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The murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust is seen as the darkest moment of the 20th century.
The so-called Black Legend claims Pope Pius XII did nothing to stop the Nazis.
But secret Vatican archives, to be released on March 2, may debunk the legend.
After World War, Pope Pius XII was seen as a hero.
The New York Times wrote on Dec. 25, 1941: "The voice of Pope Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas. He is about the only ruler left on the continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all."
The Jewish Post eulogized the pope in 1958, writing: "There probably was not a single ruler of our generation who did more to help the Jews in their hour of greatest tragedy, during the Nazi occupation of Europe, than the late Pope."
But a popular play turned public opinion against the pontiff.
The Deputy premiered in Berlin in 1963 and portrayed the pope as cold and calculating, more interested in the stock market than people or souls — and silent on the Holocaust.
Written by a German Protestant, and directed by a communist who hated the Church, it revised — and ruined — the reputation of the pontiff.
Many authors have refuted The Deputy’s veracity.
Sr. Margherita Marchione said: "He was a saintly pontiff ... when they say he did nothing to save the Jews, historical documents say otherwise."
Sir Martin Gilbert said: "His dilemma was: How does he speak out without endangering the Jews further. He went to the edge of risk again and again."
And the controversial Concordat the pope signed with Hitler? Ron Rychlak argues that it saved lives because it stipulated that "anyone baptized Catholic is Catholic," which allowed thousands of baptismal certificates — and passports —to be distributed to Jews, "making them immune to deportation."
These are just a few examples.
The documents will reveal much more, exposing many lies, including the Black Legend.