PIUS: HOLOCAUST ENABLER?

Catalyst May Issue 2000

For John Cornwell, Pius XII is “Hitler’s Pope.” For Martin Peretz, the pope is a Holocaust “enabler.” Peretz is the editor of the left-wing journal, The New Republic, and this was the charge he made in his article “Tel Aviv Postcard” on April 10.

Knowing that the journal has been around for quite a long time, we were curious to learn what the editors of the publication had to say about the Holocaust while it was happening. To that end, we secured a book, The New Republic Reader: Eighty Years of Opinion & Debate, to see what one of their own, Dorothy Wickenden (former executive editor of the journal) had to say about The New Republic’s record at the time.

On page 9 of the book, Wickenden writes that “Astonishingly, under an editor who had continued the magazine’s critiques of American injustice and who recognized the dangers of fascism, The New Republic counseled fatalism and restraint in the face of Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco.” She was speaking of Bruce Bliven, under whose tutelage “The New Republic became unreservedly left-wing.”

In a letter to the editor, after recounting this bit of history, William Donohue took off the gloves: “Before any more fingers are pointed at Pius XII—who did more to save Jews than anyone else—let him first take a hard historical look at what his ideological kinfolk did at the time of the Holocaust. The New Republic, like the New York Times and the Washington Post, are the ones who need to apologize for their shameful silence in the face of genocide and stop with the scapegoating of Pius XII.”

Readers of Catalyst should be prepared to see us use this quote over and over and over again. We will let the world know who really went mute during the Holocaust.


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Written by Bill