Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni has attacked an Italian mini series on Pope Pius XII’s efforts to help the Jewish people during World War II as ‘junk’, forgetting that the former Chief Rabbi of Rome, who presided over the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation, converted to Catholicism and took the Christian name Eugenio out of gratitude for Pius XII’s courageous assistance.
JTA, the global News Service of the Jewish People, reports:
Italian Jewish leaders have sharply criticized an Italian TV mini-series that portrays Pope Pius XII as working forcefully to save Jews during the Holocaust.’
Rome Jewish community president Riccardo Pacifici called the portrayal “unacceptable revisionism.”
‘Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni described the series as “junk” that had the “precise goal of demonstrating the absolute goodness of that pope and the political and moral justification of everything that he did.”
RAI provide the following description of their miniseries, ‘Under the Roman Sky’:
‘Despite all his efforts, Pius XII is not able to prevent the horrors that take place in Rome,” the synopsis on the film’s website states. “On October 16, 1943, the SS carry out an unexpected and violent raid on the Jewish Ghetto. Over one-thousand victims are deported to Auschwitz, only fifteen will eventually return. This tragedy for the Jews is shared by the Pope. History will testify that over 10,000 Jews were saved in churches and convents in Rome, more than in any other occupied city.”
Protect the Pope comment: Contrary to the Chief Rabbi’s false accusation it is not RAI that is perpetrating historical revisionism, but is rather justifiably challenging the mendacious revisionism that has attempted to blacken the reputation of a great and saintly pope, Pius XII. Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni would do well to remember that his predecessor, who actually lived through World War II, Chief Rabbi of Rome Israel Zolli, was so convinced of Pope Pius XII’s ‘absolute goodness’ that he converted to Catholicism and took Pius XII’s Christian name as his own. Who exactly is promoting revisionism here?
“Under the Roman Sky,” starring James Cromwell as Pius XII, was aired Sunday and Monday on state-run RAI television. Set in 1943, it shows Pius remaining in Rome despite a plan by the Nazi occupiers to kidnap him. RAI