Saturday, October 13, 2012

ADSS 5.468 Tittmann to Maglione: possible papal protest


The last major request for a papal protest against German war crimes came from the United States.  As we have seen there was a general belief among American diplomats that Pius would not do more than what he already done, namely make general statements condemning atrocities but with no particular reference to German crimes.  However there was also a sense that any diplomatic initiative to apply pressure on the pope to "go public" was worth pursuing.   As with all other notes, except the British, there is no mention of Jews as the primary victims of Nazi persecution.    

ADSS 5.468 

Harold Tittmann, USA charge d’affaires to Cardinal Maglione

Reference:  Memorandum with no number; AES 6660/42 (FRUS 1942.3 page 774)
Location and date: Vatican 14.09.1942

Summary statement: Crimes committed by Nazi troops in occupied territories.  Request for a papal condemnation.
Language: English

Text:

In accordance with instruction received from his Government, the Charge d’affaires of the United States to the Holy See has the honour to call the attention of His Eminence the Cardinal Secretary of State to the cruel and inhuman treatment by the Hitler forces of the civil populations in areas occupied by the Germans.  He desires to point out that these incredible horrors have been universally condemned and that this universal condemnation has been reflected in the expressions of all free peoples.

The Charge d’affaires has also been authorised by his Government to point out the helpful effect that a similar condemnation of these atrocities by the Holy Father would have in bringing about some check on the unbridled and uncalled-for-actions of the forces of the Nazi regime.(1)


Cross references: 
(1) A copy of this note was sent to the Department of State in Washington DC by Tittmann in his dispatch number 114 on 15.09.1942.  It was received by the Department on 14.10.1942.

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