Vatican to release WWII documents

June 30, 2004 at 9:13 PM
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ROME, Vatican City, June 30 (UPI) -- The Vatican has decided to release previously secret documents relating to World War II, the Ha'aretz reported Wednesday.

The report said the documents are expected to include information about the policies of Pope Pius XII toward the Nazi regime, but not pertaining to the Holocaust.

Abraham Foxman, national director of Anti-Defamation League, told the newspaper, "One cannot ignore the importance of the Vatican's decision to release further documents from the World War II period."

Foxman said the documents deal with the Vatican's activity on behalf of war prisoners and missing persons during the WW II era.

He said among the documents is a July 21, 1943, letter from a bishop in Romania to the Vatican, complaining the Vatican was too concerned over the fate of the Jews.

Many Jewish researchers believe Pius XII ignored the persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust and refused to intervene in their favor or prevent their deportation.

Jewish leaders told Ha'aretz they believe the papers are being released by the Vatican to create a favorable atmosphere for a meeting of Jewish and Catholic scholars next week in Buenos Aires.

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