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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and still relevant.....
"The Deputy" is stunning and still relevant, despite the acidic reviews you might find here contesting the pertinence of this play. It's more than probable the negative ratings in regards to this piece belong to the pious who, instead of looking at the objective facts, hide behind their own grandiose illusions regarding the dogmas into which they have been...
Published on July 29, 2002

versus
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars History Lost
Reader beware. THE DEPUTY is not history or literature. It is
Soviet-style propaganda--fiction presented under the guise of
history with the intent to mislead and misrepresent. This play
entrapped many-readers and historians alike. Its power proved so
great that it is an historic event of the 20th century.

I avoided THE DEPUTY when...
Published on December 9, 2012 by Ann Lackey


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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and still relevant....., July 29, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
"The Deputy" is stunning and still relevant, despite the acidic reviews you might find here contesting the pertinence of this play. It's more than probable the negative ratings in regards to this piece belong to the pious who, instead of looking at the objective facts, hide behind their own grandiose illusions regarding the dogmas into which they have been indoctrinated.
Afterall, is there any historical doubt that Pope Pius XII did not publicly condemn the wholesale slaughter of Jews by the Nazi regime? I haven't seen any document stating otherwise. Sure, he made blanket condemnations pronounced in the garb of generalities, but that's not what Hochhuth's play addresses. It's a simple question we must ask: should, as some consider, the highest moral authority on the planet straddle the fence in an attempt not to offend anyone, or should we expect a public condemnation of evil on such a grand scale? This, in my view, and in sum, is the dilemma the play poses to each reader.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars History Lost, December 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Reader beware. THE DEPUTY is not history or literature. It is
Soviet-style propaganda--fiction presented under the guise of
history with the intent to mislead and misrepresent. This play
entrapped many-readers and historians alike. Its power proved so
great that it is an historic event of the 20th century.

I avoided THE DEPUTY when researching its antidote & counterpoint,
THE GLORY OF THE OLIVE.[...].Getting facts to achieve true
historical perspective and understanding proved an imperative goal.

Having achieved that, I can now address a portion from my second project,
THE PIUS PREDICAMENT, and a major problem arising from THE DEPUTY.
It intrigues me that no one has noticed Pius has become a scapegoat for
the guilt of the Holocaust. Consider the following:
1)Aside from the Resistance and courageous individuals, FDR,
Churchill,the Protestant churches, the Jewish religious groups
did little or nothing. Check #4 below.

2)Thanks to Pius' leadership, silent or spoken, 80% of the
Roman Jews never reached the gas chambers.

The problem is THE DEPUTY lacks historical perspective. How so? Hochhuth
took a post-war issue and made it a war-issue. True, the Holocaust
happened during the War and rumors abounded. Yet it was post-war, because....

1) the War was the prime focus.
2) the Holocaust was an effect of the war.
3) the Holocaust was secretly enforced.
4) the Holocaust was officially known in late 1942 near the war's end.

Pius was able to marshal support in Rome because he had the religious leverage
with the many institutions; it coincided with his (4) knowledge of the Holocaust
from his inquiries with FDR and the German occupation & plans to seize Jews in Rome.

For a quick, reliable resource, I recommend Dr. Marchione's paperback,
Did Pope Pius XII Help the Jews?.

Don't miss David Dalin's
The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany
and Kurzman's
A Special Mission: Hitler's Secret Plot to Seize the Vatican and Kidnap Pope Pius XII.

Happy reading--
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely important drama on the holocaust, October 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
No literary work about the holocaust has so much shaken the conscience of the western world as he Deputy". Since the play first appeared in 1963, it has been reviewed, rereviewed, praised, damned and boycotted (including the American Nazi Party). What I have to add here is (1) praise to Johns Hopkins University Press for republishing the play and (2) rebuttal of the bizarre and shameful comments appearing at this site on July 1, 1999 and October 21, 1999.
To any one who has read the play, or attended it, it is obvious that it deals with the HOLOCAUST and nothing less. That Pius II did not protest as strongly and often as he should could have and that he did not protect Roman jews is an important part of the play.
Nowhere in the play, the stage instructions, the appendices nor anywhere does Hochhuth "shift the blame" for the holocaust. Indeed, Acts 1-3 and 5 put the responsibility brutally and exactly where it belongs. (The pope, drawn as a caricature of a CEO, appears only in Act 4, essentially denying the reality of the holocaust).
The principal character in the play is Riccardo Fontana, a catholic priest (a jesuit), son of a laic counsellor to the pope, who struggles futilely against the Nazis - and the obtuseness of the vatican - and is murdered by the Nazis. Like all characters in the play, Riccardo is a fictional character inspired by a real person. The inspiration for Riccardo came from Bernard Lichtenberg, prelate of St. Hedwig's cathedral, Berlin and father Maximilian Kolbe, martyred in Auschwitz and canonized (John Paul II) in 1982. The play is dedicated to these men.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great (if unwieldy) play on a subject of devastating importance, July 5, 2005
By 
Scott Ross (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
It may be difficult to imagine how one would stage this play effectively: it's length is prohibitive and it moves around from location to location, each described in great, novelistic detail by the playwright, and utterly impractical in a theatrical context. But it's a riveting, rigorously intelligent and utterly damning take of Pius's unforgivable reticense regarding the Holocaust. What with the Vatican's continued talk of canonizing Pius -- in spite of its much-ballyhooed (by the Vatican only) talk of repentence for centuries of murderous anti-Semitism -- this is a timely play and should be read widely.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blackhearts at the trough, May 2, 2014
I do not understand individuals who feed on this kind of filthy soup and then have the guts to praise the wretched flavor to everyone else. The Deputy is a false, coldhearted, slanderous attack on the character of Pope Pius XII during World War 2. It is also a blatant assault on the Roman Catholic Church. Those who have read this book and have loved it are nothing more than Catholic haters who like to read communist slop. Anything that degrades the Church makes them extremely happy. and feel justified in their liberal, boring, godless opinions.

Pius XII was one of the finest popes in the history of the Church. He did more for the Jews than any of you liberal nincompoops have ever done. The truth is that he saved hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives behind the scenes of the Vatican. It takes a lot of courage to defend someone who has been unjustly vilified by others. It is very difficult. The liars and the hypocrites, on the other hand, are always on the offense first, looking to justify and elevate themselves with the public, often profiting from the endeavor. They always have the advantage. To ruin someone's reputation can bring them fame and fortune, whether it's unjust or not.
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24 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holocaust Responsibility, November 3, 1999
By 
Joan David (Hemet, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
I first read The Deputy in 1963 and saw a truncated version of the play in Los Angeles. I have subsequently read the play several times and I believe that the reviewers who think that this is an anti-Catholic polemic miss Hochhuth's purpose in writing the book.

In The Deputy, the Catholic Church is not blamed for the holocaust; the reader understands that the Germans were perpetrators. And he does not excuse Protestants and others for their refusal to act during this terrible time. Students of the Holocaust know that there was more than enough blame to go around in terms of those who did not speak.

What Hochhuth does is to state historical truth regarding Pope Pius XII's refusal to speak. Pius XII was the Deputy of Christ from 1939 to 1958. Between 1939 and 1945, though the Pope was completely aware of what the Germans were doing (mass murders), he never once spoke to criticize the Germans or ask them to stop the murders. This is uncontrovertible fact.

Riccardo Fontana, the fictitious priest (and hero) in The Deputy, represents the finest qualities in man. He is that rarest of creatures, a truly good man. His passion for truth and justice leads to his numerous efforts to persuade Pius XII to action. That he is unable to reach the Pope makes his efforts heart-breakingly tragic.

Riccardo is a Catholic who cannot understand why the Pope (whom he knows personally) does not speak out against one of the worst horrors in the history of mankind. For Riccardo, speaking out is not enough. He demonstrates through action (he is willing to die and actually does) that words of condemnation alone are not enough. That is why Pius XII's unwillingness to speak (much less to act) is seen as such a devastating moral lapse.

I suggest that the reviewers who feel that The Deputy is blatantly anti-Catholic read the play again, in its entirety!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Deputy" created by a Guilty Conscience, July 6, 2013
This review is from: The Deputy (Hardcover)
Hochhuth's literary work relies on breaking God's eighth commandment, taking few facts, distorting even the facts to some degree and reaching false conclusions to a major degree. Hochhuth's dramatizing didn't make this book fallacious..., Hochhuth's dramatizing false conclusions makes it fallacious. It's simply not history. All the evidence stands in stark opposition to Hochhuth's portrayal, which means Hochhuth's portrayal is false. Hochhuth was a German and Protestant. He had guilt over being a German, and had guilt over Protestants not doing anything to save the Jews..., so, he changes the focus on the only institution and main person who makes him and his religion look bad. Hochhuth broke God's eighth commandment to write this book. I would not want to be Hochhuth facing God at the end of his life... I hope Hochhuth enjoyed his fame on earth, because I don't think it was much fun for Rolf Hochhuth facing God.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Denial Adds To Guilt, February 18, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
"The Deputy" is based on documented factual history. In what may be a matter of loyalty to their faith, some Amazon reviewers have claimed that Pope Pius II DID speak out.
Such loyalty is understandable when the actions by a leader of one's religious faith are being examined. Hochhuth's vehicle both causes AND thwarts their denial.
Historic objectivity very often conflicts with religion and faith.
There is far more evidence of Vatican appeasement and toleration of the Nazi movement prior to and during World War II than any protesting. "The Deputy" merely dramatizes some of this.
Hochhuth's dramatizing of history does not render it fallacious.
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18 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars But it's not true, September 9, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
The Deputy is a fair to good play, considered as a piece of drama. There's tension, conflict, and a good denouement. The problem is that some people think it's history, which it's not. Most of the characters are fictitious. The speeches are not historical. The venal portrait of Pius XII completely contradicts history. It is astonishing to read previous reviewers still treat this work as history. Pierre Blet's recent work, based on Vatican archives and diplomatic cables, shows without a doubt that Pius XII spoke out hundreds of times against the Nazi persecution of the Jews and that he and his diplomatic representatives personally saved thousands of Jewish lives.
As a play, it has its merits. But as fact, this is Oliver Stone territory. As a a piece of history, this is nothing but an anti-Catholic fantasy.
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15 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to be unbiased, March 4, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Deputy (Paperback)
After reading the play and reading the reviews at this site, I have come to realize that any person connected with the Catholic faith will object to the history behind this play. Denial is an interesting phenomenon, and everyone uses "facts" to support their beliefs. Perhaps the silence of the Pope is denied because people find it impossible to believe he would be. Perhaps he did do more to save Jews then the play leads one to believe, but in a quiet, in the background kind of way. Many historians, Jewish or otherwise, attest to the fact that the Pope did not openly condemn Hitler and Nazi activities. It is a sad commentary that people are unable to admit guilt by silence, we can see that its acceptance is continued all over the world today. Too bad we can't learn from history's lessons.
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The Deputy: A Play
The Deputy: A Play by Rolf Hochhuth (Hardcover - 1964)
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