What position did the government of Surinam take during the Second World War?

What position did the government of Surinam take during the Second World War?

Holland itself was overrun by the Germans, Indonesia by Japan. Suriname was the only large Dutch posseession that remained free (I think, couldn't find a map of Dutch Empire in 1939/1940).

Did they communicate with the Dutch government-in-exile, and contribute anything to the war effort? Or did they collaborate with the Germans in some way, or just stay out of it altogether?


I missed it before as was looking at a different article, but in the wiki article for Dutch government-in-Exile, it says that the Americans occupied Surinam from November 1941. Would still like to know what happened 1940-1941.

Prior to independence in 1975, Surinam was a colony of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with no government of its own. A Governor General was appointed by the Dutch crown (in practice the Department of Overseas Territories), who co-governed with the assistance of the 15 member Estates of Surinam elected by the colonial elite.

With the establishment of the Dutch Government in Exile under Queen Wilhelmina, both Dutch Guyana and Dutch East Indies (ie the future Indonesia) were administered as before evacuation of that government to London.

After the establishment of the Vichy government in unconquered France, Wilhelmina took the action of replacing her Prime Minister, Dirk Jan de Geer, with Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy due to the defeatism of the former. All Dutch Colonies were administered by the eponymous department headed by the Minister of Colonies, a position also held by Gerbrandy in the Government in Exile.

The timeline suggests that recognition of jurisdiction over Surinam by the Dutch Government in Exile, even through the American occupation of the colony for most of the war, was de facto in exchange for that body signing the Atlantic Charter, under which the signing colonial powers agreed to end colonial relations with their colonies post-war.

Czechoslovakia in World War II

In negotiations with the Czechoslovak government on regulating the status of the German minority in Czechoslovakia, the Sudeten German Party proceeded according to Adolf Hitler's instructions with the principal aim of not coming to an agreement and thereby increasing international tensions in regard to the status of Germans in the republic.

The United Kingdom and France, paralysed by the experiences of the First World War and conscious of their lack of preparedness for war, decided on a policy that involved making concessions to Germany. In November 1938, the Viennese Arbitration following the Munich Conference resulted in Hungary gaining southern Slovakia and Sub-Carpathian Ukraine, while Poland won part of Cieszyn and parts of northern Slovakia. The state was affected by a loss of industry, the severance of transport connections and a flood of refugees (due to the fact that 150,000 people had to leave the Sudetenland).

After six months of the "Second Republic" - as the old Czechoslovakia, minus its border regions, was known - Bohemia and Moravia were occupied by the Nazis. Slovakia had ceded from Czechoslovakia the day before - on March 14, 1939 - to form an "independent" Nazi state, and thus very short work indeed was made of the former Czechoslovakia. Overnight, everyone had to start driving on the right side of the road (they had previously driven on the left, as the British still do).

The Czechoslovak President, Edvard Benes, and other government politicians had already fled abroad - mostly to France and to Britain. (Those that were in France went to Britain when France was occupied). These leaders' political campaign to represent Czechoslovakia's interests was an uphill battle at first, as western European powers still favored the policy of appeasement at that time.

By July 1940, however, Britain recognized President Benes as the leader of the provisional "free Czechoslovak government in exile." In addition to the London center of the provisional government, the Moscow Communist center - where politicians who favored the Soviet political system had fled - also played an important role in the Czechoslovak resistance movement during the war. Unfortunately, many of the Czechs and Slovaks who had chosen to go to Moscow spent at least part of the war years in Russian Gulags as suspected spies. Czechoslovak pilots in England's RAF were particularly distinguished fighters (even if they were initially segregated from regular troops for the same reason) and they would play a fundamental role in the Battle of Britain - but we are getting ahead of ourselves yet again. Czechoslovak army units were also formed in France and in North Africa.

On October 28, 1939 - which would have been the 21st anniversary of the Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence had Czechoslovakia not ceased to exist - popular celebrations turned into massive demonstrations of protest against the German occupation. A young medical student, Jan Opletal, was fatally wounded in the incident. His funeral, on November 17, 1939 turned into yet another spontaneous demonstration. (Fifty years later, on November 17, 1989, a march by students to commemorate this event helped bring about the fall of Communism). In 1939, the Nazis reacted to the student demonstration by sentencing nine student leaders to death, by closing the Czech universities, and by sending some 1,200 university students to concentration and labor camps.

The Nazi regime was very cruel and strict, and active resistance was harshly punished. Not surprisingly, then, the Czech and Slovak resistance movements were small. Yet they were very dedicated, very determined, and often surprisingly successful, especially in the field of sabotage.

Hitler issued a decree establishing a Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. A protectorate government worked under German administration and supervision. The outbreak of the Second World War was welcomed by the resistance movement, which was striving for the restoration of pre-war Czechoslovakia. Only a complete defeat of Germany could liberate the nation from the Nazi occupation.

The role of President Hacha and Prime Minister Alois Elias was a deeply ambivalent one. Prime Minister Alois Elias and to a lesser extent also President Hacha tried not to sabotage, but to put the Czech nation first and the German efforts second. They tried to lead the Czech nation through the dangerous period, and to save as much of the autonomy, the integrity of the nation as they could. The Proctectorate government was undeniably collaborationist, but at the same time, up until mid-1940 Prime Minister Elias was also in direct contact with the Czechoslovak Government in exile in London and actively helped to conceal the activities of the underground resistance from the Germans. Participation in the resistance was punishable by death or, at best, by being sent to a concentration camp.

Germany's terror tactics increased even more after Reinhard Heydrich was installed as the Deputy Reichsprotektor - the man in charge of the occupied Czech lands - in September 1941. Heydrich was the architect and coordinator of the "Final Solution" that led to the murder of millions of Jews he was also head of the security services throughout the Reich. Heydrich had long suspected Prime Minister Elias of contacts with the resistance and immediately had him arrested. On 2nd October 1941 Protectorate radio report on Elias's execution - for betraying the German Reich. To this day Elias is a paradoxical figure of Czech history - the collaborator who in the end gave his life for his country.

Heydrich, as architect of the "Final Solution" had his own special plans for the Czechs: his concluded that 45% of Czechs could be successfully Germanized, 40% were inferior "mongrels", and 15% were racially intolerable. In a speech in October 1941 he stated: "Bohemia and Moravia must become German, Czechs have no business to be here."

But Heydrich's reign was to be shortlived. The idea of killing a prominent Nazi official or a highly placed collaborator was central to Benes' plans by 1941 - the exiled president had been desperate to show the Allies that Czechoslovaks had not given up. And he had good reason: for many in the countries still fighting Germany Czechoslovakia had ceased to exist after Munich in 1938. Some historians say that Benes was obsessed that even if the Allies won the war, Czechoslovakia would never regain its former borders and remain forever a rump state.

During the war, Czechoslovak army units fighting abroad often parachuted foreign-trained Czech and Slovak soldiers into occupied Czech territory to perform special assignments. The most significant of these special assignments was the assassination, in 1942, of Reinhard Heidrich - the German Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia and one of the architects of the "Final Solution."

His assassination was one of the most daring missions of World War II. Titled "Anthropoid", the mission saw two Czechoslovak soldiers - Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik, trained in Britain - parachute into the Protectorate. The aim was to bolster Czech resistance to Nazi rule. Against almost impossible odds Kubis and Gabcik fatally wounded the Reichsprotektor on 27 May 1942, as his car drove through Prague.

The assassination had drastic consequences. The Nazis' desire for revenge would catch up with both Kubis and Gabcik along with countless others. The assassination of Reinhard set off a reign of terror throughout the Czech lands. Martial law was declared and the Nazis conducted house-to-house searches looking for the parachutists and the members of the Czech resistance movement who had helped them. More than 1,600 men, women, and children were executed and more were sent to concentration camps in the period immediately following the assassination. The terror reached its height with the annihilation of the village of Lidice, where 339 men were executed and the women and children of the village were sent to concentration camps. A few weeks later, the village of Lezaky, where the Nazis killed 54 men, women and children, was also razed to the ground. By the time this terror - known as the "Heydrichiada" - was over, the Nazis had damaged the resistance movement so much that it was only able to resume its activities at the very end of the war.

The brunt of Nazi aggression was felt by Czech Jews and other minorities who were rounded up and deported to concentration camps in systematic waves. Approximately 390,000 Czechoslovak citizens, including 83,000 Jews, were killed or executed, while hundreds of thousands of others were sent to prisons and concentration camps or used as forced labor.

The position of the government and President Edvard Benes abroad was made difficult by virtue of the fact that the truncation, breakup and occupation of Czechoslovakia had occurred before the war. Even so, they gained international recognition as the valid representatives of Czechoslovakia they got the French and the British to revoke their signing of the Munich Agreement and, last but not least, they achieved the restoration of Czechoslovakia. After 1941, the Czechoslovak Communist Party became increasingly involved in the work of both branches of the national resistance (foreign and domestic). Its foreign leadership was based in Moscow.

President Benes, who had a decisive say in the formation of Czechoslovak foreign policy, was aware of the growing influence of the USSR on post-war events. In 1943, he concluded an alliance treaty with the Soviet Union.

The resistance movements in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Slovak National Uprising of 1944 - which was brutally put down - and in the Prague Uprising in the Czech lands in May of 1945 - which started just a few days before foreign armies arrived to officially liberate the city.

In Slovakia, which was fighting on the German side, the national democratic and communist resistance joined forces and created a supreme body - the Slovak National Council. On August 29, 1944, the so-called Slovak National Uprising broke out. Its exponents fell in with Czechoslovakia. A mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army was declared on the territory of the insurrection. It resisted superior German forces for two months. Afterward, the fight continued in the mountains, but the uprising was eventually suppressed.

Prague rebelled on 05 May 1945, and the German Army surrendered to the insurrectionists on the understanding that they would allow it to depart freely. That same day, the General Patton's American Third Army (with 150 thousands soldiers) was in Pilsen (only a few hours away from Prague) while Marshal Konev's Soviet Army was on the borders of Moravia. General Patton was in favor of liberating Prague, but he had to comply with the instructions from General D. Eisenhower. General Eisenhower requested the Soviet Chief of Staff to permit them to press forward, but was informed that American help was not needed (a prior agreement from the Yalta Conference was that Bohemia would be liberated by the Red Army). Finally, on May 9, 1945 (the day after Germany officially capitulated) the Soviet tanks got to Prague. The Red Army clashed in battle with the last fanatical German divisions. It was not until May 12, 1945 when the fight was completely over in the Czech Lands. The Czechs genuinely felt gratitude towards the Soviet soldiers. Czechoslovakia was mostly liberated by the Soviet Union, but western Bohemia was freed by the U.S. Army. People did not know that they became the victims in rival politics. The Soviet victory was both military and political. (Bismarck once declared: "He, who is master of Bohemia, is master of Europe. ").

The events of Munich, the time of the Protectorate and the German terrorization of the population during the war caused general hostility among Czechs toward Germans. The German population, which had formed the majority of the Prague's inhabitants until the 19th century, was massacred, expelled or fled for saving only their lives and leaving all the property in the aftermath of the war.

As regards the issue of the resettlement of the German population outside of Czechoslovakia, there was general unanimity and conviction that it was essential for this measure to be implemented. In the initial phase in the months after the war, the displacement of the German population took place in an unrestrained manner during a period of so-called wild expulsions. The manner of the resettlement provoked criticism among the country's Western allies. The resettlement of the German minorities from Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary was officially approved at a meeting of the allies in Potsdam in 1945.

What position did the government of Surinam take during the Second World War? - History


When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, Guyana, like other British West Indian colonies, gave full support to the war effort. Some Guyanese men volunteered to fight and they formed part of the British Caribbean Forces. In addition, Guyanese volunteered to serve overseas with the British Navy, Royal Air Force, and the Women's Corps. Some also travelled to Britain to work in the munitions factories.

In Guyana, for the purpose of defence, the Government organised two militia companies and a garrison. A Voluntary Civil Defence Organisation was also established.

The United States at first remained neutral but agreed in September 1940 to provide 50 old World War I destroyers to Britain. In return, Britain leased to the United States a number of sites stretching from Newfoundland in the north to Guyana in the south. These locations, to be used as American military bases, were leased for a period of 99 years.

In Guyana itself, the war resulted in a shortage of imported goods from Britain and North America since many merchant ships were utilised for military transport. Some which ventured out to sail from those parts of the world faced the danger of being attacked by German submarines.

The effects of the shortage of imported goods were felt throughout the country. For example, there were no new bicycle tyres and inner tubes, so owners of bicycles had to improvise by using discarded pieces of rubber to patch holes in existing tyres. There was also a severe scarcity of flour, and petrol for vehicles and kerosene for domestic use were rationed. The Government controlled the prices of goods, especially food items, and provided subsidies for necessary imports. However, the people quickly readjusted to the situation and there was no serious lack of food since Guyanese farmers produced large quantities of food crops including rice, cassava, plantains, sweet potatoes and eddoes, as well as vegetables.

The decrease in trading activities initially led to a rise in unemployment and caused economic hardships throughout the country during the early period of the war. Despite this, the Government agreed to allow some Jewish refugees displaced by the war to stay in Guyana during the war years. In July 1942, the Government agreed to house 50 Jewish refugees who came from Spain but who had moved first to Curacao to seek refuge from the Germans. They lived in Mazaruni on the site of the prison and were maintained through funds provided by the British Government.

Even before the United States entered the war in December 1941, the Americans commenced the building of an air base at Hyde Park on the east bank of the Demerara River, 25 miles south of Georgetown. The forest was cleared and hills were levelled and a long concrete runway was constructed in 1941. This air base was soon after named Atkinson Field after the base commander Major Atkinson. Later in the year, the 44th Reconnaissance Squadron of the US Air Force was stationed there to protect the base, and to make regular air patrols between Panama and Guyana.

Soon after, American planes began arriving with munitions and other goods which were ferried by other planes across the Atlantic to West Africa. From there these supplies were transported to north Africa for the British forces fighting against the Germans. War planes purchased by the British from the Americans were also ferried to North Africa through Atkinson Field.

From around the same time, a huge cigar-shaped American airship, a Zeppelin, passed along the coast of Guyana daily to keep a lookout for German submarines.

By the end of 1941, 95 Guyanese had joined the British forces, of whom 22 were in the Royal Air Force and 42 were in the navy. The remaining 31 were recruited for other specialised work. Scores of Guyanese were also working in the merchant navy. In 1943, 32 Guyanese enlisted in the British armed forces, 20 travelled to the United Kingdom to serve as munitions workers in factories, and 48 joined the Trinidad Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

Although the first batch of Guyanese had received training in Britain, others were sent to be trained in Canada. Six men were sent to Canada between 1942 and 1943, followed by five others in September 1943. Some Guyanese students in Britain also volunteered for military service. Among them was E. R. Braithwaite, who later wrote the classic To Sir, With Love he served as crew member in the Royal Air Force.

The local newspapers reported on the Guyanese casualties. Mention was made of Stanley Roza who died when a torpedo struck his ship in 1943. Mohamed Hosein was disabled during the war and had to return home. T.R.R. Wood received the posthumous award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for services rendered as a pilot. Sergeant Pat Nobrega sent a letter to his family from the Japanese camp where he was imprisoned. He was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of the Malay Peninsula, but was finally released in 1945.

A Rose Hall, Corentyne, resident, Private Clarence Trim of the Canadian Army Corps, died in a battle in Germany on April 27, 1945. And a Berbician, Leslie Augustus James of the Royal Air Force, died in a hospital in England on May 19, 1945. These were just a few examples of Guyanese casualties during the war.

When the war ended in 1945, some Guyanese in the military forces decided to return home, but many decided to remain in Britain.

Despite the economic constraints caused by the war, infrastructural works were carried out in various parts of the country. From 1940, for example, drainage and irrigation projects valued $8 million began on the East Coast and West Coast Demerara, in West Berbice, and on the Corentyne coast. Large-scale rice production by the Government also began at Burma in the Mahaicony-Abary area. The use of farm machinery was introduced at this location, and work began on the building of a modern central rice mill in the area.

Planning for a census also began during the war years. This census was eventually conducted in 1946 and the count showed a population of 375,819 persons living in the country.

Politically, the Legislative Council elected in 1935 continued in office since there were no elections during the war years. Elections did not take place until 1947 as a result the Legislative Council of 1935-1947 was dubbed the "Long Parliament." In the meantime, Sir Gordon Lethem arrived as the new Governor in December 1941.

Significantly, British Guiana was a major supplier of high-grade bauxite to America during the war years, when there was an increased demand for bauxite. The aluminium produced from this bauxite was used by the military in the United States. Significantly, roughly two-thirds of all allied aircraft manufactured during the war years used aluminium made from Guyanese bauxite. As a result of the demand for Guyana's bauxite, exports increased from 476,000 tons in 1939 to 1,902,000 tons in 1943. This enabled the Guyanese economy to benefit greatly from the revenue obtained through these exports. The monetary worth of bauxite exports rose from approximately $2.9 million in the early 1940s to $6.7 million in 1947. This resulted from the developments in the Demerara Bauxite Company when it opened two mines at Mackenzie, thus creating from around 1943 more jobs in that sector for the Guyanese people. At the end of the war, the Treasury had a surplus of more than $6 million mainly due to the revenues earned by the bauxite industry.


49 For a comparative perspective on changing African-American demographics from the 1930s to the 1980s, see Gerald D. Jaynes and Robin M. Williams, Jr., A Common Destiny: Blacks and American Society (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1989): 35–42, 271–287. Statistics cited in this paragraph are drawn from pages 35, 271. A contemporaneous and hugely influential account of the plight of wartime blacks in the American South is Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (New York: Harper Publishers, 1944). For a concise summary of African-American participation in the war and its impact on civil rights, see Kennedy, Freedom From Fear: 761–776. For a standard account of the home front during the war, see John Morton Blum, V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1976). For more on desegregation of the military, see Richard M. Dalfiume, Desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1969).

50 See Kennedy, Freedom From Fear: 771–774 Franklin and Moss, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans: 481–491.

51 Congressional Record, Appendix, 77th Cong., 2nd sess. (18 February 1942): A607. See also Congressional Record, Appendix, 77th Cong., 2nd sess. (16 July 1942): A2790–2791.

52 Congressional Record, Appendix, 77th Cong., 2nd sess. (22 January 1942): A210 Congressional Record, Appendix, 77th Cong., 2nd sess. (28 January 1942): A290.

53 Walter White, A Rising Wind (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1945): 144.

54 This was true for many southerners but especially for African Americans, the majority of whom held low-paying agricultural jobs in a tenant farmer system in the South. According to wage and salary data compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the average agricultural worker in the United States earned $487 in 1940—a little more than $9 per week. See “Wage and Salary Accruals Per Full-Time Equivalent Employee, By Industry: 1929–1948,” Table Ba4397–4418, Carter et al., Historical Statistics of the United States, Volume 2: 282.

55 Congressional Record, House, 78th Cong., 1st sess. (25 May 1943): 4853, 4889. In 1945, when the House again debated a measure to ban the poll tax, Dawson blasted Mississippi Representative John E. Rankin, who claimed the tax was necessary to support public schools. “Why is it then that so many of these people cannot meet the minimum educational requirement?” Dawson rebutted, calling attention to the literacy tests used to disfranchise many southern blacks. See Venice T. Sprags, “Anti-Poll Tax Bill Faces Bilbo Filibuster Threat,” 23 June 1945, Chicago Defender: 2.

56 Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Executive Order 8802—Reaffirming Policy Of Full Participation In The Defense Program By All Persons, Regardless Of Race, Creed, Color, Or National Origin, And Directing Certain Action In Furtherance Of Said Policy,” 25 June 1941, in American Presidency Project, ed. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209704 (accessed 1 February 2008). For a discussion of FDR’s political position, see Sitkoff, A New Deal for Blacks: 320–323. See also Kennedy, Freedom From Fear: 768. Kennedy observes that while the FEPC was hardly a “second Emancipation Proclamation,” it provided the seed for civil rights reform.

57 Congressional Record, House, 78th Cong., 2nd sess. (26 May 1944): 5053.

59 Ibid. The full debate is on pages 5050–5068, quotation on page 5059.

60 Congressional Record, Appendix, 78th Cong., 2nd sess. (15 June 1944): A3033–3035. In June 1944, Representative Dawson testified before Norton’s committee about the “psychological attitude” of “great bitterness” felt by African Americans who had been excluded from wartime work. The FEPC promised to alleviate the despair of discrimination. “Sooner or later, here in this country, we have got to face the question and settle it right for all times in the minds of the people. And there is no better way to begin to face the problem than to assure to every people that they will have the opportunity to work, along with all the other peoples in this nation of ours.”

Ireland in World War Two

World War Two is mostly talked about with reference to Germany, Great Britain, the United States and the other big players involved. However, it impacted every country in Europe and many countries further afield too. The normal everyday lives of millions of people were severely disrupted (or much worse) across an entire continent for several years, whether they had a direct involvement in the war or not. Ireland stayed neutral (although the term ‘neutral’ was used quite loosely) throughout the entire war, but still has its fair share of war time stories to tell. Here is a brief summary of the part Ireland played in the Second World War and some of the most dramatic events that unfolded.

Ireland in the Wartime Era

As anyone who knows anything about the history of Ireland will tell you, this small island on the western edge of Europe had already gone through some turbulent periods by the time World War Two came along. After centuries of British rule, Ireland had finally gained a tentative independence in 1922. The road to independence was not an easy one however the Easter Rising of 1916 resulted in the execution of many of the leaders of the movement and the destroying of Dublin city centre. 1921 to 1922 was fraught with civil war and multiple atrocities on all sides as people fought over the nitty gritty of the Treaty of Independence. A reluctant peace was only reached by dividing the country in two, leaving Northern Ireland to remain as part of the United Kingdom. Just as everything else was beginning to settle down, economic troubles picked up and much of the late 1920s and early 1930s were spent tackling this problem instead. In 1937 a new constitution re-established the country as Ireland (instead of the Irish Free State), and the newly formed country began to deal with the ever increasing threat of dictatorships and war.

In the 1930s and 1940s the Catholic church still had a powerful influence over Ireland almost 93% of the population was Catholic. Most people lived their lives in strict accordance with the religious ethos, and parish priests were often seen as the most important people in a village. The emphasis on Catholicism meant that Anti-Protestant sentiment was rife, and so was anti-British sentiment the pain of the last few decades was still fresh in people’s minds. Most people weren’t rich, and agriculture was still the primary industry. Outside of the bigger cities like Dublin, Cork and Limerick, everything was quite remote. Villages were small, most had no electricity, and many young people moved to the nearest city in search of work and a more interesting life as soon as they could – unless they had family duties at home. Due to economic difficulties, many people emigrated to North America and Great Britain too. Nonetheless, people were optimistic for further positive change and intensely proud of their newly born country, its history and its unique culture.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Ireland was immediately declared neutral by the Taoiseach of the time, Eamon De Valera. The decision was largely supported by the public, not just because it meant the country would avoid the harrowing circumstances that would soon befall other countries, but also because it was a distinct declaration of sovereignty to not side with Britain. The Irish Army did not have any part in the conflict, although some 5,000 Irish troops deserted to volunteer for the British Army. 50,000 ordinary Irish citizens followed suit, and it has been estimated that about 3,600 Irish soldiers lost their lives. The outbreak caused much uproar in Irish politics with officials fearing an invasion from either Allied or Axis forces. Ireland was in a useful strategic position Allied forces (especially Great Britain and the US) could use it to further defend against attacks from the mainland, while Axis forces, on the other hand, could take advantage of the country’s weaknesses and use it to launch a counterattack on Britain. Procedures were prepared for both scenarios, although thankfully they were never needed. German forces did in fact have a plan in place to invade Ireland, known as Operation Green, to be implemented after Operation Sealion (or the invasion of England after the fall of France). The British army also had a plan to occupy Ireland too, called Plan W, in the event of an attempted German invasion.

This Plan W was actually drafted in secret liaisons with the Irish government, just one of many incidents that revealed Ireland wasn’t all that neutral after all. Naturally these were all only uncovered long after the war was over, or else the country would most likely have suffered much more than it did. Throughout the war the government turned a blind eye to Allied aircrafts and navy vessels using their airspace and skirting their coasts. There was heavy censorship of all war-related reporting in the media even weather reports were abandoned, and only the public dispatches from each side were read out on the radio news. While this partly for self-preservation purposes, it was also to prevent Axis forces getting hold of any valuable information. There has been evidence of information being covertly passed to Allied forces throughout the war however in fact, the decision to launch D-Day was made because of a detailed weather report that had been sent to Allied forces from county Mayo!

Throughout the war the Irish government insisted on their neutrality in all public forums. They were so strict about it that they never even referred to it as a ‘war’ – it was known as ‘The Emergency’ instead, named after the Emergency Powers Act which the government put in place allowing them to do just about anything to protect the country and its people. Much like other European countries at the time, wages were frozen, food rations were in place, and industries like peat production were encouraged. In some cases (mostly the coastal cities), electricity was cut off after the curfew began. The British government made an attempt to get Ireland involved in the war at one point, offering to agree to united Ireland (meaning Northern Ireland would once again be part of Ireland) but only if the government gave up its neutrality. De Valera refused, knowing that there was no guarantee of the unity lasting once the war was over and weary of opening up old wounds.

Despite not being invaded or having any direct involvement in the war, Ireland didn’t get off scot free. While it can’t be compared in scale to the sufferings of other countries involved, Ireland still suffered civilian casualties, property damage and general hardship – not to mention the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives overseas. Here are some of the most significant war-related events that happened…

Belfast Blitz: As part of the United Kingdom, Belfast was as much of a target as any other British city during the Battle of Britain – not least because of the huge Harland and Wolff shipyards that were constructing RAF ships for the war effort. After a preliminary air raid the week before (where eight people died), on 15th April 1941 180 Luftwaffe bombers attacked the city. With minimal defence to hand, much damage was caused. 1000 people died and half of the city’s houses were hit, leaving 100,000 homeless and earning the sombre title of the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the whole of the Battle of Britain. Another raid came on 4th May, although this time it was mostly confined to the shipywards.

Dublin Bombings: Dublin was mistakenly bombed on 31st May 1941 by a Luftwaffe air squadron. The North side of the city was hit, with 38 deaths and 70 homes destroyed in the Summerhill, North Strand and North Circular Road areas. Like Belfast, the city had little defence in place and since there was now blackout in force like in British cities, it was an easy target. Germany apologised immediately for their mistake, which they said was caused by high winds and British interference with navigation signals (they were aiming for the British mainland, not Ireland). After the war, West Germany later paid some compensation for the mistake.

Ettie Steinberg: Ettie Steinberg and her son Leon are Ireland’s first and only known Holocaust victims. Ettie was born in Czechslovakia but her family moved to Ireland in the 1920s (when she was still a baby) to raise their children. Ettie was educated in Dublin and became a talented seamstress before marrying a Belgian and moving to Antwerp. After the war broke out (shortly after her son was born), they moved from place to place in France attempting to escape the Vichy regime, while her family in Ireland organised visas for them so they could travel to Northern Ireland. Sadly, they were arrested the day before the passports arrived. On the train on the way to meet their fates at a concentration camp, Ettie managed to write a coded postcard to her family and throw it out the window. Miraculously a passer-by picked it up and posted it, allowing her family to find out what happened.

Army Deserters: When the war broke out, many Irish soldiers deserted the army in favour of joining the war effort under the British army. Given Anglo-Irish relations at the time and the general mood of the country, this was not exactly the most politically correct decision to make. When the war was over, the government passed a motion to punish the deserters in order to prevent it happening in future, and to ensure that those who had remained faithful would be given first preference when it came to jobs, local authorities etc. Deserters were denied state pensions, unemployment benefits, forbidden to take up public sector jobs, and denied pay and allowances for the period of their absence. An amnesty was only declared for the deserters in 2013.

Ireland During World War Two

The Irish during the times of 1941 to 1945 faced many difficult decisions and had to make sure any actions they took bettered their country. With World War II being the largest war the world had ever seen, involvement at any level meant a lot to a country and would shape relations with other countries for a long time to come. Ireland was torn between its hatred of Britain and its conscience when the time came to pick sides. On one hand, the Irish hated Britain to a great extent on the other, they saw the awful wrongs of the Nazi Regime, but could not, in good conscience, side with them. In the end, though, Ireland itself chose to remain neutral, but allowed both the United States and Britain to use their ports and airstrips when needed. During this vital period in world history Ireland played its own role and shaped its future in many respects.

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This reviewer has read over several works regarding the role the Irish played during World War II and will be giving a general overview and closer look into two of these works. These works cover the mild Irish involvement in the war, governmental aspects of Ireland, and how much the Irish people really knew about the war and what they thought of it. Neutrality and the volunteers: Irish and British government policy towards the Irish volunteers by Cormac Kavanagh deals with the young Irish state policies in government and the problems the Irish knew they would have by declaring themselves neutral during World War II. The Irish leader at the time, Eamon de Valera, stated that the Irish had to look out for their best interests and that being a small state meant that they were open to more pressure. The author believes that it was going to be difficult for the Irish to implement a policy of neutrality in any European policy that involves the British. There also arose a problem from the IRA, which wanted to take advantage of the British at a vulnerable time he mentions.

The Essay on Liam O’Flaherty and The Anglo-Irish War

Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984) • Served in the Irish Guards of the British Army from 19151917 • Suffered serious injury from a bomb blast in Belgium was discharged due to depression. • Following WWI, traveled widely and developed a world view based on atheism, communism, and the notion that Ireland should be an independent nation Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984) • Joined the Irish Republican Army to push .

Domestically though the Irish people approved of the neutrality and gave little problem to the Irish government. Kavanagh goes onto mention though that James Dillon, the deputy leader of Fine Gael, was for the allied forces and did not care what the Irish public opinion was this eventually cost him his position. The author then goes on to argue that those that were opposed to neutrality, although they did not express it in any real terms, showed their opposition by joining the British armed forces. Kavanagh believes that this joining of Irish to British forces in fact helped to make the Ireland somewhat less neutral. The author mentions that many Irish still thought of the British forces as “their army” or “their navy” and that that reason could have contributed to their joining the war. He says how many volunteers kept their involvement in the war a secret as well.

Kavanagh concludes by stating that the Irish remained neutral partly because of their goal to be more independent of Britain. He believes that Ireland should admit their involvement in the war as a ‘shared experience’ with Britain and stop having a one-dimensional national identity. The author is somewhat convincing in his argument, backing up his beliefs with strong points and good historical facts about Irish involvement or lack of. A decently written work that got across its ideas well in a well flowing manner. The next work was written by Donal O Drisceoil and is titled Censorship as propaganda: the neutralization of Irish public opinion during the Second World War.

The focus of his article is to discuss how the Irish government set out to neutralize Irish public opinion during the war and how the neutrality stance affected Ireland as a country. He mentions how the government portrayed the war to its people and how they promoted the neutrality stance. Drisceoil believes that Ireland was militarily not ready for a war, had no imperialist interests in danger, and that neutrality was least divisive policy in domestic political context, are the reasons that they choose neutrality during the war. He goes along with Kavanagh in his belief that some people thought of the war as a chance to take advantage of England and Ireland should see it as an opportunity. The author mentions an interesting possible other reason though why the Irish remained neutral.

The Essay on Military Strategies of of the I.R.A. During the Anglo Irish War of Independence, 1919-21

At the outbreak of hostilities it was apparent that the I. R. A. could not hope to win a traditional stand up military fight against a modern, well equipped army with the financial backing of The British Empire. In order to engage the crown forces in a guerrilla war, weapons and ammunition were required in large numbers. General Head Quarters (G. H. Q. ) authorized smuggling operations and had .

He states that the Irish government might have feared an IRA revolt, backed by Germany, if they joined the war on the British side, therefore causing a second civil war to occur in Ireland. Neutrality was an independent action of Britain Drisceoil believes. He goes on to say how the Irish were extremely partial towards the Allies though and there was an extensive co-operation with Allied forces during the war. There was a censorship effort by the Irish government though to cover up this co-operation from its people the author states. Drisceoil contends that the Irish had an emotional dimension towards the war that other neutral countries did not, such as Sweden. The rest of his work discusses the efforts the Irish government took to limit its people’s knowledge of the war and Irish involvement in the war.

They had to limit not only their own newspapers but also publications from other countries that the Irish people had access to. Drisceoil concludes that this censorship was necessary because it served as an act of survival for Ireland. Had people known about what was really going on there might have been a much greater urge or up rising of people wanting Irish involvement in the war and or Irish people providing their services to another country. The author ultimately comes back to the fact that Ireland was not prepared for a war and that the strong positive portrayal of neutrality kept the Irish self-perception a good thing and kept them believing neutrality was a superior choice. The author covered the subject well and also had good historical data backing up his points. His work was well written and set up in a good manner for reading.

The Essay on England People School Government

England is a very small country with a huge population. This report will tell you some features and facts about this country. I will be talking about its people, it's government, it's industry, it's resources, it's land, and finally it's religion. The reason I said England has a big population is because they have about 47, 505, 000 people living there. The numbers speak for themselves. Most of .

Other good works on the Irish neutrality during World War II and the issues that went along with that position are Irish neutrality in historical perspective by John A. Murphy, Irish heroes of the Second World War by Richard Doherty, Three narratives of neutrality: historians and Ireland’s war by Geoffrey Roberts, and Politics in wartime: governing, neutrality and elections by Brian Girvin. Murphy’s work covers all the different ways neutrality as been expressed over time by various European states, Doherty’s work tells the stories of the Irish people who did get involved in war, Roberts work tells the tale of Irish neutrality and how it was either supported or not by the Irish people, and Girvin follows along those same lines but discusses more about the Irish government and elections in detail. The majority of first hand accounts, or primary sources, that come from the times of 1941 to 1945 and are from the Irish, come from those who chose to be involved in the war. Names like John Jermyn from Cork, Brother Columb anus Deegan from Dublin, Stephen Mulcahy from Cork, and Eamon O’Toole from Antrim are just some of the accounts in writing that are given from people involved in the war on the Irish side.

Some discuss why they joined the war for financial reasons and others like Jermyn because of family tradition. There are also several accounts of Eamon De Valera and his speeches and such on Irish neutrality.

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Liam O’Flaherty and The Anglo-Irish War

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. against the British Government. This was galvanized . As the war progressed many Royal Irish Constabulary (R. . parts of rural Ireland becoming ungovernable. This . after the day’s work was done, amounted . War, although many units remained in a state . World.

American People Illuminati World One

. States of America and the ensuing enslavement of the American people in a UNITED NATIONS' 'One World Government.' . worked out a military-blueprint for three world wars and various revolutions throughout the world . Melting-Pot,' its author, producer, and .

Wage War United Nations People

. wage war, and if so, what does that mean for the rest of the world? Under the circumstances that the Iraqi government had . out to the sympathetic war advocates by stating how "morally queasy the idea of leaving the Iraqi people in the murderous hands .

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Norway Post-War

After more than five years of German occupation, on May 8 of 1945, German forces withdrew from Norway, and World War 2 had officially come to an end. The day is now celebrated annually in Norway as Liberation day (Frigjøringsdagen) and serves as the country’s Veteran’s Day.

Treason Trials: The end of the war was swiftly followed by a series of trials that sentenced collaborators to fines, prison sentences, and even the death sentence. In the end, 25 Norwegians were sentenced to death, and roughly 19,000 received time in prison. Those who were found guilty were mostly convicted on treason, but some were found guilty of war crimes. [3]

The trials, and specifically the use of the death penalty, were controversial at the time they were going on but came to face harsher criticism after a few years had passed. Today, the retroactive application of the law would be unconstitutional. The sentences are critiqued for being too harsh on some individuals, and for becoming more lenient as time went on.

The Return of the Royal Family

Throughout the five years at war, the Norwegian citizens maintained feelings of connection to the royal family. The H7 monogram, the royal cipher of the Norwegian head of state, became a symbol of resistance. Citizens would use coins bearing the symbol to make jewelry or clothing they could rebelliously wear.

King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav had changed locations numerous times throughout the war to ensure safety, but ultimately were staying at Foliejon Park, a country house in Berkshire, England.

From there, King Haakon would regularly attend weekly cabinet meetings and broadcast to Norway by radio. Broadcasts were made possible through the BBC World Service and Saint Olav’s Norwegian Church, the church that the Royal Family regularly attended in Norway. These broadcasts made Haakon a clear, national symbol for the Norwegian resistance.

Crown Prince Olav returned first on May 14, 1945. He arrived on a British cruiser with a delegation of Norwegian government officials that had fled as well.

The remainder of the Norwegian Royal Family returned to their country of Norway on the First Cruiser Squadron on June 7, 1945. They were met by cheering crowds in Oslo.

Irish neutrality during second World War

Sir, – When I first wrote to The Irish Times nearly 20 years ago to criticise Ireland’s neutrality during the second World War there was a complacent consensus among historians that the policy was unquestionably right. Nowadays there is a spectrum of views, ranging from those who continue to argue there was no practical alternative to neutrality to those who contend the policy did the country a lot of damage and served only the interests of a sectarian Irish nationalism. To inform that discussion there is now available an immensely rich body of historical work by the likes of Brian Girvin, Donal O Drisceoil and Clair Wills.

Diarmaid Ferriter’s article (“Denigrating neutrality during second World War has become fashionable”, Analysis, May 11th) sits in the middle of the debate, reasserting the traditionalist view that neutrality was the inevitable expression of Ireland’s independence but recognising the policy’s self-serving dimensions and its negative impact on the country’s post-war history.

Ferriter’s position would, I suspect, command quite a lot of consensus among historians, at least in Ireland. It has much to commend it compared to views typical 20 years ago, but it still contains some blind-spots. The critique of neutrality put forward by myself and others is not that neutrality was wrong in 1939, 1940 or even 1941 but that from 1942 onwards Ireland could and should have realigned itself alongside the Allies, as did a number of other neutral states. The historical question is why this did not happen why did Ireland stubbornly stick to neutrality – a policy that culminated with de Valera’s condolences on the death of Hitler.

Ferriter complains that the recent apology and pardon granted to Irish Army deserters who joined the British armed forces during the war has led to distorted and simplistic accounts of a complex period of Irish history.

It seems to me, however, that the Government’s action is long overdue and contributes to historical discussion by drawing attention to the 60,000-70,000 citizens of neutral Ireland who fought with the Allies. Many of those volunteers supported Irish neutrality as well as the allied cause and saw themselves as fighters in defence of Ireland’s independence – which would have been destroyed had Hitler won the war. They also saw themselves as no less Irish than their compatriots who had a different experience and view of the war, but for decades after 1945 their story was sidelined in Irish historiography. That has changed, too, and the Irish volunteers of the second World War are getting the historical attention they deserve from a new generation of Irish historians such as Bernard Kelly and Steven O’Connor.

The Irish Times began covering the story of the Irish volunteers back in the 1940s. In the past two decades it has featured a healthy and ongoing historical and political debate about Irish neutrality during the second World War. May it long continue to do both. – Yours, etc,

The Vatican & the Holocaust: Understanding the Vatican During the Nazi Period

It is not always fully appreciated that the Vatican was neutral during the Second World War, having committed itself from the very outset to a policy of conciliation that marked church diplomacy in the inter-war period. To the Vatican, neutrality meant remaining apart from the two power blocs and, most important, maintaining an environment in which the church could operate as freely and openly as possible. Particularly since the presentation of Rolf Hochuth's angry play, Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) in 1962, this posture has been subjected to withering criticism. The Vatican has responded with the publication of a voluminous collection of documents on the role of the Holy See during the war, generating one of the most extensive historical discussions of the many ethical questions associated with the history of the Holocaust.

Historians generally see the policy of Pius XII as consistent with a longstanding tradition of Vatican diplomacy. During political storms of the depression years, this tradition was interpreted by Eugenio Pacelli, Cardinal Secretary of State under Pius XI and later to become the wartime Pope. Pacelli exemplified a profound commitment to the spiritual and pastoral mission of the Holy See he saw his role as avoiding association with power blocs and forging diplomatic links with conservative or even fascist regimes. As fascism extended its influence in Europe during the 1930s, the Vatican remained aloof, occasionally challenging fascist ideology when it touched on important matters of Catholic doctrine or the legal position of the church, but unwilling to interfere with what it considered to be purely secular concerns. Beyond this, the Vatican found most aspects of right-wing regimes congenial, appreciating their patronage of the church, their challenge to Marxism, and their frequent championing of a conservative social vision.

"For the professing Christian, of all the questions that arise out of the study of the Third Reich and the Holocaust the most terrible are these: What were the churches doing? How could such a monstrous crime be committed in the heart of Christendom by baptized Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox who were never rebuked, let alone excommunicated? Where were the Christians?" —Franklin H. Littell, "Foreword" in Bonifas, Prisoner 20-801: A French National in the Nazi Labor Camps, p. vii.

The Vatican quarreled with both Hitler and Mussolini on race, but hardly out of concern for the welfare of Jews. Throughout this period the Church seldom opposed anti-Jewish persecutions and rarely denounced governments for discriminatory practices when it did so, it usually admonished governments to act with "justice and charity", disapproving only of violent excesses or the most extravagant forms of oppression. Much more important for church policy was the clash between the pseudobiological bases of racism and the fundamental principles of Catholicism and church authority. The tendency of fascist movements, especially Nazism, to use race as a foundation of their regimes directly challenged the Church's claims in the fields of baptism, marriage, and, more broadly, the definition of who was and who was not a Catholic. The Holy See sometimes muted its opposition, usually preferring conciliation and diplomacy even on fundamental questions such as these. Nevertheless, conflict could break through the surface. One notable occasion was March 1937, when the papal encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Concern) condemned the false and heretical teachings of Nazism. The Holy See openly protested Mussolini's turn toward racism the following year. Yet at the same time the Vatican strove to avoid an open breach – as it was to continue to do throughout the war. As always, the goal was political neutrality and the safeguarding of the institutional interests of the Church in a perilous political world.

Church policy toward Jews during the war can be seen in this historical perspective. For the first few years persecution seems to have caused few ripples at the Vatican and awakened no more interest or sympathy than in the 1930s. Church diplomats continued to speak in favor of "justice and charity", but were largely unconcerned about the persecution of Jews by Nazi or collaborationist governments. A striking illustration comes from the autumn of 1941, when the French Ambassador to the Holy See, Léon Berard, sent an extensive report to Vichy on the Vatican's views. According to this diplomat the Holy See was not interested in the French antisemitic laws and worried only that they might undermine Church jurisdiction or involve occasional breaches of "justice and charity". So far as the French were concerned, the Vatican essentially gave them a green light to legislate as they chose against Jews.

"Why, it has been asked repeatedly, did the Pope not utter a solemn denunciation of this crime against the Jews and against humanity? . . . Why, it has been demanded, did he not give a clear moral and spiritual lead to Catholic priests throughout Europe? In June 1941, when the Vichy French government introduced ‘Jewish laws' closely modeled upon the Nuremberg Laws, the Pope responded to appeals from French bishops by stating that such laws were not in conflict with Catholic teaching. Later efforts by the British, Americans and Poles to persuade the Vatican to publish a specific condemnation of Nazi extermination of the Jews fell on deaf ears. The Pope, came the reply, could only issue a general condemnation of wartime atrocities." "A strong and openly voiced papal line might have silenced those Catholic bishops throughout Europe who actively and fervently collaborated with their Nazi masters. . ." —Ronnie S. Landou, The Nazi Holocaust , pp. 216-217.

When mass killings began, the Vatican was extremely well informed through its own diplomatic channels and through a variety of other contacts. Church officials may have been the first to pass on to the Holy See sinister reports about the significance of deportation convoys in 1942, and they continued to receive the most detailed information about mass murder in the east. Despite numerous appeals, however, the Pope refused to issue explicit denunciations of the murder of Jews or call upon the Nazis directly to stop the killing. Pius determinedly maintained his posture of neutrality and declined to associate himself with Allied declarations against Nazi war crimes. The most the Pope would do was to encourage humanitarian aid by subordinates within the Church, issue vague appeals against the oppression of unnamed racial and religious groups, and try to ease the lot of Catholics of Jewish origin, caught up in the Nazis' net of persecution. And with distinguished exceptions, the corps of Vatican diplomats did no better.

As Léon Papéleux makes clear, the Vatican's posture shifted during the course of the war, as did that of other neutrals: the Holy See gradually became more forthcoming in its démarches on behalf of Jews and more overt in its assistance to the persecuted. But the Pope remained reluctant to speak out almost until the very end. In the autumn of 1943, with Rome under German occupation, the Nazis began round ups of Jews virtually on the doorstep of the papal palace. On a knife's edge, the Pope seems to have balanced carefully, fearing at any moment that the SS might descend on the Vatican itself. In his signals to Berlin, the German Ambassador to the Holy See, Ernst von Weizsäcker, portrayed a pro-German Pope, alluding to his reluctance to protest the assault on the Jews. Was Weizsäcker delicately trying to subvert the intentions of the SS by suggesting the high price the Reich might have to pay for the persecutions? Was he trying to protect the Pope from direct Nazi moves against him? Or was he accurately reporting the perspectives of the Holy See? Interpretations of this episode vary widely – from those who see Pius playing a delicate, complicated game with Nazi occupiers, expressing himself cryptically, to those who read the incident as a further indication of Church reluctance to take any risks on behalf of Jews.

". For a long time during those frightful years I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome. I, an unbeliever? Precisely. For I knew that the spirit would be lost if it did not utter a cry of condemnation when faced with force. It seems that that voice did speak up. But I assure you that millions of men like me did not hear it and that at that time believers and unbelievers alike shared a solitude that continued to spread as the days went by and the executioners multiplied. . What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, should rise in the heart of the simplest man. That they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today". —French author, Albert Camus, in a statement made at the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg in 1948.

Our understanding of Church policy now extends considerably beyond Hochuth's accusations and related charges of pro-German and antisemitic pressures at the Vatican. It is true that Pacelli had served many years as Papal Nuncio in Germany and feared mightily during the war that the defeat of the Nazis would lead to the triumph of Bolshevism in Europe. But Vatican documents do not indicate a guarded pro-Nazism or a supreme priority of opposition to the Soviet Union. Nor do they reveal a particular indifference to the fate of Jews, let alone hostility toward them. Rather, the Vatican's communications, along with other evidence, suggest a resolute commitment to its traditional policy of reserve and conciliation. The goal was to limit the global conflict where possible and above all to protect the influence and standing of the Church as an independent voice. Continually apprehensive of schisms within the Church, Pius strove to maintain the allegiance of Catholics in Germany, in Poland, and elsewhere. Fearful too of threats from the outside, the Pope dared not confront the Nazis or the Italian Fascists directly. Notably, the papacy maintained its reserve not only against Jewish appeals but in the face of others as well. The Holy See turned a deaf ear to anguished calls from Polish bishops to denounce the Nazis' atrocities in Poland issued no explicit call to stop the so-called euthanasia campaign in the Reich deeply offended many by receiving the Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic, whose men butchered an estimated 700,000 Orthodox Serbs and refused to denounce Italian aggression against Greece. Beyond this, there is a widespread sense that, however misguided politically, Pius himself felt increasingly isolated, threatened, and verging on despair. With an exaggerated faith in the efficacy of his mediative diplomacy, Pius clung to the wreckage of his pre-war policy – "a kind of anxiously preserved virginity in the midst of torn souls and bodies," as one sympathetic observer puts it.

Individual churchmen of course reacted otherwise, and there is a long list of Catholic clergy who saw their Christian duty as requiring intervention on behalf of persecuted Jews. Often the deportation convoys galvanized priests to action. In some cases, as with the intervention of the apostolic delegate Giuseppe Burzio in Catholic Slovakia, such appeals may well have made a difference. In Bucharest, Nuncio Andreia Cassulo pleaded with the Rumanian government for humane treatment for the Jews and actually visited Jewish deportees in Transnistira. In Budapest Nuncio Angelo Rotta intervened repeatedly with Admiral Horthy on behalf of Hungarian Jews and may have helped secure papal intervention in the summer of 1944. Angelo Roncalli, the apostolic delegate in Turkey and the future Pope John XXIII, was among the most sensitive to the Jewish tragedy and most vigorous in rescue efforts despite his reflection, at the time, of traditional Catholic attitudes toward Jews. Elsewhere, on the other hand, church leaders replicated the posture of the Vatican itself – or even deferred with greater or lesser sympathy to those directing the machinery of destruction. Outstanding in this respect was the timid and pro-Fascist Cesare Orsenigo, the Nuncio in Berlin, who appeared wedded to the views of the German government. The Pope did not dictate policy on such matters to his subordinates and allowed them to go their own way. His timidity in this respect may be one of the most important charges against him.

In retrospect, some historians have come to appreciate the tactical caution of the Holy See. Günther Lewy, for example, suggests that a "flaming protest" by the Pope against the perpetrators of genocide would almost certainly have failed to move the German public and would likely have made matters worse – especially for the half-Jews as well as for practising Catholics in Germany. Others claim that much of the present condemnation of Vatican policy springs from mistaken assumptions about church doctrine. It may be quite correct to say, as does Father John Morley, that the Vatican "betrayed the ideals it set for itself". But sincere churchmen at the time could certainly judge those ideals otherwise. As Leonidas Hill reminds us, "the theology of the Church lays far less emphasis on saving lives than on saving souls through the consolations of religion". Seeing the institutional church as a supreme value in its own right, those in charge of its fortunes tended unhesitatingly to put these ahead of the victims of Nazism.