Vatican to Open 1922-1939 Archives Dealing with Germany

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 1, 2003 ( Beginning Feb. 15, researchers will be allowed to consult the documents of the Vatican Secret Archive on relations between the Holy See and Germany, during the pontificate of Pius XI.

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According to a declaration signed by Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls and dated Dec. 28, the catalogues that may be viewed are the following: Extraordinary Ecclesiastic Affairs, Bavaria (1922-1939), Germany (1922-1939), Vatican Secret Archive, Archive of the Apostolic Nunciature of Berlin (1922-1930).

This last archive was severely damaged in 1945 during the Berlin bombings and the fire at the palace of the apostolic nunciature. Because of this, the documents relative to 1931 to 1934 were almost completely destroyed or disappeared.

The declaration says that the documents pertaining to Nazism and the condemnation of racism may be found in the archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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