On March 2nd, 2020 Pope Francis made accessible to researchers some of the most controversial documents in the recent history of the Vatican. The files on the papacy of Pius XII, which had until now been kept locked in the Secret Archives of the Holy See.
Eugenio Maria Pacelli – Pope Pius XII – was elected to St. Peter´s throne in 1939, few months before the outbreak of the Second World War. In the following years, while millions of Jews were deported by the Nazi and exterminated in the camps, Pius XII remained silent. He never pronounced a word of compassion for the suffering of the Jewish people, nor he publicly protested with Hitler.
For decades, the name of Pius XII has remained subject of heated discussions among historians and between Catholics and Jews. For some, Pacelli was Hitler´s pope, the man who ignored the persecution of the Jews and signed the Concordat with Hitler’s government. Others consider Pius XII a witty diplomat and even a Saint, who acted in secret to save thousands of lives.
The documentary “The Pope and Hitler” investigates the many mysteries surrounding Pius XII. Why did he remain silent on the holocaust? What did he do during the raid of the Roman Jews in 1943? More shockingly, did Pius XII know that, some war criminals like Eichmann used Vatican documents to flee to Latin America?
Bettina Offermann | firstname.lastname@example.org
A co-production by
LOOKSfilm, BR, MDR, ORF
In association with
Authors & Directors
Lucio Mollica, Luigi Maria Perotti