The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965
Indiana University Press, $29.95, 324 pp.
Under His Very Windows
The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
Yale University Press, $29.95, 396 pp.
It is a peculiar statue. The work of a well-known Italian sculptor, Francesco Messina, it is set about halfway into Saint Peter’s to the right of the main nave, next to a painting of Saint Sebastian and immediately opposite a statue of Pius XI. Pius XII is standing, in full regalia; his papal cloak envelops him, draped over his shoulders like a protecting towel as if he had just emerged from a swim. With one hand he blesses the faithful, but his face is turned away to...
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Richard Cohen is the author of By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions (Modern Library) and Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life, to be published in November by Random House.