Vatican says it tried to save Jews from Nazis

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The Vatican tried to enroll Roman Jewish men in its security forces in 1943 in order to save them from the Nazis, the Vatican’s second in command said on Tuesday, rejecting charges that wartime Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, who ranks second only to the Pope in the Holy See hierarchy, made his comments at the presentation of a new book about Pius by Italian author Andrea Tornielli.

Bertone called accusations that Pius turned a blind eye to the Holocaust “a black legend” and re-stated the Vatican’s position that he worked behind the scenes to help save Jews.

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