A NEW biography of Raoul Wallenberg, a wealthy Swede who helped save about 100,0W Hungarian Jews from the Nazi Holocaust of World War Two, shows that the Vatican gave strong support to such efforts.
The biography, "Raoul Wallenberg: Swedish Angel of Rescue," is by Harvey Rosenfeld, editor of a periodical devoted to the Holocaust, the Nazi campaign of genocide against the Jews.
It refers to documents released in 1980, which detail the rescue efforts carried out by Archbishop Angelo Rotta, papal nuncio in Hungary during the war, with the approval of Pope Pius XII.
Wallenberg, a member of one of Sweden's most influential and wealthiest families, volunteered in 1944 to go to Hungary to try to save the remaining Hungarian Jews from Hitler's "final solution".
Archbishop Rotta aided Wallenberg in his rescue mission, the new book says. The archbishop's report to the Vatican in the spring of 1944 "on the gravity of the situation" led to an open telegram on June 25 from the Pope asking Nicholas Horthy, the Hungarian regent, "to save many unfortunate people from further pain and sorrow." Deportations were officially halted on July 7.
Archbishop Rotta dropped the requirement that Jews be baptised before being rescued.