Pope Pius XII (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), was the 260th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He served from March 2, 1939 until his death. He was proceeded by Pope Pius XI, and succeeded by John XXIII.
Pope Pius was born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli on March 2, 1876 in Rome, Italy. He was ordained into the priesthood on April 2, 1899.
Under his predecessor, Pope Pius XI, Pacelli served as Vatican Secretary of State and later as Camerlengo.He served as Pope during World War II. Israeli scholar Pinchas Lapide stated in his book, The Last Three Popes, that the Church under Pius’ pontificate,
“was instrumental in saving the lives of 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands. The figure far exceeds those saved by all other churches and rescue operations combined.”Upon the death of Pope Pius, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, commented that,
“During the ten years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims.”
In 1963, "The Deputy", a play by Rolf Hochhuth, was produced declaring Pope Pius XII was a Nazi collaborator that did not speak out against the Holocaust. It was discovered in 2007 that the play was actually part of a Soviet Union campaign to discredit Pope Pius XII.
The book The Myth of Hitler's Pope written by Rabbi David G. Dalin, and meticulously researched, puts an end to the lie that various liberal writers tried to propagate claiming that Pope Pius XII was an anti-Semite and Nazi-collaborator. Dalin ets the record straight using eye-witness accounts and historical documents showing that Pius led the campaign to hide and help Jews escape from the Nazis during World War II.
Pius XII passed away in 1958 at the Papal residence Castel Gandolfo.