‘Jews’ sequence of Historic Archives of Secretariat of State printed on-line


On the request of Pope Francis, the digital copy of a group preserving the requests for assist addressed to Pope Pius XII by Jews from throughout Europe after the start of Nazi-Fascist persecution is now accessible to all. It consists of a complete of 170 volumes, or practically 40,000 recordsdata. Solely 70% of the whole materials might be initially accessible, however will later be supplemented with the ultimate volumes presently being ready.

By Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher

If I’m writing to You in the present day, it’s to ask you to assist me from afar”. Hundreds of archived recordsdata that give voice to determined requires assist. Like this one, from a 23-year previous German college scholar “with Israelite origins”, who was baptized in 1938, and who, on 17 January 1942, made a final effort to free himself from detention in a focus camp in Miranda de Ebro, Spain. He lastly had the chance to affix his mom who had fled to America in 1939, “to organize a brand new life for me”, he wrote. All the pieces was prepared for departure from Lisbon. The one factor lacking was the intervention “of somebody from exterior” in order that the authorities would consent to his liberation. “There may be little hope for many who haven’t any exterior assist”, he explains with few, however eloquent phrases. He then writes to an previous Italian pal, asking her to ask Pope Pius XII to have the Apostolic Nuncio in Madrid intervene in his favour, understanding that: “with this intervention from Rome, others had been capable of go away the focus camp”.

Within the following two paperwork, we uncover that the Secretariat of State had addressed the case in just a few days, “newly” bringing it to the eye of the Nuncio in Madrid. Then the paper path is interrupted. It’s silent concerning the destiny of this younger German scholar. As for almost all of requests for assist witnessed by different instances, the results of the request was not reported. In our hearts, we instantly inevitably hope for a constructive final result, the hope that Werner Barasch was later free of the focus camp and was capable of attain his mom abroad.

On this particular case, our want was granted: an web search reveals traces of him in 2001. Not solely is there an autobiography that recounts his recollections as a “survivor”, however among the many on-line collections of the USA Holocaust Memorial Museum, there’s even a video with a protracted interview, wherein Werner Barasch tells his unimaginable story in individual, on the age of 82 (Oral Historical past N. RG 050.477.0392) (1). We thus study that he was launched from the Miranda camp the yr after his enchantment in a letter to the Pope, and that in 1945, he was lastly capable of be part of his mom in the USA. There, he continued his research at College of California, Berkeley, MIT and College of Colorado. He then labored as a chemist in California. Because of ever extra wealthy on-line sources, this time we are able to draw a breath of aid.

The paperwork

A particular documentary heritage that distinguishes itself from different archival sequence, already from the title assigned to it: “Ebrei” (Jews). A heritage that’s treasured as a result of it gathers the requests for assist despatched to Pope Pius XII by Jewish folks, each the baptized and the non-baptized, after the start of Nazi and fascist persecution. A heritage which, on the request of Pope Francis, is now simply accessible to all the world due to a mission aimed toward publishing the whole digitalized model of the archival sequence.

It’s the “Ebrei” sequence of the Historic Archive of the Secretariat of State – Part for Relations with States and Worldwide Organizations (ASRS). The sequence of 170 volumes in complete are a part of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs Assortment (AA.EE.SS.) associated to the Preach of Pius XII — Half 1 (1939-1948), and already accessible for session since 2 March 2020, within the Studying Room of the Historic Archive, by worldwide students.

The then Sacred Congregation for the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (from which the archival Assortment will get its title), equal to the Ministry of International Affairs, charged a diplomatic minutante (Msgr Angelo Dell’Acqua) to handle the requests for assist that had been addressed to the Pope from throughout Europe, with the goal of offering all the assistance doable.

Requests could possibly be made to acquire visas or passports to expatriate, discover asylum, reunify households, acquire liberation from detention and transfers from one focus camp to a different, obtain information relating to deported folks, provides of meals or clothes, monetary assist, non secular assist and way more.

Every of those requests constituted a case which, as soon as processed, was destined for storage in a documentary sequence entitled “Ebrei”. It comprises greater than 2,700 instances with requests for assist nearly all the time for total households or teams of individuals. Hundreds of individuals persecuted for his or her membership to the Jewish faith, or for merely having “non-Aryan” ancestry, turned to the Vatican, within the information that others had acquired assist, just like the younger Werner Barasch himself writes.

The requests would arrive on the Secretariat of State, the place diplomatic channels would attempt to present all the assistance doable, bearing in mind the complexity of the political scenario within the international context.

After the preach of Pius XII was opened to session in 2020, this particular record of names was given the title, “Pacelli’s record, (Pope Pius XII), echoing the well-known “Schindler’s record”. Though the 2 instances differ, the analogy completely expresses the concept that folks within the corridors of the establishment on the service of the Pontiff, labored tirelessly to supply Jewish folks with sensible assist.

On-line publication of the Archival Collection

As of June 2022, the “Ebrei” sequence might be accessible for session on the web in its digital model, freely accessible to all on the web site of the Historic Archive of the Secretariat of State – Part for Relations with States and Worldwide Organizations.

Along with the photographic copy of every particular person doc, a file with the analytical stock of the sequence, together with all of the names of the recipients of assist reported within the paperwork, will even be accessible on-line. Seventy p.c of the fabric will initially be accessible on-line, which might be adopted with the newest volumes presently being labored on.

As for the request of Werner Barasch, the vast majority of the over 2,700 instances that reached the Secretariat of State, which in the present day narrate the numerous tales of makes an attempt to flee racial persecution, go away us with baited breath, and sources with additional data can’t all the time be discovered. Making the digitalized model of all the “Ebrei” sequence accessible on the web will enable the descendants of those that requested for assist, to search out traces of their family members from any a part of the world. On the identical time, it can enable students and anybody , to freely study this particular archival heritage, from a distance.

Archbishop, Secretary for Relations with States and Worldwide Organizations


Hyperlink to web site on ASRS webpage:


(1) For individuals who want to publish the textual content on-line, please insert the next hyperlink: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511705


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