I saw this story at the blog “Against the Grain” and I feel that it is a story that needs to be repeated because so many lies have been told about this Pope’s role during the second world war. The story concerns a German Jew who made the effort to visit Pope Pius XII with a message concerning a group of Jews who were being interned by Italy’s Fascist government on an island and they were in danger of starvation.
The young man was the last of the group, which also included German soldiers. He tried to speak to the Pope in broken Italian but Pius gently encouraged him to speak in his native German language. After listening to the story the Pope made the following statement:
“You have done well to come to me and tell me this. I have heard about
it before. Come back tomorrow with a written report and give it to the
Secretary of State who is dealing with the question. But now for you,
my son. You are a young Jew. I know what that means and I hope you will
always be proud to be a Jew!”
“My son, whether you are worthier than others only the Lord knows, but
believe me, you are at least as worthy as every other human being that
lives on our earth! And now, my Jewish friend, go with the protection
of the Lord, and never forget, you must always be proud to be a Jew!”
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