yet to become a desideratum.4 This preliminary study is intended to suggest the areas for exploring systematically how American Catholics acted and why.
1. Actions and Attitudes
The Question of Refuge in America
Initially, American Catholics doubted reports of the impending Holocaust.5 In 1934 The Commonweal 6 found incredulous "the belief that Hitler suddenly ran amuck and ordered a holocaust."7 It was thought that while Hitler might eliminate Jews from public office or remunerative professional activity, there was no "war to the death on Jewish blood."8 This changed by 1938, when the magazine considered the tragedy so complete that one could estimate it only in negative terms.9 It acknowledged that Jews had no refuge, not in Europe and not in America, and that in Palestine they would be attacked by Arabs. The only release left was suicide.10 That is, Jews were faced with deliberate, wholesale execution.11
Nevertheless, there was no American Catholic effort to allow Jewish victims into America. To the contrary, there was resistance to raising immigration quotas.12 As America explained it, the United States could not welcome half a million German refugees when 10 million citizens were already on relief and recent refugees were already penetrating the job market.13 Charles Coughlin's Social justice, which reached 250,000 readers, opposed admission of Jews in principle.14 Catholic rescue committees, the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) in Washington and the Catholic Committee for Refugees in New York, did not deal with Jewish victims.15 Indeed, on 25 May 1934 NCWC Director Bruce M. Mohler rejected early rumors about German Catholics in trouble as "the usual Jewish trick to get Catholics aroused ... and in the end help the cause of the Jews."16 On 25 March 1938 Mohler complained about Jewish pressure on Catholics vis A vis German refugees.17 Associate Director T. F. Mulholland thought on 6 April 1937 that ideas about cooperative ventures with other refugee organizations were Jewish plots. 18 Archbishop of New Orleans Joseph F. Rummel, U.S. Lines Vice-President Basil Harris and National Council of Catholic Men president Louis Kennedy represented Catholics on the President's Advisory Committee on Political Refugees (PACPR) formed around the July 1938 Evian-les-Bains conference. But PACPR could do little, resisted as it was by Breckinridge Long of the State Department.19 After the war, American Catholics realized that 800,000 more refugees could have been admitted during the war years even under existing quotas.20 America expressed sympathy for Jews seeking refuge in the United States, pointing out that the Jewish population of 6,015,700 in 1939 had been reduced to 1,153,000 by 1946 in continental Europe exclusive of the Soviet Union, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain. The author pointed out that whispers about there being a million or more refugee Jews in the United States were a gross exaggeration and that the motives of the perpetrators were suspicious.21 By then, of course, it was mostly too late for the victims.
The Jewish Commonwealth22
American Catholics did not support the creation of a Jewish state. 23 One rationale offered was that a Jewish state would become a self-administered ghetto, hurting Jews everywhere. It was pointed out how even Jews, namely, the American Council for Judaism, agreed.24 A state would also endanger Christianity. In 1921 the Franciscans' Crusader's Almanac expressed anxiety "in the face of strenuous efforts of the Jews to take possession of the land of Christ.25 In 1936 America stressed that "the overpowering interest in the future and welfare of the Holy Land is neither Jewish nor Islamic. It is Christian."26 The Passionist27 publication The Sign regarded Jewish control of the Holy Land as sacrilegious because Jews were primarily responsible for the death of Christ.28
In 1946 The Catholic World separated Truman's views from those of America: while the Zionists have a prima facie case, Americans are not equally resolved. President Truman's request that Britain forthwith admit 100,000 Jews to Palestine was not an ex cathedra statement for the American people.29 It was pointed out that a Jewish state would add to U.S. responsibilities and possibly even draw it into war. A powerful force behind America's entrance into the war was compassion for the persecuted Jews of Germany coupled with a powerful Jewish lobby. The government "sharpened the talons of the American Eagle to fly against the European cormorant that gorged the Star of David." But have the Jews been rescued from the Nazis only so that America will have to save them again? "Is the Star of David to become another star in the American flag?"30 Catholics even suspected that immigrants to Israel were Russian Communist agents.31
Jewish immigration into Palestine was discouraged because it substantiated claims for sovereignty. The Commonweal supported the 1930 recommendation for limited immigration by the Shaw Commission named by British Colonial secretary Lord Passfield. The Commission's report sounded the "death knell of Zionism." Even acknowledging the race's long disappointing history, Jews could not forever put their "money on such a doped horse."32 America and The Catholic World enthusiastically supported the 1939 British White Paper which limited immigration for five years to 75,000.33
Expressions of Protest and Resistance
In 1935 The Commonweal denounced the American Catholics' indifferent attitude towards the Nazis. If a cup of cold water gains entrance to the kingdom of Heaven, the author explained, then to ignore the demands created by National Socialist brutality negates charity and offends the light.34 On 22 May 1937 Cardinal George Wilhelm Mundelein (1872-1939), the Archbishop of Chicago and friend of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), verbally attacked Hitler with "unparallelled violence"35 and evoked Hitler's protests to Washington and the Vatican.36 On 26 October 1938 Cardinal Dennis Dougherty (1865-1951), the Archbishop of Philadelphia, appealed to Roosevelt to safeguard the rights of Jewish victims to the extent of his power.37 The Jewish plight was cited in the American prelates' 14 November 1942 appeal for victory and peace:
Since the murderous assault on Poland, utterly devoid of every semblance of humanity, there has been a premeditated and systematic extermination of the people of [the Jewish] nation. The same satanic technique is being applied to many other peoples. We feel a deep sense of revulsion against the cruel indignities heaped upon the Jews in conquered countries and upon defenseless peoples not of our faith. We join with our brother bishops in subjugated France in a statement attributed to them: "Deeply moved by the mass arrests and maltreatment of Jews, we cannot stifle the cry of our conscience. In the name of humanity and Christian principles our voice is raised in favor of imprescriptible rights of human nature." We raise our voice in protest against despotic tyrants who have lost all sense of humanity by condemning thousands of innocent persons to death in subjugated countries as acts of reprisal, by placing other thousands of innocent victims in concentration camps, and by permitting unnumbered persons to die of starvation.38
In June 1944 Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman (1889-1967), the Archbishop of New York, authorized Cordell Hull to protest to Hungary about its treatment of Jews. Spellman found it incredible that Hungarians, who had such profound Christian faith, would join in a hymn of hatred and willingly submit to the blood lust and brigandage of tyranny.39
Amleto Giovanni Cicognani (1883-1973)
Cicognani, titular Archbishop of Laodicea, began serving as Apostolic Delegate in Washington on 17 March 1933 and continued through 1958. Given the length of his tenure and his contacts with prelates, his activities should be considered as part of the American Catholic reaction. Cicognani acted as a facilitator of Jewish interests, drawing the Pope's attention to issues that might otherwise have been set aside. The War Refugee Board's John Pehle testified that he personally demonstrated his concern for the persecution of European Jews.40
In March 1943 Cicognani forwarded Stephen S. Wise's plea to help 15,000 Yugoslavian Jews interned by the Italians on the island of Arbe. The Jews were threatened with being handed over to the Germans and deported to Poland. Through Myron Taylor, Roosevelt's representative to Pope Pius XII, Wise asked the Vatican to block deportation or to provide transfer visas. In his own transmission, Cicognani added that transport meant death.41 During late March 1943 Cicognani met with Orthodox rabbis Gedaliah Silverstone of Washington, D.C., Abraham Kalmanowitz of Brooklyn, New York, and Metz about the matter and reported to Morgenthau that in conformity to their request, as on each of the previous occasions, he had communicated with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Maglione and stressed the need for immediate and effective action to block the deportation of Jewish internees to Italy.42 He explained to Morgenthau on 15 May 1943 that
on at least four different occasions, in these last few months, I have received responses from His Eminence [Cardinal Luigi Maglionel assuring me, and asking me to inform the interested parties, that the Holy See [Pope Pius XII] has done and continues to do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering and distress of these people, and to prevent their falling into even worse circumstances.
According to Cicognani's 24 May 1943 letter to Taylor, the Pope did intervene to have 13,000 of the internees moved to other locations:
While His Eminence has not given me detailed accounts of the measures taken, I can assure you that every slightest opportunity is seized to help these unfortunates. Of course the transportation of these people [from Italy] to other countries meets with many difficulties, but in this field too the Holy See has effectively helped and facilitated the immigration of many Jewish refugees from Europe.
I have written the foregoing that you might be apprised of the humanitarian work that the Holy See has done in the past, and will strive to do in the future for all victims of the war and of racial prejudice . . 43
With further reference to my letter of April 21st regarding the situation of [Jewish] Jugoslavs interned by the Italian Government on the island of Arbe, I am pleased to advise that I have just received a communication from the Cardinal Secretary of State. His Eminence informs me that the special attention of the Holy See had already been drawn to the unusually difficult circumstances of life in this particular internment camp, and that very special efforts had been made in consequence to effect some amelioration of the prevailing conditions. Thanks to the intervention of the Holy See, a large number of the women, children, and aged internees were removed to other localities, with the result that only two thousand internees are now detained on Arbe where some fifteen thousand were previously residing.
During February last, the Apostolic Nuncio in Italy [Francesco Borgongini- Ducal visited all the concentration camps in Italy. The only exception was the Island of Arbe, because of the exceptionally dangerous war-risks involved in visiting this island. In his contacts with internees in other camps, however, the Nuncio interviewed many who had previously been at Arbe, and in this manner was enabled to inform the Holy See of the prevailing conditions and to thus insure some assistance. Notwithstanding all that has therefore been done, His Eminence assures me that the matter shall continue to have the benefit of the solicitous attention of the Holy See.44
On 17 September 1943 Cicognani cabled Maglione on behalf of American Orthodox rabbis about exchanging 465 rabbinical students in Shanghai's Hong Kew ghetto for Nisei in U.S. internment camps. He wrote Maghone about the matter on 21 December 1943. 45 In a 22 November 1943 letter representing the Va'ad Hatzala, the Rescue Committee of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, Kalmanowitz wrote Apostolic Delegate Ildebrando Antoniutti in Ottawa, Canada that Cicognani had suggested that Antoniutti seek Canada's help in a diplomatic exchange for 51 of the 465:
Your Excellency is surely informed that the Vatican has expressed deep concern in the fate of the Rabbinical College, consisting of 465 scholars, Rabbis and faculty members, now interned in Shanghai. This Rabbinical College is the religious remnant of Polish Jewry destroyed by the war.
On 10 August 1944 Myron Taylor wrote the Union of Orthodox Rabbis in New York that the Japanese were resisting any exchange.
After presenting our plea to the Vatican for intervention, we were informed by the Apostolic Delegate at Washington, that the Vatican had presented the matter to the government of the United States and urged the release of these clerics through diplomatic exchange. The Vatican further advised us that similar presentations would be made to the governments of Great Britain and Poland.
In the interim we were also advised by the Honorable Victor Podoski, Consul General of Poland at Ottawa, that he had submitted a request to the government of Canada for the diplomatic exchange of 51 members of the above Rabbinical group. These 51 have Canadian visas in their possession and were prevented from sailing to Canada by the outbreak of the war.
I recently conferred with the Apostolic Delegate in Washington, and he suggested that to further the concern and wish of the Vatican in the entire matter, a presentation be also made by the Apostolic Delegate at Ottawa, to the Canadian Government for the inclusion of these 51 in the next exchange. The Apostolic Delegate at Washington stated he would also write to you in the matter.
May we respectfully urge the intervention of Your Excellency in the matter and a presentation to the Canadian Government expressing the concern of the Vatican in the early release of these Rabbinical scholars through diplomatic exchange.46
I did not fail to bring to the attention of the appropriate Vatican authorities the contents of your telegram to me of July 18 last, requesting the intervention of the Vatican in behalf of some 500 Rabbinical scholars and Rabbis exiled in Shanghai.
Cicognani's office also wrote the Apostolic Nuncio in Buenos Aires, Giussepe Fietta, about the Va'ad Hatzala's attempt to rescue the refugees of German persecution then in Shanghai and encouraged a meeting between the Chief Rabbi of Montevideo's Ashkenazi community, Aron Milevsky, and Msgr. Fietta.48
I have now received a reply from the Vatican dated August 6 to the effect that the Holy See, after failing in its efforts to have those persons included in a possible exchange of persons, approached the Japanese government with a view to having them released as a unilateral act on the part of that government. Unfortunately, the Vatican states that up to the present time no reply to these latest representations has been received from the Japanese authorities ...47
On 14 November 1944, Cicognani wrote Kalmanowitz; about food and clothing for internees in Germany:
The Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin [Cesare Orsenigol has been directed to take further and insistent steps with the German Government to permit Jews interned in Germany, especially those from Lithuania, to receive packages containing food and clothing. The Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava [Giuseppe Burzio?] has been directed to insist anew with President [Father Jozef] Tiso in the name of the Holy Father, who indicates the obligations incumbent upon him as a priest, that he act to protect the rights of the Jews in Slovakia and to assure them of just and equitable treatment.
The same day Kalmanowitz wrote Cicognani:
I take this occasion to acknowledge your letter of 8 November 1944, but I have no suggestions to offer relative to the project [?] you proposed.49
May I refer to your attention the following report received by us:
On 16 November 1944 Cicognani assured Kalmanowitz that he transmitted the substance of his communication to the Holy See.51
"Prochniker [?] with 250 Polish Jews possessing South American passports are in Belsen Bergen."
We are aware that the Vatican is deeply concerned in the fate of the internees in all the concentration camps, and is exerting every effort for their safety and rescue.
We would, however, respectfully request you to bring the above specific matter to the attention of the Vatican that the necessary steps may be taken to provide through International Red Cross food and clothing parcels.
We are certain also that the Vatican on being informed of this particular matter, will initiate the necessary steps to insure the protection accorded these persons by virtue of their South American citizenships, and to effect their early release and transfer to a neutral country. 50
On 6 April 1944 Kalmanowitz wrote Cicognani that the Va'ad Hatzala's representative in Switzerland informed him about 238 Jews, among them "high spiritual leaders," interned by the Germans at Vittel, France. Their position was extremely critical. Kalmanowitz proposed a specific plan of action:
On 20 March 1944 the German authorities isolated them for deportation which means certain death. We have information, also, that there are a few thousand Jews that are holders of documents of other Latin American governments, such as: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Haiti and Venezuela. They are interned at Camp Tittmoning, Germany, and other camps. We assume their condition to be as critical.
On 2 June 1943 Cicognani received Wise's request via Taylor for Papal intervention in the matter of Dr. Wilhelm Filderman (1882-1963), president of Romania's Union of Jewish Congregations. Filderman had openly opposed the special taxes demanded of Romanian Jewry by the Antonescu regime and was sentenced to forced labor in Transnistria concentration camp. On 3 June 1943 Cicognani promised to bring the matter to the attention of the Holy See at the first opportunity. In August 1943 Filderman was freed from Transnistria.53 He returned to Bucharest and worked successfully for the release of Transnistria inmates.
On 23 December 1943, the situation was extremely grave and through your intercession with the Vatican, the Paraguayan Government and some others gave recognition to their documents and the lives of these people were saved until now. We have just learned, however, that Paraguay recognizes these documents as "accommodation documents" and are not eligible for exchange. Accordingly, they have been isolated for deportation.
Since the Vatican has initiated the salvation of these unfortunateswho are really a part of the last remnants of Polish Jewry-we appeal to you for immediate action towards rescue since every hour is decisive.
We therefore, respectfully request the following:
(a) To ask His Holiness to intervene with the Spanish Government and to influence the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin who are the protective power of the Paraguayan nationals and other Latin American nationals in Germany, that they should inform the German Government immediately that action has been taken with the respective countries to recognize these documents as valid even for exchange purposes.
(b) to intervene with the governments of Paraguay and the other Latin American countries that they also should inform immediately the protective power that these documents are valid for exchange and that each government should inform the inter-governmental committee in London accordingly. The United States Government has assured us that they will take care of these people and will provide places and provisions after they are taken out of the camps. Therefore, the Vatican can assure these respective governments accordingly.52
On 15 May 1943 Henry Morgenthau wrote Cicognani concerning the threatened deportation of Jews of Rome to Poland. On 29 June 1943 Taylor wrote about the London Times's report that Italian Fascists were threatening to deport all foreigners. Cicognani replied on 3 July 1943 that while, like Wise, he trusted that it was not so, he would nevertheless inform Maglione. He was confident that the Holy See would "do everything possible to forestall further calamities for these unfortunate victims of the war." 54
On 24 May 1944 Cicognani wrote Taylor that he would transmit American Jewish Committee President Joseph Proskauer's letter about Hungarian Jews to the Pope. He assured how
On various occasions in the last few months I have called to the attention of the Holy See the condition of the Jews in Hungary. This was done at the request of Mr. John Pehle, Executive Director of the War Refugee Board, Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, Dr. Nahum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress and others. Each time I have received the assurance that the Holy See would continue to take the part of these unfortunate people.55
On 4 July 1944 Rabbis Israel Rosenberg and Abraham Kalmanowitz cabled Cicognani from New York City on behalf of the Va'ad Hatzala:
With broken hearts we received the tragic reports of the brutal slayings of the Hungarian Jews-the remnants of European Jewry. In this most tragic hour we beg your excellency on behalf of those who are still alive that you cable the Vatican to appeal to the Hungarian government as well as to their people to cease these brutal murders. Every delay means the death of thousands of lives. For this humanitarian act the Jewish people will be eternally grateful.56
On 28 September 1944, Kalmanowitz cabled Cicognani on behalf of the Va'ad Hatzala Emergency Committee, on the imminent danger of extermination in Auschwitz:
Respectfully call to your Excellency's attention information received that Polish underground sent urgent heartrending SOS to Polish Government stating that 45,000 civilian prisoners in Oswiecim concentration camp in Poland in imminent danger of extermination. Among these prisoners Jews and Christians [who] are citizens of Poland, France, Czechoslovakia and other countries. We appeal to you. Exhaust every effort to save these 45,000 innocent souls as well as the many others in various concentration camps similarly in danger. Every moment is vital. Respectfully urge you [to] implore Vatican to appeal to German government and people in [the] name of civilization to refrain from this inhuman act. From [the] depths of our bereaved hearts we pray for your deep concern in this problem and for the action which must follow to rescue these unfortunates. 57
On 3 October 1944 Cicognani wrote Kalmanowitz:
I wish to reply to your telegram of September 28th regarding the 45,000 civilian internees in the Oswiecim Concentration Camp in Poland.
On 18 October 1944 the Va'ad Hatzala Emergency Committee cabled Cicognani:
I am pleased to inform you that on September 30th I transmitted a lengthy radiogram to the Secretariat of State of His Holiness incorporating all the elements of your message, and the request of intervention on the part of the Holy See. As soon as any information is received I shall forward it to you.
In regard to your letter of September 29th, concerning the situation in Hungary, the only additional news I possess is that the deportations have ceased, the situation of the Jews is much less acute, and that those persons responsible for previous atrocities have been removed from office. This news originated with the Apostolic Nunciature [Angelo Rotta in Budapest. 58
Latest alarming reports from Hungary further emphasize the critical position of pitiful remnant Hungarian Jewry. Shadow falling fast. Respectfully request cable Vatican issue last appeal to Hungarian people and religious leaders to protect the unfortunate victims and to prevent the planned exterminations and deportations. We appeal to your excellency to take petitioned action.59
On 26 December 1944, Rabbis Israel Rosenberg and Eliezer Silver cabled Cicognani:
We respectfully call your excellency's attention to reported pitiful plight [of remnant Hungarian Jewry. May we urge calling matter to Vatican attention that intercession be made for immediate cessation of exterminations. We again plead for your oft manifested concern in the desperate condition of these most unfortunate humans and to plead for the action necessary to stay further persecutions. With deepest gratefulness.60
Cicognani responded that the petition was presented to the Holy See, and a reply received:
It gives reassurance that the Holy See has never interrupted its intense activity in behalf of Hungarian Jewry and that the Apostolic Nuncio of Budapest [Angelo Rotta] and the Hungarian Bishops have lent themselves constantly to this work with every resource and effort possible. Recently too the Holy Father assigned another generous sum of money to the Apostolic Nunciature [of Budapest] for the purpose of alleviating the sufferings of these Jews.
There is also a damaged copy of a letter apparently written by Cicognani concerning Swedish rescue activity. It appears that Swedish government representatives sent to Budapest would purchase houses for Jews to live in under Swedish extraterritorial rights. The Swedish authority had also granted immigration visas, letters of protection, citizenships and provisional passports. Professor Marcus Ehrenpreis stated that "nothing more than has already been undertaken can be done and that special plans cannot be undertaken not even on behalf of children; that to appeal again to the King [of Sweden] is not possible." The letter adds that "there are no possibilities for the Bergen- Belsen group." It asks that Jacob Rosenheirn of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis be informed that it is not yet possible to acquire general licenses for food packages for Lithuanian Jews. 62
I am informed that as of this date it is no longer possible for the Holy See to correspond with Budapest, but that also the Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin [Cesare Orsenigo] has been directed to concern itself with this matter. 61
On 23 October 1941 Kalmanowitz cabled Cicognani:
Respectfully call your attention following cable received. Quote: Germans leaving Kaunas took to Germany 16,000 Jews among them Grand Rabbis Elchanan Wasserman and Abraham Grodzenski implore to do all efforts to save them. Unquote. We respectfully appeal for intercession of Vatican rescue of these persons doomed to certain death. Grateful for any information received in matter.63
On 27 October 1944 Kalmanowitz wrote and added that the group of 16,000 Lithuanian Jews included "the greatest Rabbis and Jewish spiritual and religious leaders."
Quote latest reliable report from Kaunas following Rabbis living when Germans evacuated city stop were taken by them to unknown destination. Rabbis Abraham Grodzenski [head of Slobodka Yeshivah], Shabsai Wernikowski [Mashgiach of Lomza Yeshivah], Zalman Permut [leader of Kovno Kollel], Moshe Skaruto [of Slobodka], David Perlman [of Aleksot], Shmuel Aba. Snieg [rabbi with Lithuania's military], Shimon Dubiansky [head of Kaidan Yeshivah], Mordche Shliapoberski, Benjamin Asinsky.64 Chief Rabbi Cabled Union Orthodox Rabbis do everything discover whereabouts for rescue. Rest not Unquote ...
11. Possible Explanations
The shadow is fast falling and we must again appeal to you, as we have appealed to you before, to urge the intervention of the Vatican and we would respectfully suggest the following possible steps in the rescue of these unfortunates.
1) That the Vatican appeal to the Germans on behalf of these 16,000 persons and to urge their treatment as civilian internees and that the Germans permit the International Red Cross contact with these internees and the transport of food and clothing parcels necessary to keep them alive.
2) As a general measure, the Vatican intercede with all the neutral countries such as Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and others, that they appeal in name of humanity and civilization to the Germans to cease the willful and merciless destruction of the Jews in all the concentration camps and territories under control of the Germans. This unified appeal at this time should be more productive of the desired results than any appeal attempted heretofore.
We shall be grateful for the positive action we feel most certain you will take.65
We have seen that American Catholic leaders of the highest level spoke out on behalf of Jewish victims. Apostolic Delegate Cicognani was involved in rescuing 15,000 Yugoslavian Jews on Arbe and was the first to alert the Vatican about the crisis.66 He tried to help 465 rabbinical students in Shanghai and successfully interceded with the Vatican to have South American visas validated for Polish Jews interned in camps in Germany and elsewhere. He was involved in the release of Wilhelm Filderman from Transnistria and he communicated information between the Vatican and the Va'ad Hatzala regarding the plight of Jews in German and French camps and in Hungary. Cicognani's "oft manifested concern" was acknowledged by Rabbis Israel Rosenberg and Eliezer Silver, and Rabbi Abraham Kalmanowitz; related to him as an individual ready to listen and disposed to help. But here the constructive involvement of American Catholics appears to end.
There are many possible explanations, some of sociological and political character. First there is the matter of organization. The 14 November 1942 statement by the American prelates is perhaps the first unified expression of the American Catholic hierarchy. Roman Catholics, who were the majority religion in 41 of the 50 largest American cities, 67 were not organized and only later acquired independence from Rome. While the Cardinals of such powerful dioceses as Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York protested against the persecution, their respective Catholic communities were not sufficiently organized to be galvanized into action, which may help explain why the prelates addressed themselves to FDR and not to their own masses. Second, American Catholics did not endeavor to help their own coreligionists in need of refuge as did the Jews and Protestants. Third, there was fear that open criticism of Germany might worsen the position of Catholics still in Germany. Fourth, Catholics perceived a Jewish failure to try to alleviate the plight of Catholics persecuted in Mexico and Spain. Finally, there were few Catholics in positions of political power.
There are ironic parallels between the Catholic and Jewish communities during the war. Both were still trying to strike root in America, both lacked organizational unity and would achieve it only after the war and largely because of it. Both had leaders with more confidence in Washington than in their respective masses. Indeed, while Catholics in America still looked to Rome rather than to themselves, Orthodox Jews looked ultimately to their rabbinic Gedolim in Eastern Europe.
Ideological Factors: Antisemitism
Ideological factors of antisernitism and attitude towards the Holy Land also play a role. There is, first of all, evidence of opposition to antisernitism on the part of American Catholics. In the spirit of Pius XI's Christmas pastoral message of 1937 denouncing racial and religious intolerance in Germany and indicting Nazism's neo-pagan theories,68 America expressed "horror and detestation at the barbarous and un-Christian treatment of the Jews of Nazi Germany."69 The Commonweal condemned Father Coughlin for publishing the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in Social justice and accused him of insensitivity to the consequences of his acts for German and Italian Jews. Notwithstanding Coughlin's tender solitude for "the good, God-fearing Jew," most Catholics saw the antisernitism of Social justice and the Brooklyn Tablet for what it was.70 In April 1939 The Commonweal brought its readers Nicholas Berdyaev's statement that Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and Prophets were Jews, and that the sacred liturgy of Catholicism was gleaned from Judaism. It was a "monstrous insult and blasphemy to demean the Jewish race."71 Gregory Feige attacked antisernitism on behalf of the Catholic Association for International Peace:
The Jew was a ready-made scapegoat for the economic and other ills of the German community. Nor was it the first time that the Jew, in Germany and Europe, had been blamed for conditions which could neither be exclusively nor predominantly laid at his door. It had been taken for granted that enlightened nations would not in this 20th century resort to such crude barbarities as discriminatory legislation, exclusions, expropriations, pogroms and deportations. But the Nazis were nothing if not thorough in this point of their Party program ... at least 5,000,000 Jews were exterminated by executions or starvation during the war, according to reliable reports. It is a picture of stark horror; but it was foreshadowed by the Nazis for years . . . . This diabolical and deadly hatred of the Jews as a group, irrespective of any personal innocence or guilt, has been sufficiently publicized and is therefore known everywhere. It means that the admirers and imitators of the racist attitude and technique of dealing with the Jews are necessarily condoning mass-murder.72
But this opposition was overwhelmed by traditional-style hatred of the Jews.73 The Brooklyn Tablet pointed to the selfishness of American Jews, who managed to corral everyone from the President on down to plead their case but had no sympathy for other victims of persecution such as Catholics in Spain and Mexico.74 The Sign protested that When the windows of Jewish shops in Berlin were broken by the Nazis, our 'liberals' [Protestants and Jews] screamed their protests, held mass meetings . . . calling on the civilized world to act. When Spanish Catholics were murdered by the tens of thousands in cold blood, for no other reason than they were Catholics, our 'liberals' were silent.75
The Brooklyn Tablet complained that, bowing to Jewish pressure, the press and public officials bitterly denounced attacks on German synagogues but not the worse crimes against Spanish Catholics.76 Moreover, the Jews were to blame for their persecution.
The Jew does not mix evenly with the surrounding population .... He crowds into the professions, the temples of trade and banking. The Jew ... must be transformed from the intellectual to the manual worker. 77
In The Living Church Rev. William G. Peck traced hatred against Jews to their "uncovenanted destiny" which began with murdering Christ. Originally witnesses to the transcendent as entering into history, Jews settled for the world as is.
Have the Jews been entirely free of all guilt in the matter of antisemitism? They have suffered because of the activity of some of their own members. There is no denying the fact that in the period after the war, the Jews were rather active in Germany, spreading the tenents of Communism . . . they aimed to control as much influence of the newspapers as possible.78
The Jews are persecuted because they come worshiping the modem god, as the rest of the world worship him, and his name is Mammon. . . . They are different from others. They cannot be absorbed, they can never become English or French or German. And they cannot even be the Jews God intended them to be. There is a confusion in the depths of their soul, and they increase the confusion of the world. They are persecuted because they are feared as competitors in a common struggle, and they chose to enter that struggle-the struggle for this world's gifts-when they asked for safety and prosperity, and were afraid to accept Jesus Christ and their own destiny.
Father Charles Coughlin preached on Sunday radio to some 30 million listeners during the war before the Church stopped him in 1942.80 Following Kristallnacht he spoke sympathetically about Hitler as a German who rebelled against Communists in the Fatherlandwho unfortunately were of the Jewish race.81 In April 1941 Coughlin predicted a new "Christian order" if Mussolini and Hitler were victorious. He praised Mein Kampf for devotion to German greatness, to the welfare of the common people and for its strong Catholic interest. In the 16 March 1942 edition of Social Justice Coughlin blamed German Jews for declaring a sacred war against Hitler, two million Nazis and 50 million Christian Germans and thought they deserved punishment. The Protocols were published in Social Justice beginning 19 September 1938 "to show how the ills of the world stemmed not from God but from other sources." True or not, the Protocols "accurately reflect the course of events in the 20th century."82 Coughlin's mentor Denis Fahey, a Jesuit professor of philosophy at the University of Dublin, had perceived a world struggle between the natural and supernatural messiahs in which each person had to take sides. He contended that those preparing the advent of the natural messiah were led by Jews, who have gained enormous power by subjecting man to production and production to finance:
They will never escape persecution so long as they cleave to their world's idols. And the Judaism which continues to reject Christ is not sufficient to enable them to escape from those idols. The destiny of the Jew, his true, God-given destiny, is to return: to be again the Israel of God. This is the Promised Land-not the geographical comer called Palestine.... Rather the Catholic Church which is their true home and the fulfillment of their ancient mission. Israel fulfilled! A Christian Israel!79
Now anyone who reads the Protocols carefully will be obliged to confess that a more skillful plan could hardly be devised for the destruction of belief in our Lord and the preparation of the advent of the new Messiahs. In addition, if the reader is acquainted with the world, he will see that the plan is being carried out, and that, as a result, Jewish power is increasing. 83
His student Coughlin imagined a Manichaean life-death struggle between Jews (communism and chaos) and Catholics:
It is not true that some unseen force is taking Christ out of government, business, industry, and to a large degree education.
Ideological Factors: Crucifixion, Exile and the Holy Land
It is not true that a force over which we Christians seem to have no control has gained control over journalism, motion pictures, theaters and radio.
It is not true that some unseen force has woven the thread of international banking to the detriment of civilization, that a godless force is dominating industry, has monopolized industrial activities, has used govemments as their servants and has been instrumental in flinging one nation against another's throat?84
The American Catholic resistance to a Jewish commonwealth and immigration to Palestine was rooted in the nature of its tie to the Holy Land. As the Franciscans' Crusader's Almanac expressed, Holy Land meant holy places:
If Jesus Himself wept over the fate of Jerusalem, how dearly must his Sacred Heart have loved that city! And why did He love it? Because His Almighty Father had chosen it for His abode and place of worship in the Old Testament, and as the scene where the great mysteries of our redemption were to be fulfilled at the very beginning of the dispensation ... Every inch of its soil was sanctified by Jesus and His Blessed Mother and reminds us of the great mysteries of His life, suffering and death, whilst many places consecrated by His presence are still preserved.85
The tie to the holy places was inseparable from the location and event of crucifixion, and the belief that the Jews killed Christ:
Have Catholics not more reason than the Jews to love and venerate Jerusalem? Is not Jerusalem the scene of our redemption? Was it not there that the price of our ransom was paid by the shedding of the precious blood of the Lamb?86
The crucifixion was made into an intense present reality-the first American Catholic pilgrims to the Holy Land witnessed the reenactment of the crucifixion with an actual corpse.87 In turn, the crucifixion implied exile of the Jews. In the words of traveler Eugene Vetromile in 1871:
They endure the fulfillment of the curse, which, nearly nineteen centuries ago, they brought upon their nation, by crying to Pontius Pilate, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children!"88
In 1898, traveler Charles Svendsen observed how Jews
own much of the wealth of the world, but the one place which they desire to possess, and which ever brings sadness to them, is beyond reach of their gold. The self-invoked judgment seems to hover above them still, and the prophecy will come true to the last, as is apparent"No pity on Zion, and sorrow increasing."89
Antagonism toward Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land was the natural next step. In 1922 The Sign spoke of killers of Christ desecrat1ing Jerusalem.90 While the city should have been filled with pious pilgrims pressing forward to venerate the cross, instead the "Zionist Jewish republic" spread "pornography, prostitution" and promoted "dancing parties face-to-face with Calvary." Jewish students, it said, covered their eyes with their hands and spit on the ground when someone passed by wearing a cross. They made the sign of the cross with their fingers and then spit on it. The French philosopher priest Lamennais (d. 1854) is quoted:
"Everywhere oppressed, they are yet everywhere. Every nation has seen them pass; all have been seized with horror at their aspect; they were marked with a sign more terrible than that of Cain: on their foreheads a hand of iron had written: 'Deicides!"'
For these authors, the Holy Land was a place for Catholic pilgrimage, which should retain its pristine, holy beauty and not be modernized physically, socially, or politically. The Jews who killed Christ and would do it again deserved exile as punishment, not the opportunity to establish a state to exonerate them from their crime. Since the Jews were disqualified from developing the Holy Land by nothing less than their act of deicide, not even the Holocaust could justify a Jewish commonwealth. In Jewish theology, the Jewish state has been spoken of as the response to the Holocaust, 91 a kingdom of redemption responding to the kingdom of death. For Catholics, Holocaust and State are not connected by "response," but disconnected by "silence." When Archbishop Spellman visited Jerusalem in May 1943, right after the Warsaw Ghetto revolt, he recalled Christ's weeping over the greater Jerusalem:
... that is all the world today. You and I are participating in the passion and crucifixion of the human race. We are in the Gethsemane of civilization.... Christ had his agony. So has each of us and so has our country. From the depths of our sufferings we must rise and our country must rise if civilization is to survive. 92
Spellman was sure of victory. Peace was also possible, but only through Christ. But he ignored the millennia of Christian antisemitisin behind the Holocaust and the fact that if the Land on which he stood were made into a sovereign Jewish state Jews would be saved. Cicognani himself tied Catholic rescue efforts to the renunciation of plans for statehood. As he explained on 22 June 1943:
The Holy See has despite grave difficulties constantly manifested deep interest and concern in "non-Aryans." This is quite clear from recent action taken in favor of Jewish youths and infants interned in Slovakia to prevent their removal from that Republic.
In 1933 Edith Stein, the nun who would die in Auschwitz, did connect crucifixion and persecution of the Jews:
The aid of the Holy See has recently been enlisted to assist in the removal of difficulties so that Jewish children may be transported to Palestine. Their immigration from European countries has been permitted by the British Government.
Although the Holy See is deeply interested in the welfare of these children, it seems opportune to recall at this time the general question of the "Hebrew Home" in Palestine.
Catholics the world over are piously devoted to this country, hallowed as it was by the presence of the Redeemer and esteemed as it is as the cradle of Christianity. If the greater part of Palestine is given to the Jewish people, this would be a severe blow to the real attachment of Catholics to this land. To have the Jewish people in the majority would be to interfere with the peaceful exercise of those rights in the Holy Land already vested in Catholics.
It is true that at one time Palestine was inhabited by the Hebrew race, but there is no axiom in history to substantiate the necessity of a people returning to a country they left 19 centuries before.
If a "Hebrew Home" is desired, it would not be too difficult to find a more fitting territory than Palestine. With an increase in the Jewish population there, grave new international problems would arise. The Holy See would be saddened, and justly so, by such a move, for it would not be in keeping with the charitable assistance non-Aryans [i.e. Jews] have received and will continue to receive at the hands of the Vatican. 93
I spoke to the Savior and told him that I knew that it was His cross which was now being laid on the Jewish people. 94
On I September 1943 Reform Jewish Zionist leader Abba. Hillel Silver extended the motif:
From the infested typhus-ridden ghettos of Warsaw, from the concentration camps which befoul the map of Europe, from the pitiful ranks of our wandering hosts over the entire face of the earth, comes the cry: "Enough, there must be a final end to all this, a sure and certain end!"
But how could Stein and Silver speak to American Catholic leaders during the war? For Silver, the Jews were being crucified and centuries of antisernitism encouraged the crucifiers. For the Catholics, it was they who were being crucified as the representatives of civilization. For American Catholics, Jews probably did not deserve to be murdered by Hitler. But they did not deserve to be saved either, not in America and not in the Holy Land. Those who had committed deicide should not be rewarded with sovereignty over holy places but should be punished with exile. Enhancing Jewish life was not compatible with redemption through Christ. Even for the liberal Jew Silver and the well- intentioned Spellman and Cicognani, it was too late to speak together.
How long is the crucifixion of Israel to last?95
In this preliminary study a framework has been introduced and tentative conclusions have been offered. American Catholics resisted immigration of Jewish victims to America and to Palestine, leaving them to die in Nazi Europe. However, there were also protests by a number of leaders and actions by the Apostolic Delegate to save Jews. There are many possible explanations for the resistance. Some are sociological and political-American Catholics lacked organization and political power, they expected more from Jews when it came to Catholic victims, and they were hardly active even on behalf of their own coreligionists. There are deeper ideological reasons. There was antisernitism. The belief that Jews murdered Christ meant they must not gain a foothold in the Holy Land, not even if it meant their destruction in Europe. Future studies will, one hopes, analyze these different facets in greater detail, in the hope that understanding will mean prevention.
The author is grateful to William and Elaine Kremens of Washington, D.C., for making this study possible. Dr. Eugene Fisher of the U.S. Catholic Conference and Prof. Tracy Ellis of Catholic University generously provided their insight and suggestions. The responsibility for the statements and opinions in the essay obviously remains the author's alone.
1. Archbishop John J. O'Connor, New York, addressing marchers on Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry on 5 May 1985 in the aftermath of President Reagan's visit to the Bitburg cemetery: New York Times, 6 May 1985. A year later the Archbishop called his visit to Dachau "the most dramatic impact made in my life" and described the suffering of the Holocaust as "infinitely too precious" to be forgotten: ibid., 7 May 1986.
2. See American Commission on the Holocaust, American Jewry and the Holocaust, ed. Maxwell Finger (New York, 1984); Yehudah Bauer, American Jewry and the Holocaust: The Joint Distribution Committee (Jerusalem and Detroit, 1981); David Kranzler, Brethren in Blood: Orthodox Jewry During the Holocaust (New York, 1986); Gershon Greenberg, "Impact of the Holocaust on Judaism in America" (Washington, DC, 1984); "America and the Holocaust," American Jewish History 68, no. 3 (Mar. 1979) and 70, no. 3 (Mar. 1981); Zosa Szajkowski, "The Attitude of American Jews to Refugees from Germany in the 1930s," American Jewish Historical Quarterly 61 (1971): 101-43.
3. William Nawyn, American Protestantism's Response to Germany's Jews and Refugees, 1933-1941 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1981); E. F. Murphy, "American Protestantism and the Refugee Crisis 1933-1939," Ph.D. diss., University of Florida, 1980.
4. The material that exists so far includes Guenter Lewy, "Pius XII, the Jews and the German Catholic Church," Commentary 38 (Feb. 1964): 23-26; Larry S. Moses, "The American Catholic Journalistic Reaction to the Rise of National Socialism in Germany, 1933-1939," M.A. thesis, Baltimore Hebrew College, 1977; Esther Y. Feldblum, The American Catholic Press and the Jewish State, 1917-1959 (New York, 1977); Haim Genizi, "Catholic Hesitations and the Catholic Committee for Refugees," in his American Apathy: The Plight of the Christian Refugees from Nazism (Ramat-Gan, 1983); John Morley, Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews During the Holocaust (New York, 1983); Gerhart Riegner, "The Efforts of the World Jewish Congress to Mobilize the Christian Churches Against the Final Solution," in American Jewry and the Holocaust.
5. Protestants believed the reports immediately. See Robert W. Ross, So It Was True: American Protestants and the Holocaust (Minneapolis, 1980); Johan Snoek, The Grey Book (Assen, 1969).
6. The Commonweal, founded in 1924 by Michael Williams as a lay-edited journal independent of the Catholic Church, directed itself to intellectual and reform-minded Catholics and focused on social justice issues. The Catholic World was founded in 1865 to cover literature and science of interest to the Church. During the war years it developed a reputation for isolationism. America, founded in 1909 by the Jesuit John T. Wynne, reviewed contemporary life and literature in terms of the Christian perspective and provided authoritative statements of Church positions. It intended to remove traditional prejudices, refute erroneous news, and correct misstatements about Catholic beliefs and practices: Moses, "American Catholic journalistic Reactions." The Sign, founded in 1922, intended to voice the appeal of Christ crucified.
7. The Commonweal 20, no. 12 (20 July 1934): 296.
8. Ibid. 23, no. 3 (17 May 1935): 59.
9. George N. Shuster, "Twilight in the Third Reich," ibid. 27, no. 15 (4 Feb. 1938): 398. There are some exceptions, e.g., America's Oct. 1938 headline "The Nazi Persecutors Break no Bones, Shed no Blood."
10. The Catholic World (Sept. 1938): 644.
11. The Commonweal 29, no. 7 (9 Dec. 1938): 177.
12. Genizi, American Apathy, p. 147.
13. America (10 Sept. 1938): 531.
14. See David Richard Akin, "Radio Priest: The Public Career of Father Charles Edward Coughlin," Ph.D. diss., University of North Carolina, 1974, pp. 269ff.
15. Genizi, American Apathy. See also National Catholic Welfare Conference, Progress Report 1943: WRS-NCWC, (1943); idem, Report to the Board of Trustees WRS-NCWC: August 1943-September 1944 (1944); Joseph F. Rummel, Seventh Annual Report of the Catholic Committee for Refugees [19431; Eighth ... ; Ninth ... [19451; Tenth . . . [19461. The NCWC papers are held by Catholic University, Washington, DC; those of the CCR are at the Center for Migration Studies, Staten Island, NY.
16. Genizi, American Apathy, p. 146, n. 22.
17. Genizi, "The Attitude of American Catholics Toward Catholic Refugees from Nazism: 1933-1945," Proceedings of the Seventh World Congress of Judaic Studies (Jerusalem, 1977), p. 29.
18, Genizi, American Apathy, p. 161.
19. Ibid., pp. 76-95. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division [hereafter cited as LC, Ms. Div.], Breckinridge Long Diary: it shows his resistance to PACPR.
20. Boris Gourevitch, "The Stateless," The Commonweal 44, no. 21 (6 Sept. 1946): 502. See also Esther Feldblum, "On the Eve of a Jewish State: American Catholic Responses," American Jewish Historical Quarterly 64 (1974): 103.
21. America 76, no. 3 (19 Oct. 1946): 66. See also ibid. 76, no. 2 (12 Oct. 1946): 35- 36; no. 9 (30 Nov. 1946): 236-38.
22. On the Holy See and Pius X, see The Diaries of Theodor Herzl, ed. and trans. Marvin Lowenthal (New York, 1956), p. 42; on Secretary of State Cardinal Merry del Vol, see Michael Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment: Christians and the Return to the Promised Land (London, 1985), pp. 150-51, and Eugene Fisher in Washington Jewish Week, 1 May 1986; on Pope Benedict XV, see Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, pp. 151-152, and Cyprien Jourdan, "Zionism in Palestine," The Sign 1, no. 2 (July 1922).
23. See Joseph G. Kelly, "American Catholic Interest in the Holy Land, 1850-1980," unpublished mss. of 1978 placed at my disposal by the author; Feldblum, "On the Eve of a Jewish State"; David Klatzker, "American Catholic Travelers to the Holy Land," Ph.D. diss., Institute for Contemporary Jewry of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1982.
24. The Catholic World 162 (Feb. 1946): 396-402; America 74 (1 Dec. 1945): 239f, cited in Feldblum, Catholic Press, p. 149, n. 49, n. 50. Anti-Zionism is also interpreted as manifesting a disunity in Judaism that will further increase its moribund character: Boniface Buckley, "Jewish Dilemma," The Sign 25, no. 67 (Jan. 1946): 55-56.
25. Crusader's Almanac 29, no. 3 (1921): 16.
26. America 55 (30 May 1936): 172.
27. The Passionists stress con-crucifixion with Christ.
28. " . . . according to the word of Christ, those who delivered Him to Pilate and Pilate who put the death penalty into execution, were guilty of sin, though the former more than the latter. Divine Providence allowed these abuses of human free will in order to achieve its end, without taking away the moral culpability attaching to them." The Sign 17, no. 6 (Jan. 1938): 366. See also Jourdan, "Zionism in Palestine."
29. The Catholic World 163 (Aug. 1946): 391-92.
30. Ibid. 165 (June 1947): 613, cited in Feldblum, Catholic Press, p. 150, n. 58.
31. The Catholic World 166 (Mar. 1948): 498.
32. The Commonweal 11, (30 Apr. 1930): 737-39, cited in Feldblum, Catholic Press, p. 136, n. 49.
33. Feldblum, Catholic Press, pp. 50-51.
34. The Commonweal 23, no. 3 (17 May 1935): 59.
35. Saul Friedlander, Pius XII and the Third Reich (New York, 1966), p. 6. NCWC News Service of 22 May 1937 lists 13 bishops in support of Mundelein; at the subsequent annual convention the Catholic Press Association added its support: NCWC News Service, 17 July 1937, cited in George G. Flynn, Roosevelt and Romanism: Catholics and American Diplomacy, 1937-1945 (Westport, CT, 1976), pp. 25-26.
36. Camille M. Cianfarra, The Vatican and the War (New York, 1944), p. 101.
37. Genizi, "Attitude of American Catholics," p. 26.
38. "Victory and Peace: Statement Issued by the Archbishop and Bishops of the United States, 14 Nov. 1942" (Washington, DC, 1943), p. 4.
39. On Spellman, see David Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews (New York, 1984), p. 392, n. 10.
40. Memo to Undersecretary of State Edward C. Stettinus, June 1944, cited in American Apathy. Genizi, "Attitude of American Catholics," p. 41, points to Cicognani's diplomatic help but only after Jan. 1944. The observation that he did not serve as a courier may be literally true, but not if it implies any hesitation to communicate by letter and cable.
41. LC, Ms. Div., Report by Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of the President of the U.S. to his Holiness Pope Pius XII, 1943 [hereafter cited as Taylor Report]: letters of 26 Feb. and 18 Mar. 1943.
42. Ibid.: Cicognani to Henry Morgenthau, 15 May 1943. 1 have been unable to identify Rabbi Metz.
44. Ibid.: Cicognani to Taylor, 24 May 1943.
45. Morley, Vatican Diplomacy, pp. 144-45. See also David Kranzler, Japanese, Nazis and Jews (New York, 1976), and Joseph Friedenson and David Kranzler, "Shanghai: A Torah Outpost Saved With the Help of the Sternbuchs," in their Heroine of Rescue: The Incredible Story of Recha Sternbuch Who Saved Thousands From the Holocaust (New York, 1981).
46. New York, Yeshiva University Archives, Va'ad Hatzala Collection [hereafter cited as VHCJ, folder 46/17.
48. Ibid. The letter, written in Italian, is badly damaged and the date illegible.
49. Ibid. Morley, Vatican Diplomacy, pp. 97-98, believes that in early 1944 Cicognani involved himself in the proposal that the Vatican intervene on behalf of Jews fleeing Slovakia and Hungary and was in contact in New York with Nahum Goldmann and Maurice PerIzweig of the World Jewish Congress. The documents can be found at the archives of the World Jewish Congress in New York and at its Institute for Jewish Affairs in London
50. VHC, folder 46/17.
53. Morley, Vatican Diplomacy, p. 39. See also Yad Vashem Studies 4 (1960): 261- 316.
54. Taylor Report.
56. VHC, folder 46/17.
57. VHC, folder 45/1-2.
58. VHC, folder 46/17.
59. VHC, folder 45/1-2.
60. VHC, folder 46/17.
61. Ibid. The cable is damaged and the date illegible.
63. VHC, folder 45/1-2. Actually, Wasserman was killed on 6 July 1941 and Grodzensky on 13 July 1944. Ephraim Oshry, Churban Litta (New York and Montreal, 1951), pp. 105, 160.
64. Oshry, Churban Litta, and Gerd Korman, "Survivors' Talmud and the U.S. Army," American Jewish History 73, no. 3 (Mar. 1984): 252-85. The author is grateful to Zalman Alpert of the Yeshiva University Library for this reference.
65. VHC, folder 45/1-2.
66. Morley, Vatican Diplomacy, p. 175.
67. Flynn, Roosevelt and Romanism, p. xx.
68. Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge, 14 Mar. 1937.
69. America 60 (26 Nov. 1938): 181, cited in Moses, "American Catholic journalistic Reaction," p. 120, n. 49.
70. The Commonweal 29, no. 7 (9 Dec. 1938): 169-70.
71. Ibid. 29, no. 26 (21 Apr. 1939): 706, cited in Moses, "American Catholic Journalistic Reaction," p. 121.
72. Gregory Feige, Catholics and Jews (Washington, 1945). See also Gregory Feige, "Shall the Jew Perish?" The Commonweal 29, no. 7 (9 Dec. 1938): 177-78, where he links Jewish survival to their eventual conversion.
73. See Jules Isaac, The Teaching of Contempt (New York, 1964).
74. The Brooklyn Tablet, cited in Andrew Greeley, The Catholic Experl . ence (Garden City, NY, 1967), p. 241. Cardinal Spellman objected to Brooklyn Tablet views, and on 4 Sept. 1941 he wrote Pope Pius XIL
Your holiness knows of the speech of Bishop Hurley stating that Nazism was worse than Communism . . . I enclose an editorial headed "An Unfortunate Address" published by the Brooklyn Tablet in answer to Justice Murphy. These enclosures will be an indication to Your Holiness of the temper of Americans.
Actes et Documents du Saint Siege Relatifs a la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Vol.5: Le Saint Siege et la Guerre Mondiale, Juillet 1941-Octobre 1942 (Vatican City, 1969), p. 182.
75. The Sign (23 Apr. 1943), p. 543, cited in Genizi, "Attitude of American Catholics," p. 25.
76. The Brooklyn Tablet, 19 Nov. 1938.
77. America 50, no. 3 (21 Oct. 1933): 53.
78. Paul Kiniery, "The Jewish Minority Problem in Germany," The Catholic World (Jan. 1935): 426.
79. William E. Peck, "The Jew and His Destiny," The Living Church (3 Oct. 1936): 363-64, 368. The author is grateful to Megory Anderson for this reference. Peck, the Rector of the Church of St. John Baptist in Manchester, England, and a leader in the Society of Free Catholics, subsequently condemned Nazi treatment and acknowledged the logic of a Jewish state:
The Nazis do not merely hate the Jews. They expound their hatred as the necessary effect of the absolute reality of German blood. Nothing can mollify such a conflict, because it arises from the roots of the Nazi universe ... Those who imagine that there is no real Jewish problem anywhere are, of course, mistaken. Where a foreign element exists within an organism, it must either be ejected, or somehow absorbed; and the problem is, either to create a Jewish state where Jews shall normally reside-an undertaking of appalling magnitude; or to effect the absorption of the Jews as citizens in various states....
William E. Peck, "By the Waters of Babylon," The Living Church 99, no. 24 (14 Dec. 1938): 635-36.
80. Material on Coughlin is drawn from Akin, "Radio Priest."
81. Social justice (20 Dec. 1938).
82. See Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (Boston, 1943), p. 308.
83. Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World (Dublin and London, 1935). On Coughlin's relation to Fahey, see Akin, "Radio Priest," pp. 275ff.
84. Greeley, Catholic Experience, p. 240.
85. "A New Crusade to Rescue the Holy Land," Crusader's Almanac [1897?1.
87. James Pfeiffer, First American Catholic Pilgrimage to Palestine (Cincinnati, 1892), pp. 121-25.
88. Eugene Vetromile, Travels in Europe, Egypt, Arabia Petraea, Palestine and Syria (New York, 1871) 2:187-89.
89. Charles Svendsen, The Catholic World 67 (Apr. 1898): 87-88, cited in IGatzker, "American Catholic Travelers."
90. Cyprien Jourdan, "Zionism in Palestine."
91. See Issachar Shlomo Teichthal, Em Ha-Banim Semaychah (Budapest, 1943). See also Gershon Greenberg, "Impact of the Holocaust on American Jewish Thought," European Judaism 18, no. 1 (Winter 1984-85): 3-7.
92. Francis Joseph Spellman, Action This Day: Letters to My Father (New York, 1943), p. 119. The author is grateful to Eli Pfefferkorn for this reference.
93. Taylor Report: Cicognani to Taylor, 22 June 1943.
94. Edith Stein, "Road to Carmel," in Sister Teresia Renata de Spiritu Sancto Posselt, Edith Stein, trans. Cecily Hastings and Donald Nicholl (New York, 1952), p. 64. The author is grateful to Freda Mary Oben for this reference. In 1965, Pope John XXIII would compose a prayer to be read in all Catholic churches, called Act of Reparation:
We are conscious today that many centuries of blindness have cloaked our eyes so that we can no longer see the beauty of Thy chosen people, nor recognize in their faces the features of our privileged brethren. We realize that the mark of Cain stands on our foreheads. Across the centuries our Brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew or shed tears we caused [by] forgetting Thy love. Forgive us for the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying Thee a second time in their flesh. For we knew not what we did....
Cited in Eliezer Berkovits, Faith After the Holocaust (New York, 1973), p. 26.
95. Abba Hillel Silver, American Jewish Conference Record (1 Sept. 1943): 4-5.