By Julian Kossoff
Germany is fighting to keep sealed the Adolf Eichmann files detailing the years the Holocaust chief logistical organiser spent on the run before he was captured by Mossad agents.
Those hoping to have a 50-year secrecy order overturned believe the government is embarrassed by details within that may prove German and Vatican officials colluded in his escape and freedom.
Indeed, the Church’s practise of protecting its own perpetrators of vicious crimes has already been well established with the tragic revelations of thousands of victims of child sex abuse by cleric paedophiles.
For the current papacy under the German pope, Benedict XVI, the 4,500 page Eichmann dossier could be the ’smoking gun’ that would shoot down his plans to canonize Pope Pius XII (1939-58), aka ‘Hitler’s Pope.’
The role of Pope Pius XII during World War II, his relationship with Nazism and his efforts (or lack of them) to save Jews from the gas chambers are hotly disputed. Even within the Jewish community there are strong opinions on both sides of the debate.
But the latest Eichmann revelations suggest that Pope Pius XII’s moral stature – and qualification for sainthood – should be judged on its conduct in the aftermath of Nazism’s defeat. Once the evil of the Holocaust was revealed for all to see, the Holy See should have been at the forefront of the campaign to bring the war criminals to trial.
In fact, history’s most savage mass murderers – Adolf Eichmann, Dr Josef Mengele, better known as Auschwitz’s ‘Angel of Death’, and Franz Stangl, commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp – escaped justice down the ‘ratline’ that ran straight through the Vatican state in Rome.
Senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy – marinaded in virulent Judeophobia and obsessed by Bolshevism – organised the escape of thousands of the most debauched, cruel monsters to a peaceful, prosperous retirement in Catholic South America.
The question that’s salient today, as Pope Pius XII heads for canonization, is how much did he know of this most shameful episode in the 20th century history of the Vatican?
If he truly is a saint, his supporters must surely have nothing to fear from the publication of the contents of the Eichmann dossier.