Hitler’s Pope... or Hitler’s Nemesis? For the first time ever on television...
National Geographic explores Pope Pius XII’s Secret Relationship with the German Resistance...
Wartime pontiff Pius XII has been accused of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed, by some, as “Hitler’s Pope.” But a key part of the story has remained untold – a subtext that sheds new light on his secret plans to rid Europe of the Nazi scourge… his covert effort to aid the German Resistance and overthrow Hitler.
During the war, Pius tapped into the Church’s extensive underground network of informants to facilitate communication between the “decent Germany” that opposed the Nazis and key diplomats in Britain, seeking to set the stage for a regime change in the Reich after Hitler’s removal. In an effort to protect his spies – as well as the millions of Catholics under Reich control – from brutal reprisals, he refrained from directly criticizing the Nazi regime in public, even while he secretly aided those seeking to destroy it.
POPE v. HITLER is a two-hour television special – a compelling fusion of drama and documentary – that reveals this lost piece of WWII history in stunning detail, revealing the active Catholic effort to resist the Nazis. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler’s homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a small prop plane back and forth over the Alps, carrying secrets leaked by the head of Hitler’s bodyguard to Church contacts in Rome. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring – often meeting amidst the subterranean papal tombs under St. Peter’s – that aided the conspirators behind the infamous 1944 Valkyrie attack on Hitler.
Meanwhile, the Führer was hatching his own secret plan – to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.
Featuring the insights of key Church historians, POPE v. HITLER will correct the misconception that Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope,” and reveal the true story of how he met the greatest moral crisis in history.