Sunday, December 29, 2002

Vatican sets date for release of WWII archives

The documents scheduled for release do not involve the papacy of Pius XII but cover the years 1922-1939, when he was a Vatican diplomat in Germany and later secretary of state. Specifically, they cover the Vatican diplomatic missions in Berlin and Munich, and include a series of documents relating to the rise of "National Socialism" -- the Nazi ideology -- and the "condemnation of racism," a statement from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said. The documents will not be released to the general public, but will be made available to scholars who request access, the statement said. The Vatican said in February it would open up its Germany-related archives to help end what it called the "unjust and ungrateful speculation" surrounding Pius XII's wartime actions.

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