Abrahan J. Edelheit and Hershel Edelheit, "The Attitude of the Christian Churches," History of the Holocaust, Boulder, CO: Westview press, 1994, pp. 118-120

Abstract by Jerry Darring


Local churches tended to act in accordance with the attitudes of their congregations. On the international level, "the Vatican as an institution did little to promote the rescue of Jews during the Nazi era" (p. 119). The same holds true for the Protestant churches. The German Evangelic Church, for example, never publicly protested against Nazi antisemitism. Exceptions included the Danish, Norwegian and Dutch churches, and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. "Ultimately, the Holocaust was a test for all humanity; by and large, European churches failed that test" (pp. 119-120). They failed because of 1) centuries of teaching of contempt of Jews; 2) concern for church institutions; 3) defense of Jewish converts; and 4) acceptance by church leaders of the antisemitic identification of Jews with communism.