London, Aug.17 (ANI): The Vatican's official newspaper has accused Britain and the United States of having detailed knowledge of Hitler's plans to exterminate Jews, but failed to stop it.
The L'Osservatore Romano claims in a report that authorities in Washington and London ignored, downplayed or even suppressed intelligence reports about the Nazis' extermination plans.
According to the daily, both governments could have bombed Nazi concentration camps and the railway stations that supplied them but instead chose not to.
It quoted from the diary of Henry Morgenthau Jr., the wartime US secretary of the treasury, who described London's alleged indifference to the plight of the Jews as "a Satanic combination of British chill and diplomatic double talk, cold and correct and adding up to a sentence of death".
According to The Telegraph, British and American inaction was in contrast to the efforts made by the wartime Pope, Pius XII, who tried to save as many Jews as he could through clandestine means.
The editorial is the Vatican's latest effort to rehabilitate the reputation of Pope Pius, whose reluctance to denounce the Nazis publicly prompted accusations of anti-Semitism and earned him the title "Hitler's Pope".
L'Osservatore dismissed such claims as a "radically false" characterisation of the pontiff's wartime record.
It quoted Morgenthau as saying that as early as Aug 1942, the US government "knew that the Nazis were planning to exterminate all the Jews of Europe".
In his diary, Morgenthau cited a telegram dated Aug 24, 1942, and passed on to the US State Department, that relayed a report of Hitler's plan to kill between 3.5 million and four million Jews, possibly using cyanide poison.
L'Osservatore, which is regarded as the semi-official mouthpiece of the Holy See, reproduced a copy of the telegram.(ANI)