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Did Vatican Act As A Bank for the Nazis?

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2007 05:33 pm
Holocaust Survivors Demand Payment

VATICAN CITY(CBS) Sixty years after the atrocities of World War II, a Vatican apology does little to heal the wounds of Holocaust survivors who've wondered for years about the church's association with the Nazis.

CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports many Holocaust survivors are turning to the courts to get back some of the money taken from their families.

Holocaust survivor George Zivkovich says an apology from the pope is not enough.

When he was a young boy living in Serbia, the Croatian Nazi regime stole his family fortune, killed his mother and grandfather and sent him to a death camp.

CBS

"They took my childhood away, and they took my life away," he says. "I want the blood money."

This spring, Swiss banks are expected to reach a settlement with victims, as are German companies who used Jews for slave labor. But this case accuses another bank of collaborating with the Croation Nazis, the bank of the Catholic Church, the Vatican Bank.

John Loftus, an expert on Nazi war crimes, says, "As embarrassing as it is to me as a Roman Catholic to admit, there is a great deal of validity to the accusations in the lawsuit."

Loftus and others have charged that Pope Pius XII and his advisors actually supported the Nazis by giving them a place to hide stolen money.

"Basically, they turned the Vatican into money launderers," he says.

The Vatican denies the accusation, telling CBS News, "We can't return what doesn't exist."

The lawsuit is relying on recently declassified secret intelligence documents indicating that the U.S. government knew about the Vatican action as far back as 1946.

A recent State Department investigation put the amount at $47 million dollars.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 636 • Replies: 19
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 04:37 pm
They have been using that money to pay off the victims of pedophile priests.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 06:16 pm
NickFun wrote:
They have been using that money to pay off the victims of pedophile priests.


It figures...
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2007 11:06 pm
Any special reason to present this article from March 12 2000 again?

And in "General NEWS"?

I mean, there happened quite a lot between then and August 10 of this year, which is more than seven years later.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 12:16 am
I'd be interested in the latest, Walter.

I'm not a fan of the vatican. I'm also not enthused about nailing the vatican incorrectly.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Aug, 2007 01:07 am
Well, within the more than seven years since the above article was published quite a bit happened - most already discussed here (and previously on ABUZZ) - but to be found at e.g. wikipedia and various news archives as well.

On the other hand, Miller may use that above quote as starter and provide all the other infos about this subject later.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2007 08:15 pm
In my own opinion, and not having lived during WWII, I don't think it's fair to accuse the Vatican of misdeeds during WWII, since many countries that were Nazi occupied had Catholic communities that if the Nazis became alienated from, would likely have suffered harsh treatment.

WWII, in my opinion, was a balancing act for practicing Catholics. The Nazis, in my opinion, would have had no problem with turning on the Catholic communities of the countries they occupied. It was not a good time for ethical, moral people, so I personally, cut the Vatican a lot of slack, so to speak.

And, having heard comments that the Pope didn't do enough to save Jews, I wonder when saving Jews became a job for any Pope. He had enough to do to keep the Nazis from deciding to persecute Catholics (Yes, yes, I know Hitler had Communion, I believe, at some time during WWII, but I believe the Vatican knew Christianity was eventually to be on the Nazis hit list, so to speak).
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2007 08:25 pm
Foofie..... I can't disagree with you any more strongly.

Why were the Nazi's able to rise to power? The German's weren't monsters before the Nazi's took power-- they were normal people just like you and me.

The people who were targeted by the Nazi's were Jews, the Roma ("gypsies") and gays... and the attitudes Germans had toward these groups before they were whipped into a fervor by the Nazi's were not unlike what you hear today. Perhaps it was easier to accept the killing of Jews, gays and foreigners since we never liked them much anyway.

For the Nazi's to gain so much power, the required the acquiensce of most of the population. They were able to get this by playing on prejudice and fear.

The reason the the Nazi's were able to play on every prejudice was because there weren't enough people willing to put down their prejudice and stand up for what is right.

The idea that it is justifiable to let your neighbors die so that you won't be persecuted goes against the very idea not only of Chistianity, but of any religion.

The cowardice of Catholics and others was a tragedy since if enough people had the courage and goodness to stand up to the Nazis, the Holocaust could have been avoided.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2007 09:03 pm
All these thoughts are just my own opinion:

There was a lot of street fighting during the Nazis rise to power The Brown Shirts (many unemployed ex-WWI soldiers) were fighting with Communists mostly, I believe. The average German citizen wanted no part of this behavior.

Plus, the inflation of the Weimar Republic made the Nazi scapegoating of Jews a fairly rational belief. And, the WWI reparations, that the French demanded, added to the ease of Nazi propaganda being accepted.

The Nazi world view was, in my opinion, a glorification of the ancient Teutonic hero depicted in Wagnerian operas. It captivated many a German's imagination.

And, as I've read, only 40 years or so earlier, Bismarck had made anti-Catholic laws, scapegoating Catholics (Bismarck thought German Jews could become good Germans, if only they would convert to Lutheranism). I believe the Vatican knew that German Catholics could again be on thin ice, if the Nazis got it in their head that the Catholic Church was against them.

I also subscribe to the belief that aside from the rabid Nazi anti-Semitism, they killed Jews for a practical reason too; it cowed many Europeans in the occupied countries. If the Nazis were busy hunting Jews, they might just leave other people alone.

While there was and is a large Catholic community in Germany, I believe they knew the Nazis were a loose cannon. Remember, most Germans had been middle class before the economic problems following WWI. They even disappointed Hitler after Krystal Nacht, since they weren't blood thirsty like the Russian peasant pogroms against Jews.

I stand by my original thoughts that Europe during the Nazi onslaught was a crazy place. And, it was caused by WWI. It really had to happen. And, as far as the Jewish and Gypsy victims of the Holocaust go, these two groups had a history for a thousand years of being pariahs in the countries they were in. Don't forget that when the Nazis entered a country and asked for volunteers, from the locals, to help round up the Jews, many hands were raised. It wasn't just a Nazi thing that anti-Semitism.

Again, I think the Vatican, during WWII, had the responsibility to protect their own flock from the Nazis. How come I don't hear any questions directed towards the German Lutheran Church for its position during WWII?
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2007 09:15 pm
Foofie,

I have the same disappointment with the Lutherans and Protestants who either joined in, or silent stood by.

Don't think that the United States is immune to a nationalistic fervor taking advantage of prejudice... we are not.

I hope that if I am ever in this situation- where I need to stand up for the vulnerable against nationalism and prejudice, I will have the courage to do the right thing-- even if I am not part of the group being attacked..
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Aug, 2007 11:39 pm
Quote:
And, having heard comments that the Pope didn't do enough to save Jews, I wonder when saving Jews became a job for any Pope.


So if saving Jews wasn' a job of the Pope, what was his job?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 04:59 am
I suggest that you google about it - something you, Miller, often enough suggest to others as well.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 05:55 am
Walter.. do you disagree with Miller on this topic?

It seems obvious to me that a world-wide religioug leader who claims to represent God has some responsibility to stand up to evil.

I think that is all that Miller is saying.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 06:11 am
If that's what Miller is saying ...

Well, generally no leader of no religion really said something against the Nazis and Hitler - especially during the time of their rising - ... .

On the other hand, the Confessing Church (German: Bekennende Kirche) on the Evangelical/Protestant siden (with Bonhöfer and Niemöller as their most known respresentavise) and a few from the Catholic church (like e.g. Cardinal von Galen) did what they could here locally.

(As an aside: 1.032 priests died .... in the KZ Dachau alone.)
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 06:28 am
There are several examples of religious groups that stood up to the Nazi's.

The Jehovah's Witnesses stood up to the Nazis and paid the most dearly.

There were several evangelical groups that organized to hide Jews from the Nazi's in occupied territory at great risks to their own life. An example is the organization that was set up by Corrie Ten Boom in Holland. The mennonites also opposed the Nazis from the beginning.

There were several prominant Muslim leaders who opposed the Nazi's and instructed their followers to protect the Jews. The most prominant was Si Kaddour Benghabrit who managed the Great Mosque of Paris. He let hundres of Jews hide in the mosque and gave them false identity papers to avoid capture. Of course this was at great risk to the members of his congregation.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 06:36 am
True, but I was referring only to the situation in Germany itself.

950 (German) Jehovas Witnesses died in concentration camps.
However, their "problems" alredy started in pre-WWI times since they refused to serve in the military.
This escalated during the Nazi-time, because they additionally didn't give allegiance to the Nazi party (= German state).
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:18 am
ebrown_p wrote:
I hope that if I am ever in this situation- where I need to stand up for the vulnerable against nationalism and prejudice, I will have the courage to do the right thing-- even if I am not part of the group being attacked..


That's very commendable. For myself, I am not a joiner. I would be no better than the German citizen that claimed to have "known nothing."

However, I would like to think I would have not said, "I knew nothing." I would like to think I would have said the truth (for me), "It was none of my business."

I say this in context of having a low opinion of human nature, and therefore, I don't sacrifice my own safety for those that are swept up by any atavistic forces of human nature.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:34 am
Miller wrote:
Quote:
And, having heard comments that the Pope didn't do enough to save Jews, I wonder when saving Jews became a job for any Pope.


So if saving Jews wasn' a job of the Pope, what was his job?


I wouldn't know what the Pope's job is. Do lay Catholics learn what his job is? I'm not a Catholic, so far be it for me to know his job description.

I would only be guessing, but I'd have to think his job description has something to do with managing a world-wide monotheistic religion? Also, possibly regarding spiritual matters and/or living one's life as a practicing Catholic, his adherents look to him for the definitive interpretation on spiritual, ethical, and/or moral concerns.

While I'm not Catholic, I appreciate the Catholic emphasis on "good works." In effect the world can only be a better place to live in for everyone, if we all focussed on doing "good works," even if it is done for the self-serving reason to achieve salvation.

I also appreciate the Catholic view that we are all God's children. They seem to truly live by it. Other branches of Christianity subscribe to that belief too; however, some branches seem to be focussed on a "social scale" of humanity. This is just my own opinion; I could be very wrong. It is just based on my own observations over decades.

Do I have any more explaining to do, or may I leave now?
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:41 am
If you have read the Bible, it is hard to imagine anyone who calls themselves a "Christian" (i.e. a follower of Christ) would not put themselves at risk to help people who are vulnerable. This is very core of Christ's teaching... and his example.

From the Good Samaritan, to the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, to his healing ministry to lepers, to his own example on the Cross, Jesus preached and lived giving of one self to help those more vulnerable.

The Pope is supposed to be Christ's representative on Earth. He should follow the words and example of Christ.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Aug, 2007 11:07 am
ebrown_p wrote:
If you have read the Bible, it is hard to imagine anyone who calls themselves a "Christian" (i.e. a follower of Christ) would not put themselves at risk to help people who are vulnerable. This is very core of Christ's teaching... and his example.

From the Good Samaritan, to the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, to his healing ministry to lepers, to his own example on the Cross, Jesus preached and lived giving of one self to help those more vulnerable.

The Pope is supposed to be Christ's representative on Earth. He should follow the words and example of Christ.


So, how come the head of the Anglican Church didn't petition the RAF to bomb the rail lines leading to the camps? Britain had aircraft; the Vatican just had Swiss Guards.

I don't tell anyone what his/her job is. It's none of my business. And, minding my own business is a tenet of my own personal beliefs.
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