from issue no. 01/02 - 2005


12 March ’46 – Letter from the Chief Rabbi of Palestine Isaac Herzog to Pope Pius XII with a request for support so that the Jewish children entrusted to Catholic families and institutions during the racial persecution «be returned to their own people».

27 March ’46 – The Holy Office in the Plenary Meeting of 27 March, examines the question and issues its «opinion». This pronouncement, not yet made public in its original version, is made known to the Pope the following day and approved by him.

August ’46 – The cardinal of Lyons Pierre Gerlier and the coadjutor bishop of Cambrai Emile-Maurice Guerry write to the apostolic nuncio in Paris Angelo Roncalli informing him that they have been contacted by figures of the Jewish world with regard to the «delicate question of the Jewish children». They outline their opinions concerning this, showing a general disposition to accept the Jewish requests.

5 September ’46 – The letter arrives in which Nuncio Roncalli asks specific directives from the Holy See about how to act in the face of the requests for the return of the Jewish children, which he also states he has received from the rabbis.

28 September ’46 – Monsignor Domenico Tardini of the Vatican Secretariat of State sends the dispatch with the instructions about the case, derived from the “opinion” issued by the Holy Office on March 27, to the nunciature in Paris.

23 October ’46 - The nunciature in Paris draws up a note in French that reproduces in a non-literal manner the instructions contained in the dispatch sent by Tardini.

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