Records emerge of Jews sheltered by Catholics during WWII

Researchers have discovered records of the people including many Jews who found shelter from Nazi-Fascist persecution in Catholic institutions in the Italian capital during World War II.

The documentation, found in the archives of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, lists more than 4,300 people who sheltered as the properties of 100 women’s and 55 men’s religious orders, of whom 3,600 are identified by name.

A comparison with documents kept in the archives of the Jewish Community of Rome shows that about 3,200 of them were definitely Jewish.

“Of the latter it is known where they were hidden and, in certain circumstances, where they lived before the persecution.

The documentation thus significantly increases the information on the history of the rescue of Jews in the context of the Catholic institutions of Rome,” said a joint statement from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem and Rome’s Jewish Community.

The names of the people who found shelter are not being released for reasons of privacy, the statement added.
Rome was occupied by the Nazis for nine months, from September 10, 1943 until liberation by Allied forces on June 4, 1944.

During that period, nearly 2,000 Jews, including hundreds of children and adolescents, were deported and murdered from a community of between 10,000 and 15,000 people.