The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism

David I. Kertzer, Author Alfred A. Knopf $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-375-40623-2
A number of excellent studies have recently addressed the political and social role of the Catholic Church in Europe during the Holocaust. Along comes a book that explores the church's role in setting the stage for that Holocaust. If the title of The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism isn't enough of a hint, David Kertzer spells out his thesis in the introduction: Although ""the Vatican never approved the extermination of the Jews... the teachings and actions of the Church, including those of the popes themselves, helped make it possible."" Kertzer argues that centuries of the church's demonization of the Jews paved the way for genocide.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
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