No Excuse

In Defense of Christian Hungary

Religion, Nationalism, and Anti-Semitism, 1890–1944

Paul A. Hanebrink

Cornell University Press, $39.95, 352 pp.

Pius XII failed to speak out against the Nazi murder of Jews because he feared making things even worse. German bishops failed to condemn Nazi atrocities because they feared for the church in Germany. Polish Christians failed to shelter Jews because if caught the penalty was death-not only for the rescuers, but for their entire families.

So runs the list of reasons for the passivity of Catholics in the face of Nazi terror. There...

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About the Author

John Connelly, author of From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews (Harvard), teaches history at the University of California, Berkeley.