The June 1944 edition of a bulletin put out by the “Jewish Brigade Group” (US Eighth Army) carried a front-page editorial that completely undermined Radio Moscow’s insinuation: “To the everlasting glory of the people of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church we can state that the fate of the Jews was alleviated by their truly Christian offers of assistance and shelter.” The Israeli Federation of Labor’s daily newspaper, Davar, quoted a Jewish brigade officer shortly after Rome’s liberation: “When we entered Rome, the Jewish survivors told us with a voice filled with deep gratitude and respect: ‘If we have been rescued, if Jews are still alive in Rome, come with us and thank the pope in the Vatican. For in the Vatican proper, in churches, monasteries and private homes, Jews were kept hidden at his personal orders’.”

Another event that took place just weeks earlier made Radio Moscow”s insinuation outright ridiculous. On February 13, 1945, the chief rabbi of Rome and his wife, Israel and Emma Zolli, converted to Catholicism during a widely popularized ceremony. Zolli adopted the Christian Eugenio to honor the man who, according to him, had done so much to protect the Jews during the war: Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Pacelli. In his 1945 memoir, Zolli explained,

No other hero in history has commanded such an army; an army of priests works in cities and small towns to provide bread for the persecuted and passports for the fugitives. Nuns go into canteens to give hospitality to women refugees. Superiors of convents go out into the night to meet German soldiers who look for victims….Pius XII is followed by all with the fervor of that charity that fears no death.

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Professor Ronald Rychlak, Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism (2013)


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