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Righteous Gentiles: How Pius XII and the Catholic Church Saved Half a Million Jews From the Nazis Hardcover – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In this often tedious follow-up to Hitler, the War, and the Pope, law professor Rychlak, at the University of Mississippi. defends Pius XII against critics, from James Carroll to Daniel Goldhagen and Susan Zuccotti, who accuse the pope of inaction against the Holocaust. Given access to closed Vatican archives, Rychlak amasses evidence to exonerate Pius, uncovering instances where the pope not only spoke out against Hitler but also acted in various ways to save Jews. For example, he wrote a letter that allowed 700 Jews safe passage in 1942 as they immigrated to the United States. In October 1943, the Vatican "vigorously protested the arrest of Jews, requesting the interruption of such action." The targets of Rychlak's criticism will surely have more to say in this ongoing exchange, and they're as likely to focus on his occasional manipulation of the evidence as he does on theirs. For instance, while Pius XII condemned the Germans' use of "asphyxiating and poison gases" in WWI, Rychlak reads it as a condemnation of the gas chambers. He presents evidence systematically and thoroughly, but much of it relates only indirectly to Pius himself and fails to fully convince. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Ronald J. Rychlak is Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Professor of Law and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Mississippi School of Law. A member of the committee appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to revise that states criminal code, he is also an academic fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is an advisor to the Vaticans delegation to the United Nations and has received three papal medals for his diplomatic service to the Holy See.
He is the author of the acclaimed "Hitler, the War, and the Pope," as well as the author or co-author of three legal textbooks. He has written for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other legal, political, and historical journals. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and six children.