A Special Mission: Hitler's Secret Plot to Seize the Vatican and Kidnap Pope Plus XII
Da Capo Press
, May 1, 2007
- 304 pages
In September, 1943, Adolf Hitler, furious at the ouster of Mussolini, sent German troops into Rome and ordered SS General Karl Wolff, who had been Heinrich Himmler's chief aide, to occupy the Vatican and kidnap (and, perhaps, kill) Pope Pius XII. At the same time plans were being made to deport Rome's Jews to Auschwitz, Wolff began playing a dangerous game: stalling Hitler's plot against the pope, whom he hoped would save him from the noose in case Germany lost the war. To save Pius, Wolff and fellow conspirators blackmailed him into silence when the Jews were rounded up, hoping that Hitler would rescind his order. This tale of intrigue and betrayal is one of the most important untold stories of World War II. Dan Kurzman was the first journalist to have interviewed General Wolff following his release from prison after the war. And this is the only book to tell the full behind-the-scenes story of the plot against the Vatican and its far-reaching consequences.