The Deputy was a 1963 play supposedly written by Rolf Hochhuth, a playwright who lacked a high school diploma. The basic idea of the play was that Pope Pius XII was an anti-semitic, Nazi collaborator.
Recent investigations have described the KGB's efforts to discredit the Church's authority in Western Europe after World War II, which focussed on Pius XII, and it now appears that The Deputy emerged from the cloud of influence of the Soviet intelligence apparatus. In 1963, General Ivan Agayants, the famous chief of the KGB’s disinformation department, told his allied Romanian intelligence agents in Bucharest that a project known as "Seat-12" had materialized into a powerful play attacking Pope Pius XII.
Agayants took credit for the outline of the play, and claimed that it had voluminous appendices of background documents put together by his experts with help from documents purloined from the Vatican. Agayants also claimed that The Deputy's producer, Erwin Piscator, was "a devoted Communist who had a longstanding relationship with Moscow. In 1929 he had founded the Proletarian Theater in Berlin, then sought political asylum in the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power, and a few years later had "emigrated" to the United States.
In 1962 Piscator had returned to West Berlin to produce The Deputy. Before writing The Deputy, Hochhuth was working in various inconspicuous capacities for the Bertelsmann publishing house, and was not known to be a budding writer or playwright.
- Ion Mihai Pacepa, "Moscow’s Assault on the Vatican", National Review Online, 25 January 2007.
- National Review Online, "Moscow’s Assault on the Vatican:The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority," Ion Mihai Pacepa, January 25, 2007