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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The Christian Churches

The Catholic Church was one of the main bodies whose policies could have affected the fate of the persecuted Jews. The Catholic Church gave formal recognition to the Nazi regime when in 1933 the Vatican signed the Concordat with Nazi Germany, which protected German Catholics. The Church rarely exerted its influence over Catholic dominant countries to persuade them to admit Jewish refugees, nor even to influence some of Germany's satellite states to treat the Jews better. Later, in the 1940s, the Church leaders refrained almost entirely from protesting against mass murders. However, there were some cases where aid was given to the Jews. For instance, Papal emissaries attempted to improve the situation of the Jews in Slovakia. Individual priests, monks and nuns, on all levels, worked to save Jews in Italy with the knowledge of the Vatican. The Pope appealed personally to the leaders of Hungary to show mercy with regard to the Jews. In Belgium, Jews found refuge in monasteries, convents, and other religious institutions.

As for the Protestant Churches, it is hard to describe a uniform response by them to the persecution of the Jews, for the hierarchy within the Church was not clear. In some cases, especially in areas where Protestants were a minority - such as among the Calvinists in Catholic France there was a noticeable tendency to help the Jews.

Total Sources (by media type):

Documents 2
Lexicon Entries 5
Photographs 4
Research 13
Testimonies 3
Total Sources 27