Catholic Christian monasteries gave shelter to Jews during World War II: Documents


According to the statement, the document was found in the archives of the Biblical Institute, which is affiliated with the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University. It lists more than 4,300 people who were given shelter in religious properties, 100 women and 55 men. Of them, 3,600 have been identified by name, the statement said, and research in the archives of the Jewish community of Rome shows that 3,200 were definitely Jews.

Researchers have obtained new documents that confirm reports that Catholic convents and monasteries in Rome sheltered Jews during World War II. According to the researchers, the documents contain the names of at least 3,200 Jews who have been identified as members of the city’s Jewish community. Researchers from the Pontifical Bible Institute, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Research Institute and the Jewish community of Rome presented their findings Thursday at an academic conference held at the Shoah Museum, part of Rome’s main synagogue.

The documents do not shed any light on the role of then Pope Pius XII during the Nazi occupation of Rome. Pius’ legacy has been long debated among historians. His supporters claim he used diplomacy to save Jews, while critics say he remained silent when Jews living in Rome next to the Vatican were arrested and deported. The Pontifical Biblical Institute, Yad Vashem and the Jewish Community of Rome said in a joint statement that the new document records the names and addresses of people who were sheltered in Catholic institutions during the war.

It was earlier vaguely mentioned by the contemporary Italian historian Renzo De Felice in his 1961 book. According to the statement, the document was found in the archives of the Biblical Institute, which is affiliated with the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University. It lists more than 4,300 people who were given shelter in religious properties, 100 women and 55 men. Of them, 3,600 have been identified by name, the statement said, and research in the archives of the Jewish community of Rome shows that 3,200 were definitely Jews.

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