tv Vatican Spies During World War II CSPAN March 4, 2017 10:35am-11:36am EST
liebling talks about pope pius the twelfth and the catholic church's secret actions against the nazis. he argued that, contrary to previous scholarship, the pope was involved in efforts to change the german regime, including plots to kill hitler. this talk was part of a multi-day conference at the world war ii museum and it's about an hour and 15 minutes. this is what we are about to
hear from our first speaker, mark riebling. mark is a fellow in 20th century history and a lecturer in holocaust and genocide studies at georgetown university. previously, he was cofounder and research director of the nypd center for policing terrorism and research director of the manhattan institute for policy research. his book "wedge: the secret war
between the cia and the fbi" has -- provided the program for seven assorted congressional committees and blue-ribbon panels. he has written for numerous publications, "the new york times" and "the guardian" among them. mark will present on his book "church of spies: the pope's secret war against hibbler." -- against hitler." i would like you to give mark a very warm welcome. thank you. mr. riebling: good morning. can you hear me ok? thank you. many thanks to the baptist community ministries for bringing us here this morning. i'm going to talk to you about one of the all-time great remaining historical controversies about the second world war in europe, so if
nothing else, i think you will take away from this morning one more way to wreck a perfectly good dinner party if you raise the subject i am going to talk about tonight -- this morning. i was at a really good dinner party last night, so if i am a little bit less than spry it is because i was outranking on bourbon street with general singlaub. so i would just pass on this piece of intelligence that i learned for any catholics in the audience who might find themselves on bourbon street, the patron state -- i would like to cover three things as quickly as i could to leave as much time as possible for questions because usually the questions are very lively and i learn a lot from the audience's perspective. i would like to get a flyover of pope's secret war against
hitler's, which is the subject of my book, "church of spies." then i would like to focus on the covert birth of the cold war moral order, which i think is really important. finally, i would like to touch on how i think this effects of today -- affects us today, including if i may be modest, , how it explains donald trump. then i will take your questions. the context of this vatican secret war against hitler's, it is in this subgenre of world war ii studies, the war behind the war. that includes the neutrals. that would be spain, switzerland, vatican city, the three big neutral locations. more than locations, this kind of secret war or war involving noncombatants involved moral factors and moral factors in
war. napoleon believe that moral factors in war were more important than material factors by a ratio of three to one. --hitler also believe that spiritual factors and war were more important than material factors. if you know a book "why the , allies won" there is a whole chapter in there about moral hadors in why the allies the high ground. the moral high ground is this place -- is a place we would expect spiritual leaders like the pope to occupy this in a cash to command and -- to command and occupy in a spirited way. it was not so easy for figures like pope pius the 12th, who was the pope during the bloodiest years of the bloodiest century in human history. he was elected under the shadow
of the swastika in march 1939. basically on the day of his coronation, on march 12 and 15th 1939, in that range, killer -- hitler occupied czechoslovakia, which more or less made war on europe inevitable. during the war and for a generation after the war, he was generally considered to have done a pretty good job under really messy circumstances, keeping the vatican neutral, and yet also trying to be a moral spokesman in a general way for what was going on. it really was not until the 1960's that people started questioning this view. previously, such prominent jews like albert einstein and golda meyer sang his praises. people started looking more closely about what the pope said or did not say during the war and they did not find a sort of
cry from the mountaintop denunciation of the genocide was -- while it was going on. so a chorus of criticism began which really culminated in 1999 with a pretty well-known book called " "hitler's pope." the battle lines in what has been known as the highest war were sharply drawn and basically, the critics said the pope was cowed into silence by cowardice or anti-semitism or apathy or political calculation or greed and defenders said, well, the reason he did not speak out is primarily because he was afraid he would make the plight of the victims worse. you can imagine everyone in europe occupied -- not occupied europe were being held hostage with a gun to their head and usually hostage negotiation skills sort of require putting the hostage taker at ease rather
than denouncing them while you are trying to free people in his control. both sides in the debate basically agreed the pope had done little or nothing to resist hitler. i find, in my book, that both sides are wrong. ,he pope did resist hitler although secretly it was quite vigorously and the secret was pius the 12th's participation in three plots to kill adolf hitler . usually when i drop that boom like that, i get questions that come fast and furious sort of like how come we haven't heard this before. how do you know it? just to cover that quickly, in the vast critical literature on pius the 12th and the catholic church and the second world war, all of the pope's fiercest critics, daniel goldhagen, david
kurtzer, even john cornwell, they all agreed that the pope itlrt andtler -- h did -- hitler and did bridges of it in plots to kill him. they would only discuss it in a sentence or a paragraph or a clause and then go on to other things. to show a lack of curiosity if the pope engaged in these plots to eliminate , what does this mean and how does -- that is the problem i set out to explore in my book. it took me from beginning to end about 18 years altogether. i spent a lot of time in the u.s. national archives and the vatican secret archives, in the munich. in unit -- in
i found helpful information in postwar debriefings by u.s. intelligence and the liaison agents between the pope and the german resistance. mike -- the biggest break i got was when i discovered the secret papal recordings the pope had made in his library when he was anding with top nazi's german churchmen in the 1930's -- 1939 and the 1940's. it was surprising to me that the pope made his own secret tapes. the vatican was hardwired by the inventor of the radio. what is interesting about these transcripts -- i think the key reveal from them for me was that the german church was really scared -- the leaders of the german church and the german cardinals were scared that hitler was so popular that if
the pope or rome called out the nazis too much, german catholics were not side with rome, they would in fact side with hitler to keep their jobs and take care of their families and save their lives and the prestige of the acy would be --apc the transcript showed in the first week of march 1939 between the pope and the german cardinals that highest the 12th is going to heed their advice, appease hitler with his public statements, and at the same time he is going to work secretly behind the scenes, in essence because highest the pope could not lead a church of -- pius the pope decided to lead a church of spies. the idea of people --
it may sound like something out thethe da vinci code" but vatican does have a high rated intelligence system. it is the world's oldest institution and the oldest state and states spy. there is also a sense in which the christian religion, for the first 300 years, was in fact an underground organization because a lot of the first christians expected christ to come back soon and it did not occur to them that they would ever become the official religion of the roman empire in the fourth century. for the first 300 years the , church operated by something called the discipline of the -- of secrecy, which comes from the market gospel. you know jesus committed his disciples to do a lot of things secretly a not tell what he was doing or what he was doing. earlys in the dna of the church. the crucible of the doxsee years -- nazi years put pressure on
the church to operate secretly. indeed, we notice hitler saying we are getting kind of a war christianity. hitler calls the vatican the world's greatest espionage center. mussolini calls it "the cave of spies. the pope himself took a granular craft,t in papal spy explaining how to skim charities to fund services, where the carriers should stay, which hotels in munich had nuns that were reliable, even with codenames certain agents could be. these are the things that interested this particular pope. in germany, the pope's goal in establishing this episcopal spy network was to prove that hitler
was violating church rights. there was a treaty that had been signed in summer of 1933 between the vatican and the reich concordat, guaranteeing church rights. of course, hitler being hitler, proceeded to violate the articles of the treaty right and left and so the intelligence service was set up to brink of that out of germany, which was denying -- the network that was set up was a really colorful organization with a lot of colorful cast of characters from all walks of life that would be surprising for us to hear today. one of the key operatives was a divorced jewish lesbian who converted to catholicism and she was a very reliable courier, that she was captured and died in the concentration camp in 1941. another very useful operative for the church was in fact the bodyguard, whos
is a helpful guide to have on your team if you are trying to get rid of hitler. the most important papal operative was munich lay agent and lawyer named joseph mueller. he had the nickname joey ox. he was really a kind of godfather or fixer figure. he would say he is after that she is half oscar schindler and half don corleone. he was a helpful guide for the -- helpful guy for the church and he flew missions. he would fly over the outs -- apls and land in -- he would fly over alps land in switzerland, , hand the documents over to his contracts. he would take them to italy and the vatican where they were stored on the top shelf of the pope's library in a hollowed out red book. this was a quite sophisticated advanced intelligence service and joseph mueller played an important role because he was wily, he was crafty, he was
odysseus of the german resistance, some have called him. some have also called him the traveling salesman of the german resistance and he certainly sold the pope on participating in these plots to kill hitler. try to move through this without getting bogged down in the details. if you are interested in how all of this played out, read my book. the german military service was the key to these plots to kill hitler within germany. they wanted to get rid of hitler because they thought he was leading germany into disaster and they were also part of a very conservative part of german society, which saw the nazis basically as brown bolsheviks and they thought traditional -- the nobility and the traditional conservative germany would be destroyed by hitler. their goal was to kill hitler and make -- the whole purpose of
the enterprise was to make a after hitler's death. to do that, they needed someone who could interlocute with great britain. they found an answer to this problem in the person of the pope. they sent joseph mueller to the vatican in october 1939 and they said holy father, will you help us affect regime change in germany by essentially being our ?oreign agent pius slept on it and when he woke up, he agreed. he said, yes, any government government ir is a would like to see in germany. his motive for this was basically that he thought -- the pope thought hitler was possessed, body and soul by the devil. he had at times -- at times try hitler's soul from
the that again apartments. his deputies pointed out to the pope that it was very long odds. his is visors were sure that it -- his advisers were sure that it would not succeed. he said if there was one chance in a million, my conscience would not allow me to stand by. his involvement in his agents in these plots against all odds over about five years is the often dramatic story i tell in "church of spies." in all three of these plots in which spun out, three of them over five years, the pope's principal role was to convene midnight meetings in the vatican apartments with people such as the british envoy to the holy seat and he would pass information and they eventually did get preapproved peace terms which had been hammered out in british war cabinet meetings
sent over by halifax. this is the chamberlain government which agreed, if you do get rid of hitler before the invasion of the west, if you get rid of hitler we will make peace and these are the terms. it is actually pretty generous peace terms for germany expect -- accepted by london. almost most importantly in my view is that pius the 12th demonstrated he was not neutral because on at least three occasions he compromised hitler 's war plans by passing them to the allies. first before the invasion of norway and then before the and asn of low countries early as october, 1940, he gave extremely accurate information about hitler's plans to invade the soviet union. in none of these cases did the allies react expeditiously, which is not --
the intelligence was accurate and when proved accurate, the pope's stature in the -- in churchill's eyes went up dramatically and this is the beginning of a much closer relationship between protestant britain and the holy sea than we had seen before and it has survived since the cold war. ,he plots involve the jesuits especially in germany on the ground. some key jesuits in the munich province served as couriers and also planners of the postwar order and i will get to what the plans were is it actually did have a big impact on what that cold war order was. each of these three plots failed, as we know, because april survived until 1945. the first plot failed because the german generals lost their nerve after hitler invaded the west and he was so popular that
the view among the german generals was that -- the chief of staff said if i draw this sword, it will break in my hand. the people will not support me. ae second plot failed when bomb actually planted on hitler 's plan on march 13 froze when the plane climbed to avoid flack and the third plot, which is the one most of us are familiar with "valkyrievies such as " was when a german colonel and count planted a bomb in hitler's headquarters which wounded the hrer, but it failed because they did not cut -- onlythe 12 is almost the constant. there were two or three part of all of these plots.
tenaris and pius the 12th. these fellows were key to all be plots and i would just careful to qualify here and say that technically, for the record, pius the 12th participated in these plots to change the german regime rather than to kill hitler and plotters went out of their way to give the pope moral cover so that if this ever did become public knowledge, he could say i did not know what was going to happen to hitler, i just wanted to change the regime. he had four decades of experience in foreign affairs and i think his real view of the inter was quite clearly put june 1945 when he convened the college of cardinals and said throughout the war, when we were --fronted by this santana satanic specter of nokia some, i -- specter ofnk
sm--those who fight by the sword will die by the sword. he cannot have been hitler's pope if he was trying to kill hitler. he was more churchill's pope or roosevelt's pope. it is true that the church is failed during the war to mobilize their own faithful against persecutions of the jews . i do not think that is ought all -- at all the liable. certain individuals rose two forms of heroism. one of them was dietrich von hopper and another was highest the 12th. -- pius the 12th. they were co-conspirators and von hopper was taken to the vatican for a special visit and he was able to see the excavations for the lost tomb of saint peter and he discussed
with the pope's deputies how to eliminate hitler and what would come after hitler. one can always make the objection that the pope did all of this stuff, but he was not elected to be cia chief. he was elected to be the moral shepherd of mankind and so, shouldn't he have spoken out more forcefully, more directly, more frequently? of course. from the safety and hindsight of new orleans in 2016, i think that is true. he should have cried it from the mountaintop. it is important to recognize that hitler's would-be killers asked the pope not to. their position was you would put the resistant -- catholic resistance elements under pressure and increased surveillance and we will have less freedom for action if we are suspected by the gestapo. the 12thhat pius
heeded this advice. one of the biggest piece of evidence that he watched his words was during the last day of the war he said the word "jew" is the first day we can document his participation in the plots to remove hitler. that in 1944,e the british and the united states government leaned very hard on pius the 12th not to denounce the genocide of the jews. they were concerned it would alienate the soviets on several accounts but most important, they were afraid of having an international inquiry with expose the soviet complicity or the soviet butchery of the polish officer corps, 10,000 of them who were shot in the forest. he decided to listen to them and he backed down.
but i think the main reason is pius chose to watch his words -- the transfers of his audio recordings show -- he felt he had a very weak hand and if he leaned on german catholics to follow him and the catholic moral teachers -- teachings, specifically with the jews and other controversial matters, the german faithful would have followed hitler and the german church would have broken away and formed a state church as happened in england. the vatican did not want that to happen. i have to say a recent analogy -- and there's an example from our own times which bears on my theme, the struggle between a nationalist all edition an international moral leader, the quote -- an example from recent times, when pope francis went to mexico last year and he went up
to the mexican border and a reporter asked, what you think about this american presidential candidate who wants to build a wall so people cannot go across united states? and pope francis said, such a person is not a christian. what happened then? the presidential candidate called the pope a disgrace. american catholics, interestingly enough, did not rise up against the presidential candidate. they were more upset with the pope. the pope had to back down and apologize and the papacy lost prestige and the presidential candidate gain prestige. what's interesting to me about that is, at the time this happens, pope francis was more probably -- was probably the most popular person on the planet. he was probably the most popular pope in history. he was especially popular in the united states because he just visited here.
this is the situation of the church in the world the less 500 happens, pope francis was more years since the rise of the secular nation's state, and the secular nation's state, and the advent of mass communications. i would be hard-pressed to point to a single example where the vatican achieved much of anything at all by criticizing a specific secular policy in a specific secular state, and even john paul the second, when there was the cold war confrontation in poland, he was always very careful to speak in generalities and never call out the polish regime or the polish political leaders by name. instead, he stuck to general ideas, most especially the dignity of the human person. especially the dignity of the human person. is there water?
is there water? jamie? if someone could bring up a bottle of water, a little thirsty. moral order, peace -- i would like to move through quickly, because i would like to leave room for questions, but the key ideas, i think were very usefully resented high -- by ian in the opening keynote, but when i did not hear imprecise to the usefully resented high -- by ian degree i think it's worthwhile is human dignity, the dignity of the human person. nato was important. european unification was important. christian soldiers, democracy. i would add economic populism. britain's -- britain rejected this idea of plutocracy. degree i think it's worthwhile is human dignity, the dignity of thank you. they wanted a more equitable distributional -- of wealth. these are all important ideas. the key one and the reason we won the cold war is this idea of the dignity of the human person, which was a front the soviets
could not compete with effectively. this idea was really the core philosophy. if you look at the meeting proceedings of the catholic, the architects in germany, they keep coming back to this idea that this is why we have to resist hitler, this is why we have to build an ark of mark: labor unions, christian and social democracy, it is the glue that holds it all together. it is the idea that man is more than just his body. man is being with the soul. you can't just put people in cattle cars and ship them off to siberia or auschwitz. but there is something very special and sacred about the
individual human soul. i would call this the judeo-christian view of human nature. i think it is really important. now as we see the post world order praying, it seems like it questions this order that has served us very well. i think that the reason that it is fraying and coming under pressure is because once we won the cold war in 1989, we thought we didn't need the idea of human dignity anymore. so we stopped talking about it during the clinton administration. instead of globalization and bringing american goods and betrayed and all of the stuff, but the end of the 1990's, who did's rising in russia though -- came about because russian spelling they were losing their dignity. this begins the unraveling.
they had freedom and the sad that we are losing our dignity. just as a general note to people interested in history or other people pursuing these things, my view of the concept of human dignity is very underrated. as a means of historical exploration. view of the concept of human if you see things that don't make sense, who is losing their dignity and who is giving it back to them. whether it is the rise of heather in germany, whether it is extremists in iraq who felt if you see things that don't that after the u.s. invasion, they were dip product -- deprived of their dignity. what it was the japanese who thought they gave a personal dignity by bombing will harbor, there is a lot of liberal social science that mrs. this. it can be measured or quantified.
i think you can be registered and observed. to skip to the last part were promised to talk about the election, realtor politics had said at one point that he thought my book was a great guide to understanding the political season and the temper of the times in the election, he went to one particular quote. the catholic conspirators say that our main purpose is to replant the image of humanity in the bread of our countrymen. that is a problem we are now facing. it is the root of a lot of what is going on. politics are clashing with the judeo-christian view of humanity in which we are not defined by what group we belong to or what
our politics are. but howard individual -- our individual moral choices. people felt that they were losing a lot with their jobs. including their dignity. we have a president-elect who came along and these people felt that he was restoring to dignity. as we navigate these waters, we don't know what is going to happen. i think president obama says something interesting and happens. we have to guard against the crude division of people in us versus them. i think that is right. the best way to do that is to renew our understanding of what this kid -- judeo-christian idea of a person is. there are many examples and church of spies of how this was
done and others affected people's moral choices during the war. that view of human nature was in 1939 when he said in the eyes of god, and because of our creator there was neither gentile norge in. -- gentile nor jew. what he meant by that was that our personal worth is not defined by how we worship or who we worship. it is something very personal and special about the human soul. this is what christ said to his disciples. he marginalized people who wanted to be as important as they roman emperors. i think that we could do worse. i worry that we are doing worse than to replant this particular view of mankind in the rest of our countrymen.
thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you mark. we have microphones and the audience. you will start in the back in the center where it is going to be very difficult for me to reach. i will ask our question is to please stand so that everyone can see you. starting with the speaker. >> during yesterday's talks, we heard about the catholic church and bishops paving the way for nazis to escape to argentina and elsewhere. my question to you is if your research indicated that the pope knew about this or not? there is a movement to canonize pope eyes the 12th. can you give us a perspective? mark: iowa's get this wherever i
go and speak. my short answer to that, i would defer to professor stein knocker . it is totally up on what the research documentation is. i personally have not seen the evidence that he favored not the war criminals. i do believe he was skeptical about things like the norberg trials and a lot of harsh punishment of people who baby who weren't outright butchers but they were kind of complicit. the reason for that is he was very troubled by the way germany was treated in the versailles agreements.
he had another war for germans retained a dignity. the catholic church did assist. people also say that a lot of jews were saved in italy. they have the second highest survival rate in europe. the jews in italy. the pope says that that happened because he knew about it. he critics say that there was no evidence that he knew about it. i'll do you can have a different standard in both cases. whether the not the war criminals escape using monasteries or whether jews escape using monasteries. i would say that the birds will be known when the vatican opens. many pages will open next year. the quick and dirty on that is in my view that the catholic church has a very tried and true sanctuary. the catholic idea of sanctuary figures in people coming to the
church, they are trouble, they are refugees and the church doesn't do a lot of tap dancing about whether they are guilty. they just let them come in. we saw this during the not the occupation of italy where some people where harboring brain jews and communists in vatican properties. why are you harboring these with graphs? the priest said to the nazi for the priest said to the nazi for the same reason that we will soon be sheltering you. according to the rules of the catholic church. i think the israeli government has made themselves very clear that they feel it would destroy all-time relations between the state of israel and the vatican. i believe pope francis is seriously dragging his feet on that. probably for that reason.
we will see. i think that according to the church teachings of the time, he probably was a saint. but church teachings have changed since then. particularly the second vatican council of the 1960's which now have a much more broad reading of what the pope's obligations toward non-catholics are. maybe that depends on which stated they will use. the standard of today or the status of the time. maybe hundreds of years before we know. >> another question any back here as well. >> given the outcome was that a concern about alienating your catholic lands by persecuting them or even invading the vatican? was it a concern that they would alienate their own soldiers or catholics?
simply by occupied the vatican city? ugly that is correct. >> you can take it -- i believe that is correct. they wanted to return to berlin and the added to celebrate a new soccer stadium. they thought this not be good for public relations. especially as the war got worse and worse, i think maybe it would want to make a separate deal with the west. i think that is for sure that the not his work to some degree constrained by public opinion. what is interesting about the catholic germany is that it is mostly he wasn't out of germany.
these were the cause of germany that were key to the two plans. -- coup plans. they never had strongholds in the positive part. that was important. with regard to buy the dell. he wasn't executed until the second of february 9045. -- 1945. the not to did not publicize these educations processing for the good that they would have a bad effect on morale. i hope you were answered to your satisfaction. >> we have one more year. to the middle. >> thank you. he was in berlin. he negotiated. then his attitude changed after that process? or subsequent leak -- subsequently question mark -- subsequently?
mark: he did it on the orders of his predecessor as folk. -- pope. there is a little bit of evidence, not a lot but a little bit that pope pius the 11th and the 12th, at the beginning they liked hitler's's anti-communism and his likes to spend catholic church rights. they held that if we face and down that when he's being nice to us, we will heavily to stay on -- stan on later. if hidden to them to be a madman, at least we tried to get along with them. we will not have given him a free text for attacking us. very quickly, the vatican view of quick -- hitler soured.
catholic demonstrations were being set upon by brownshirts. it was a marriage, it was a marriage of convenience. it lasted two or three months and most. by 1954, the vatican's -- 1934, the vatican and the not these were at odds. any for his participation in the plot against taylor, when he was -- i guess hitler. these guys used to ride horses together. these generals and the future hope on the estate of a mutual friend. the pope was very trusted by these german personalities. he had the advantage to be a true, honest broker of postal order because he was the one trusted party among parties that
no one can trust. >> you mentioned that the terms of surrender were given under chamberlain. no one can trust. whether any worries in the vatican when chamberlain went out of power? as to what he might do or tell to the germans? mark: yes, the answer was because when italy entered the war, in june, 1940, the vatican was very concerned that evidence of his dealings with the british might fall into active hands. there was a lot of smoke rising from roman chimneys in that month. the pope asked the germans repeatedly -- particularly the british to destroy any pieces of paper bearing upon the post participation and the british in the spots.
the british said of course. the british did not destroy all of this stuff. when it started emerging in the early 1970's that internet be a gold mine in reconstructing the plus, the british had the correspondence. they are probably the best source for the first plot. church hill pursued a different policy than chamberlain did. churchill said our policy toward all such overtures of the germans should be absolute silence. he did not want to break up the alliance by having back channel talks with a low-cost opponents. -- hitler's opponents. it became a real problem for stalin.
some say it was the trigger of the cold war. but stalin started getting very suspicious that the highways -- allies were going to make a separate peace with germany leaving the west free to go and attack russia. it was important. >> we have another question in the middle, we will get to the house as his book. >> would you comment on the relations between the pope and mussolini? for the government in italy? mark: the book on that i would refer you to is by a man named david. it has to do with pope hice the 11th. another good primary source is called a look -- a book of secrets called the matter -- vatican cardinal.
it is very clear that the vatican was ambivalent about mussolini primarily because he was a popular. but what they dislike about was lenny developed because -- what they dislike about was lenny started for two reasons. the italians had no interest in persecuting the jews on the whole. their culture, they had a long tradition of tolerance before the jews. -- for the jews. the vatican. the whole thing was completely at odds with the italian society , should build itself. the other reason they tried to get was a lenny was because he brought italy into the war. most times you want to be involved in it. so the idea was that italians were losing their dignity. one of the interesting things i learned in the church of spies whether documents from roosevelt's on board.
-- ongoing -- envoy. there is mention of a secret there is mention of a secret radiolink between roosevelt and the pope. when i talked about how this would go down. there is a chapter of my book which talks about the attitude toward mussolini and i would refer you to that if you're toward mussolini and i would refer you to that if you're interested. >> i know i saw a question over here. >> you make a comparison between a concern of catholics in germany rallying around hiller. there was too much -- hitler. you compare that to catholics in the united states, their reaction to pope francis's damon about the wall.
i would like to -- statement about the wall. i would like to ask you about that. it has been an ugly 25 years. the card allows pentagon to the vatican. pope francis comes up. i think it was a reaction to saying that we are rebelling to the fact of decades of hearing do what i say, not what i do. the major initial response was practices -- francis's reaction. people thought this came from somebody who lives behind a wall. mark: i think that is well said and well thought. i think the larger point is that
when a pope who is an international authority dissents international authority dissents to a particular case and a particular country, he doesn't know what will happen. he doesn't really know what is going to happen. a pope affects the death and removal of a leader. that is a whole separate set of considerations. stay with something like the holocaust, nobody i know. i don't think that is the hitler we know. but it hitler was removed from the scene, the holocaust would have stopped. so what is the better option? the longer odds with the better pay off or something that we would look toward a more traditional leader doing.
certainly, how the church is viewed, how the vatican is viewed by catholics in the country is important. i taken very seriously what you say about the abuse scandal. i think in germany, the vatican also had a problem with this because bismarck and others had to be down catholic political power. german catholics are very defensive about being accused of being unpatriotic. that was part of the consideration. the catholics are different in different places. folks have to be aware of that. they forget about that. >> in the back of its intersection. >> -- the center section. >> this will require some speculation.
do think that the concepts played any role in the recent presidential election? do think this new administration has any idea that they might follow what you have talked about? mark: identify have an idea. in any case, it played a usual. but i would say that beside the obvious role of working-class whites who are taken as the
typical demographic. there was a piece of it where part of that was going on was that personal dignity became a zero-sum kind of thing. which i don't think it should be. certain people about their dignity enhanced by other people having their dignity denigrated. i think that is what is of concern to me about it. also the concern to the new york times and other people who are having a problem with it. it is no denying that 50 million people felt that their dignity was on the road to be enhanced by america first. liberal overreach as well where i think a lot of people would prefer that on their street and their town, washington should not be telling them whether or not they have to be ok with a an or two men or two women. it felt like they were having i think a lot of people would prefer that on their street and their communities being taken away from them.
as we go ahead, we need to make sure that as we returned dignity to those who have been denied it that we don't deny it to those who should have it as well. >> we have time for one more, maybe two more. maybe two more. >> right over here. >> thank you. you mentioned some of the reasons why the catholic church you mentioned some of the reasons why the catholic church and the pope in particular felt they had to be cautious about
their public pronouncements as hitler gained power. as he occupied europe. but what about the other powers? did you detect in the records and from what you know about the pope's public statements -- was there any change in a policy? is anything that says that there is evidence that the pope held these beers and was willing to act on behalf of human dignity and the preservation of life? mark: there is no evidence that his views really changed. even late in the war, he did not criticize head of the nazi until --hitler the nazi until 1924. the vatican did save many jews by working behind the scenes in hungary. it was in the very last months of the war. to the very end, there was a compelling reason to not stir the pot too much with the nazis and to not alienate them because they were trying to work behind
the scenes to get people out of danger. i was going to say that the real turning point in his thinking was the atlantic charter which i think was quite properly spotlighted. i think he was a really visionary in this respect. reading the atlantic charter, it was instantly apparent to pius the 12th, he immediately started beating the allies with this behind the scenes. he said that stalin will never accept this. he will never accept these ideas of human dignity that are in the atlantic charter. want you to be germany, assuming you do, then what? -- once you beat germany, assuming you do, then what? even before churchill, he was in the wishful thinking that stalin
could be tamed and turned into a good nationalist. the vatican did not buy it. roosevelt was very naive. when pius the 12th was proved right, he was looked to by truman, he was looked to buy the british government as someone who could really lead the way right, he was looked to by into a new cold war order. >> thank you . [applause] this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. this evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war. >> gradual put his faith and sherman to break out of this trap. there are still inside the city, confederates are still on a high grant. -- ground. at 8:55, a lincoln scholar on sculptures,ntings,
and photographs of president lincoln now on display in the u.s. capital. image that u.s. presidents present in their lifetime and after inspire, motivate, caution future leaders, in the days when before twitter and instantaneous photography, which i see going on over here, or c-span, these images which looked rudimentary and primitive today had enormous power and influence. ,> sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern a historian talks about attempts by the u.s. government to overthrow or assassinate fidel castro. he certainly had a dog in the fight. he was someone who had been kicked out by castro. these are the guys you want to be working with.
they really, really want to get rid of castro. , we have $150,000 on the line. whoever kills castro, the money is theirs. >> ben stein, former speechwriters for richard nixon at gerald ford reflects on the past time in the white house, his energy policies, and initiatives in israel and southeast asia. nixon left israel defense in a way that no other president has. >> for a complete schedule, go to c-span.org. all weekend american history tv is featuring san jose, california. recentlyities or staff visited many sites showcasing its history. san jose is california cost third-largest city and the 10th largest city in america. learn more about san jose all weekend here on american