Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

U.S. Relations with the Vatican and the Holocaust, 1940—1950

Correspondence, reports and more explore America’s relations with the Vatican during World War II and the Holocaust.

An intuitive platform makes it all cross-searchable by subject or collection.

Date Range: 1940-1950
Content: 35,023 pages
Source Library: U.S. National Archives

The relationship between Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust has long been controversial. Some scholars argue that he kept silent during the Holocaust, while others maintain that he saved possibly hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, download a Product Fact Sheet [pdf, 276 KB]

According to many scholars, the Vatican was reluctant to openly condemn Hitler and Nazi Germany. Pius XII willingly applied direct diplomatic pressure on Axis satellite states such as Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Similarly, documented instances show initiatives taken by local Catholics under the covert direction and moral support of Pius XII.

Vital correspondence from the U.S. government
U.S. Relations with the Vatican and the Holocaust, 1940-1950 offers rare primary sources tied to Myron Taylor, appointed as the president’s representative to the Vatican. The content includes telegrams, dispatches and letters between Taylor and his staff, the State Department, U.S. government agencies, the Vatican and the Italian government.

Vital materials focus on political affairs, Jews, refugee and relief activities, German-owned property in Rome, property rights, and the Vatican Bank.

This collection consists of the State Department’s records of the personal representative of the President to Pope Pius XII, including the Decimal File, Confidential Correspondence File and the Airgrams File.

These files address a variety of issues including:

  • Refugee relief activities and organizations
  • Axis diplomats at the Vatican
  • Italian concentration camps
  • Deportation of Jews and other minorities from Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia
  • Vatican Bank activities
  • Emigration
  • War crimes
  • Bombing of cities
  • Disposition of Hungarian refugees in Austria and Bavaria
  • Cultural artifacts and war
  • Croatia-Vatican relations
  • Protestant-Catholic relations
  • Provisional Italian government
  • Ecclesia
  • Italian Fascism and the Church
  • Representation for prisoners of war
  • Activities of Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary
  • Diplomatic missions to Vatican during and after World War II
  • Displaced persons in Eastern Europe following the end of World War II
  • German assets in Italy and adjudication of claims
  • Communism in Eastern Europe and the Christian Left Movement
Help us create