The Appomattox Compromise

On a “what if” radio program sixty years ago, I heard the newly inaugurated President Lincoln persuade Robert E. Lee that his loyalty to the United States Army should outweigh his allegiance to the state of Virginia. In short order, Lee quells the rebellion; in 1868 he is elected to succeed . . . . Continue Reading »

Jews of Silence

When I think of the generation of survivors—not only of the horror they endured during the Holocaust and its recollection, not only of the nobility or heroism many of them achieved, but of the virtually impossible small and great steps they were compelled to make to rehabilitate their lives and ours—it is Wiesel’s voice that underlies and often amplifies theirs. Continue Reading »

​Rome’s Resistance

Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitlerby mark rieblingbasic, 375 pages, $29.99 During the Second World War, the Third Reich was opposed by local partisans and ad hoc military and civilian organizations. The Nazi authorities disseminated so-called anti-terrorism propaganda, referring . . . . Continue Reading »

Nostra Aetate Fifty Years On

It was, on the face of it, a minor theological gesture, yet it brought about one of the greatest revolutions in religious history. Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church’s 1965 statement of relationships with non-Christian faiths, declared that “the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Are the Jews Chosen?

One way anti-Jewish sentiment has been interpreted is simply as a quid pro quo. Gentile animosity, in this view, does to the Jews what the Jews have done, or at least would like to do, to Gentiles—because we Jews present ourselves as the chosen people. In the seventeenth century, Baruch . . . . Continue Reading »

The Holocaust: What Was Not Said

For decades controversy has raged over the absence of any specific reference to Jews, or to their persecution by the Nazis, in Catholic Church statements between 1933 and 1945. In addition to historically justified questions, we have seen endlessly repeated charges against the Church and Pope Pius . . . . Continue Reading »