ACADEMIA

Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Wolf. POPE AND THE DEVIL (2010)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Mar• 14•12

Wolf, Hubert. Pope and Devil : the Vatican’s archives and the Third Reich. (Cambridge  Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010) ISBN: 9780674050815.

Vatican’s dealings with the Third Reich has been a topic of speculation for decades. The mystery was getting thicker as Vatican kept the records leading to the events since 1939 a secret and hid it from historians and the public. Now almost seventy years later these archives are open to the public and scholars like Hubert Wolf (the author) has been able to research and come up with this book. Hubert Wolf is an accomplished Church Historian teaching at the University of Munster. This book clears a lot of clouds and we have answers to many questions answered for the first time in the light of these secret documents.
The book appeared in its German original in 2008 as Papst und Tuefel: Die Archive des Vatikan und das Dritte Reich published by Verlag C. H. Beck oHG, Munich.
In five chapters, along a chronological sequence, Wolf details Vatican’s relationships and struggles with the Third Reich and the National Socialism.
Chapter one: Neutralizing Evil. Vatican Prescriptions for Germany (1917-1929); Chapter Two: Perfidious Jews. The Battle in the Vatican over Anti-Semitism (1928); Chapter Three: The Pact with the Devil? The Reichskonkordat (1930-1933); Chapter Four: Molto Delicato? The Roman Curia and the Persecution of the Jews (1933-1939); Chapter Five: Dogma or Diplomacy? The Catholic Worldview and Nazi Ideology (1933-1939).
The book is complete with a ten page chronology of this period which is very useful even to those who are familiar with the dates and events of this period.