Monday, July 2

Israel bows to Vatican and amends it's text on Holocaust Memorial

Israel Holocaust memorial amends text on Vatican

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel's national Holocaust memorial 
has amended its account of Pope Pius XII's actions during World
 War Two, after the original text upset the Vatican by implying
 he did too little to try to rescue Jews from the Nazis.

Yad Vashem, the museum and memorial in Jerusalem, 

said on Sunday its new display acknowledged that the
 pope's defenders say his neutrality in the war gave 
church members more freedom and allowed them to 
carry out some secret rescue activities.

But it said the text mentioned that critics still saw

 Pius as guilty of doing too little, calling it a "moral failure".

The panel in the museum now also quotes from the pope's 

Christmas radio address in 1942 in which he refers to
 "hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any 
fault on their part, sometimes only because of their 
nationality or ethnic origin" were killed. But it notes
 he did not explicitly name the Jews.

A Yad Vashem spokeswoman said the display was 

amended due to new research findings and that it 
now "better shows the complexity of the issue."

The original text at Yad Vashem was a terse chronicle 

of the opportunities Pius missed to confront or speak
 out against the Nazis and mentioned his role before 
becoming pope in 1939 in the church reaching an
 agreement with the German government. These
 elements remain in the new text.

The history of the wartime pontiff has long been a

 point of contention between Catholics and Jews. 
Defenders of the pope have said he did everything 
possible to help Jews, while critics have portrayed
 him as being indifferent and even complicit in the
 deaths of six million Jews across Europe.

Yad Vashem, which contains the largest archive of data 

on the Holocaust, also urged the Vatican to open
 itsarchives "so that a clearer understanding of the 
events can be arrived at."

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