Evidence Confirms Nazi Plot to Kill Pope Pius XII

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

New evidence published in the newspaper of the Italian bishops conference confirms that Adolf Hitler once planned to either kidnap or kill Pope Pius XII.

According to a report appearing in Avvenire, new evidence is pointing at the Third Reich’s main security office, known as Reichssicherheitshauptamt, as the source of a plot to get rid of the Pope during World War II.

The newspaper cited the testimony of Niki Freytag Loringhoven, 72, the son of a colonel in the High Command of the German Armed Forces. According to Loringhoven, days after Hitler’s ally, Benito Mussolini, had been arrested, Hitler ordered the Reichssicherheitshauptamt to devise a plot to punish the Italian people by kidnapping or murdering Pius XII along with the king of Italy.

According to the account of Loringhoven, a secret meeting took place in Venice on July 29-30, 1943 when the head of Italian counterintelligence, General Cesare Ame, was informed of Hitler’s desire to kill or kidnap the Pope. After Ame returned to Rome, however, news of the plot got out and the plan had to be shelved.

Rumors of such a plot have long been circulating but could never been sufficiently verified until now.

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