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Yad Vashem Comment on Statements referring to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Pius XII

19 October 2008

Any visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Israel would be a political matter, and therefore Yad Vashem is not a part of this matter, as has been clarified by the Vatican’s spokesperson.

The study of the Holocaust period in general, including the role of Pope Pius XII, is ongoing and dynamic. Pope Pius XII’s activity during the Holocaust is an issue debated among historians around the world. The presentation of the subject in the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem is based on the best research regarding this topic. Yad Vashem’s historians are attentive to any research developments and new relevant documentation, and continue to delve into every aspect of the period. Yad Vashem is certain that the opening of Vatican Archives on the relevant period would help further research on the subject, which would clarify this historical issue.

Contact: Estee Yaari / Foreign Media Liaison / Yad Vashem