Funny How Fiction Is So Often Believed As Fact
Much of the impetus to smear the Vatican regarding World War II came, appropriately enough, from a work of fiction—a stage play called The Deputy, written after the War by a little-known German Protestant playwright named Rolf Hochhuth.
The play appeared in 1963, and it painted a portrait of a pope too timid to speak out publicly against the Nazis. Ironically, even Hochhuth admitted that Pius XII was materially very active in support of the Jews. Historian Robert Graham explains: "Playwright Rolf Hochhuth criticized the Pontiff for his (alleged) silence, but even he admitted that, on the level of action, Pius XII generously aided the Jews to the best of his ability. Today, after a quarter-century of the arbitrary and one-sided presentation offered the public, the word ‘silence’ has taken on a much wider connotation. It stands also for ‘indifference,’ ‘apathy,’ ‘inaction,’ and, implicitly, for anti-Semitism."
Hochhuth’s fictional image of a silent (though active) pope has been transformed by the anti-Catholic rumor mill into the image of a silent and inactive pope—and by some even into an actively pro-Nazi monster. If there were any truth to the charge that Pius XII was silent, the silence would not have been out of moral cowardice in the face of the Nazis, but because the Pope was waging a subversive, clandestine war against them in an attempt to save Jews.
"The need to refrain from provocative public statements at such delicate moments was fully recognized in Jewish circles. It was in fact the basic rule of all those agencies in wartime Europe who keenly felt the duty to do all that was possible for the victims of Nazi atrocities and in particular for the Jews in proximate danger of deportation to ‘an unknown destination.’ " The negative consequences of speaking out strongly were only too well known.
Imagine Oskar Shindler, Raoul Wallenberg, Irena Sendler, and all the people who helped shield Jews during that time, speaking out, denouncing the Nazis, "not remaining silent"? Imagine how long they would have lasted, to continue shielding the Jews?
And before anyone thinks that the Nazis would never have taken out a Pope who "didn't remain silent" against them, think again. It's kind of a, you know, history, with Catholics.
Jimmy Akin is one smart, level-headed cookie and not only knows his Catholic history but explains it in a non-"priestspeak," non-talking-down manner. This is a long but well-documented article.
If you are interested, go watch any of his videos on that website. He answers many of the challenges and valid questions that even good Catholics have. (He's the one with the red beard.)