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Museum Welcomes Vatican Archive Announcement

Press Contacts


WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum welcomes today’s announcement that His Holiness Pope Francis intends to open the Vatican’s archival record of Pope Pius XII to allow for in-depth scholarly study beginning on March 2, 2020.

“Since the end of World War II, scholars, Holocaust survivors, and others have asked important questions about the role of the Vatican and Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “It is long overdue for speculation to be replaced by rigorous scholarship, which is only possible once scholars have full access to all of these records. This is important for the sake of historical truth, but there is moral urgency too: we owe this to the survivor generation, which is rapidly diminishing.”

For more than a decade, the Museum has enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the Vatican Archives, thanks in particular to the decision of Saint Pope John Paul II to open to researchers some archival collections relating to the rise of Nazism in Germany. These collections, however, only cover the period before 1939. Due to the generosity of the Vatican Archives, copies of many of these records have been available for researchers at the Museum since 2005.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires leaders and citizens worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum’s far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit