Il caso Hochhuth

ANNO 55 2014
Giorgio Fabre

The Hochhuth case
The stunning success of Rolf Hochhuth’s play The Deputy (1963) was no accident. Carefully planned, with renowned German theatre director and producer Erwin Piscator, to be a mass-media breakthrough, it also benefitted from a harsh article written by Cardinal Montini before he became he became Pope Paul VI, but published in «L’Osservatore Romano» after his election. This essay focuses on several papal interventions against Hochhuth’s play and in defence of Pius XII – the target of The Deputy. Thenceforth questions of «Pius XII and Holocaust» and «Pius XII and the Jews» arose and became a never-ending dispute. In the meantime, the Second Vatican Council condemned anti-Semitism (but not the Holocaust). Following the Pope’s intervention, several scholars and political personalities – among them Italian statesman Giulio Andreotti, the former Israeli Consul in Milan Pinchas Lapide, and Holocaust historian Saul Friedländer – joined the dispute.

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