The Macedonian Tendency: Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week:
"How Future Pope Helped Save Jews

New book details efforts of Monsignor Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) during the Holocaust.
Jay Bushinsky - Special To The Jewish Week

Details of the combined efforts to rescue thousands of Jews during World War II by a representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and a Catholic cleric, who later became pope, have come to light through a recently published book.

Professor Dina Porat of Tel Aviv University, a historian who has written extensively on the Holocaust, gained access to the private papers of Chaim Barlas, who together with Monsignor Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (Pope John XXIII), used a variety of tactics to rescue thousands of endangered Jews from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and especially Hungary by enabling them to flee the ongoing Holocaust.

Barlas’ official papers, documents and letters were forwarded to the Zionist Archives in Jerusalem. But his personal records, stored in cardboard boxes and stashed in his family’s Tel Aviv residence, include dramatic accounts of Monsignor Roncalli’s emotional reaction on learning of the horrors described to him of the Auschwitz death camp.

“He cried when Barlas showed him the evidence,” said Porat.

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