Peter Eisner€s latest book, The Pope’s Last Crusade, provides exclusive new information about a little-known intrigue that some scholars believe could have changed the history of World War II.
When people think of the Vatican during the war, they think not of Pope Pius XI, but of his successor, Pius XII€who was known for his silence during Hitler€s massacre of the Jews. But before that, Pius XI spoke out against Hitler and Mussolini and called attention to their atrocities.
As the Nazis massed forces against Europe In the summer of 1938, Pius XI began a last-minute campaign to awaken world leaders against the murderous Nazi campaign against the Jews.
The Pope€s Last Crusade is also the little-known story of John LaFarge, an American Jesuit priest, selected by the pope to write his encyclical against anti-Semitism. LaFarge and Pius XI faced treachery at the Vatican that delayed publication. Pius XI died mysteriously in February 1939 and the document was never released.