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The Palm Beach Post

SUNDAY, ,-tiJKUARY27, 2005


alrn BeachPost.com

Popes and the Jews (1967), the Jewish scholar Pinchas Lapide quotes Dr. Kubowitzky, in 1964, as saying, "I can state now that I hardly know of a single case where Catholic institutions refused to return Jewish children." In an interview published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (Jan. 20, 2005), Serge Klarsfeld, the French Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, also disputed the charge that the French church kept baptized Jewish children. Pius XII himself personally intervened in several individual cases. For example, in his book, Avenue of the Righteous (1980), Peter Hellman writes that Leokadia Jaromirska, a Polish Catholic woman, was unwilling to return a Jewish girl she protected back to her father after the war. Ms. Jaromirska wrote to the pope, asking for his blessing to keep the child. "She was instructed by the pope to return the child to its father," Mr. Hellman reports. In fact, the pope told Ms. Jaromirska that it was her duty as a Catholic to return the girl to her father and to do so in goodwill and friendship. Before calling on the Vatican to make amends, why didn't Abe Foxman take the time to evaluate all of the evidence, much of which has been in the public record for decades, and see whether these new allegations have any real merit? Abe Foxman has a long memory, but he has forgotten that the organization he now heads once had a favorable view of Pope Pius XII. In his article for the ADL Bulletin (October 1958), Dr. Joseph Lichten hailed the late pope for opposing the Nazis and saving many Jews during World War II. It is unfortunate that Mr. Foxman lends his considerable prestige as an influential Jewish leader to a noisy group of activists, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, who believe that the Vatican must prove its innocence against every allegation. Dimitri Cavalli is an editor and writer in New York. He is working on books on both Pope Pius XII and Joe McCarthy, the late manager of the New York Yankees. He wrote this article for The Palm Beach Post.

^Hidden Children' memo not from Vatican


In his Op-Ed piece, "60 Years later, baptized Jews deserve truth from Vatican" Qan. 23), Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that "the Vatican instructed its representatives in France after World War II to prevent baptized Jewish children from returning to their families." Mr. Foxman seems unaware that these latest allegations against Pope Pius XII have been discredited. The controversy began in December with the discovery of a 1946 document that supposedly outlines the Vatican's policy toward Jewish children who were sheltered in Catholic institutions during the war. The document states that baptized Jewish children should not be returned to their families. Contrary to what many newspapers have reported, this document did not come from the Vatican. The document, which was found in the archives of the French Catholic Church, is an unsigned, one-page memorandum. It is typewritten in French instead of the Vatican's customary Italian and not produced on Vatican stationery. Two Italian scholars, Matteo Luigi Napolitano and Andrea Tornielli, revealed that this memorandum was written by someone in the apostolic nunciature in Paris that was headed by Monsignor Angelo Roncalli, who would become Pope John XXIII. The memorandum was drafted in response to an official dispatch, dated Sept 28, 1946, that Father Roncalli received from Monsignor Domenico Tardini, the Vatican's secretary cf te Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. When he was elected pope in 1958, John XXIII appointed Father Tardini the Vatican secretary of state. An English translation of the complete text of Father Tardini's letter was published by John Allen in his column for the National Catholic Reporter (Jan. 14). A comparison of Father Tardini's letter and the memorandum reveals substantial differences in tone, language and content. Father Tardini clearly affirms that baptized Jewish children should be returned to their relatives who ask for them. For

1951 Associated Press Rle Photo

Pope Pius XII personally intervened in several cases to see to it that Jewish children who were shielded from the Nazis by Catholics were returned after World War II.

reasons that remain unclear, the individual who wrote the memorandum went far beyond what the Vatican specified. Mr. Foxman overlooks the fact that Pius XII personally assured Jewish leaders that the Catholic Church would return Jewish children, baptized or not In September 1945, Dr. A. Leon Kubowitzky (later Kubovy), the secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, raised this very issue during his audience with the pope. According to the book, Unity in Dispersion: A History of the World Jewish Congress (1948), a collection of the organization's reports, Dr. Kubowitzky was "given assurance [by the popel that a most humane policy would be followed in this delicate matter." In March 1946, Pius XII met with Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog of Jerusalem, who Wc.s seeking the return of 8,000 Jewish children living in Catholic institutions in France, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. An article in Jerusalem's Palestine Post (March 31, 1946) reported that Rabbi Herzog "had the Vatican's promise of help to bring those children back into the Jewish fold." Did the Catholic Church withhold or return the children? In his book, Three