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The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this meticulously researched, unflinching, and reasoned study, National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer presents shocking revelations about the role played by the Vatican in the development of modern anti-Semitism. Working in long-sealed Vatican archives, Kertzer unearths startling evidence to undermine the Church’s argument that it played no direct role in the spr ...more
Paperback, 355 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Vintage (first published 2001)
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Lewis Weinstein
Kertzer presents a methodical fact-based case that utterly destroys many of the self-serving statements and actions of the Catholic Church during and after the Nazi years.

He begins with the 1998 report of a Vatican Commission titled "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah." Pope John Paul II had asked the Commission to determine what responsibility - if any - the Church bore for the Holocaust. The Vatican report predictably denies any link between the attitudes of Christians toward the Jews pro
Eye-opening book about the relentless anti-Semitic propaganda campaign by the Catholic Church from the fall of Napoleon in 1815 to World War II, drawn from archives of the Vatican made publicly available in 1998. After reading this book, the existence of popular European attitudes toward the Jews that made the holocaust possible will n longer be a mystery - and the book does not even address the many Protestant, Orthodox, and nationalistic anti-Semitic efforts going on at the same time. It shows ...more
Laurence O'Bryan
A tremendous, detailed and devastating account of the roots of the Holocaust.

I congratulate David on exposing the deceit that has covered up the clear responsibility the Catholic Church holds in one of the most horrific acts of genocide every perpetrated.

Pius XII should have stood in the dock at Nuremberg as an accessory to the Holocaust. I see it as my mission to spread the word of the evil ideas the Catholic Church spread through its antisemitism over many decades in the lead up to the Holoca
Daniel Pardo
Anyone who believes that George Washington never told a lie, that Betsy Ross stitched the first flag, or that the Liberty Bell cracked on July 4, 1776, needs not read this book. The Popes Against the Jews is not for the naïve, faint hearted, or for those whose religious zealotry prevents them from wanting to expand the boundaries of their knowledge.

Though hard to accept that Christianity and the Catholic Church, since their beginnings, would promote, encourage, and enforce anti-Semitism, the fac
Shea Mastison
Feb 20, 2013 Shea Mastison rated it really liked it
A most excellent historical account of the Vatican's role in the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Kertzer covers centuries worth of Papal prejudice; and discusses the various laws and social customs used by the Catholic hierarchy to persecute the Jewish people living within the Holy Roman Empire.

Not only is this book an indictment of the proto-fascists running the Catholic Church for much of modern history; but it also makes a compelling case for the necessity of church and state separation, as we
B Kevin
Jun 20, 2014 B Kevin rated it it was amazing
In this book, Brown University Professor David Kertzer's book refutes the Church's contention that the Holocaust was due to "an anti-Judaism that was essentially more sociological and political than religious." Rather, he shows, using long-sealed Church archives which were only recently opened, that European antisemitism was "in no small part due to the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church itself." I have a lot of histories about Germany and WWII, but I have to admit that I was surprised to lear ...more
iain meek
A very heavy read. Not a great writer.
Also a very heavy subject- a trawl thro previously secret (1998?) Vatican archives showing how the Catholic church has been anti-semitic for centuries along with fine hair splitting about OK Christian ant- semitism and dreadful anti-semitism by others including the Italian fascists and the Nazis. Apparently the Italian fascists were considered wrong to outlaw Jewish converts to Catholicism but correct, according to the Church, to outlaw all other jews.
Not su
Frank Cardenas
Sep 05, 2007 Frank Cardenas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that opened my eyes to the role of the church in the world wars, nobody would fool me anymore and I find myself to be more tolerant; though the revelations regarding the treatment of Jews are very horrendous -but truthful- the contents were fascinating; this is a book we all catholics should read, that would make us wonder whether we should continue believing in an institution that was supposed to be helpful, accepting of anyone without any relevance to race or... religion! Thanks for con ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
If you were Jewish in the 1930's, it seems like the choice between Nazi Germany and the Catholic Church was like a liberal choosing between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. "Which godawful option is best?" Really great book, and I'm looking forward to reading his others, which are basically centered around parts of what he wrote about in this book, with a tighter focus.
Rushay Booysen
Feb 09, 2012 Rushay Booysen rated it liked it
The Vatican's link to its anti anti-semitism influence that predated the Nazi horror camps.Lengthy research that dates back to the 1700's im not sure if the Vatican ever came clean.This book researched that influence and how it influenced anti-semitism as we know it in the world
Dan Petegorsky
Jan 24, 2009 Dan Petegorsky rated it really liked it
I read this some years back but am posting it now in "honor" of Pope Benedict's rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. It's one of the best books I've read on at least one aspect of the history of anti-Semitism.
Hailey Franks
Apr 24, 2014 Hailey Franks rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking and insightful. A book all should read.
Timothy McCluskey
Dec 29, 2009 Timothy McCluskey rated it really liked it
Shelves: church-history
This is an excellent treatment of the Vatican's complicity during WWII. The continuing scandal is that the Vatican now wants to canonize him
Zach Opsitnick
Oct 12, 2014 Zach Opsitnick rated it really liked it
A disturbing and telling view of the period of history that the Catholic church doesn't want to acknowledge because of its horrid nature.
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