Catholic Church and the Holocaust
Any analysis of the role of the Church and the Pope in the Holocaust will be controversial, emotionally laden and political. It is a complex and complicated story, that cannot be easily summarized in broad strokes. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that there were different circumstances in the many countries that were affected across Europe. There is also a distinction to be made between the official polices that were set at the top, in the Vatican, and what was actually happening on the ground in individual provinces and cities.
In addition to the sections dealing with the complicity and inaction of the Vatican and the Church, there are also sections dealing with the hostility of Hitler and his regime towards the Church, as well as about Catholic resistance against the Nazis. I have strived to provide some balance in the range of articles about the role of Pius XII and the Vatican, in order to allow readers to form their own opinions and to provide some context for further research.
While many Catholic clergy and leaders chose the path of least resistance, others were forced to confront more fundamental issues; for these people, the Nazi state disturbed their security and forced them to ask fundamental questions: What is the church? What does it mean to be a Christian? What is so basic to the nature of the church and to being a Christian that it cannot under any circumstances be surrendered?