(Vatican) Vatican Archives Opened: Desperate Letters from Jews During WWll Revealed #announcements #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen


Vatican News reports, “At the request of Pope Francis, the virtual reproduction of a collection preserving the requests for help addressed to Pope Pius XII by Jews from all over Europe after the beginning of Nazi-Fascist persecution is now accessible to all. It consists of a total of 170 volumes, or nearly 40,000 files. Only 70% of the total material will be initially available, but will later be supplemented with the final volumes currently being prepared…


A special documentary heritage that distinguishes itself from other archival series, already from the name assigned to it: “Ebrei” (Jews). A heritage that is precious because it gathers the requests for help sent to Pope Pius XII by Jewish people, both the baptized and the non-baptized, after the beginning of Nazi and fascist persecution.


The “Ebrei” series of the Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State – Section for Relations with States and International Organizations (ASRS). The series of 170 volumes in total are part of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs Collection (AA.EE.SS.) related to the Pontificate of Pius XII — Part 1 (1939-1948), and already available for consultation since 2 March 2020, in the Reading Room of the Historical Archive, by worldwide scholars.


The then Sacred Congregation for the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (from which the archival Collection gets its name), equivalent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, charged a diplomatic minutante (Msgr. Angelo Dell’Acqua) to manage the requests for help that were addressed to the Pope from all over Europe, with the aim of providing all the help possible.


Requests could be made to obtain visas or passports to expatriate, find asylum, reunify families, obtain liberation from detention and transfers from one concentration camp to another, receive news regarding deported people, supplies of food or clothing, financial support, spiritual support and much more.


Each of these requests constituted a case which, once processed, was destined for storage in a documentary series entitled “Ebrei”. It contains more than 2,700 cases with requests for help almost always for entire families or groups of people. Thousands of people persecuted for their membership to the Jewish religion, or for merely having “non-Aryan” ancestry, turned to the Vatican, in the knowledge that others had received help.


After the pontificate of Pius XII was opened to consultation in 2020, this special list of names was given the name, “Pacelli’s list, (Pope Pius XII), echoing the well-known “Schindler’s list”.

As of June 2022, the “Ebrei” series will be available for consultation on the internet in its virtual version, freely accessible to all on the website of the Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State – Section for Relations with States and International Organizations.


In the Moment article there is an example of the types of letters that are being addressed in the article.  To read the article see:



The Vatican’s Apostolic Archives are located at: https://www.archivioapostolicovaticano.va/content/aav/it.html


To access the previous postings about the Vatican Archives including Pope Pius Xll see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts   You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts.  You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee






Thank you!

Is there a direct link to this collection or the latin name of the collection?

When I enter “Ebrei” I get only 2 irrelevant documents...
Tamar AMIT

michele shari

Thank you.
Have they indexed this by family name? If not, is there any intention to do so?
Michele Farkas
Boynton Beach, FL (formerly NY)
Searching for Farkas (Carei, Tasnad in Romania), Weiszhauz (Vamospercs, Hungary & Carei, Romania), Stauber/Stambor/Stojber, Herstik, Teszler/Tessler, Ganz, Fishman/Fischman (Viseu, Dragomiresti and surrounding towns in Romania).

David Cherson

Ironically I have begun reading David Kurtzer's book, The Pope at War, which deals with the entire subject.  yes Cardinal Pacelli had a list of Jews who were baptized.

David Cherson

Nardo Bonomi

The Historical Archive of the Secretariat of Vatican State
How to search the archive by last name?
You go to the inventory of the collection https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/sezione-rapporti-stati/archivio-storico/serie-ebrei/pdf/ASRS-Inventario-Ebrei-online_1-119.pdf
Then you make a textual research of the family name.
If you find a family name of your interest, on the most left column in bold character you'll find the number of the archivial position of the file [in this archive called "posizione"] take note of the pages [here called "ff."]
Then you go to the page:
In the lower part of the page you find title "Posizioni archivistiche on-line".
You click on the link with the number of the file "Pos. . . " number.
You will be directed to the file and then you have to browse the pages.

Nardo Bonomi Braverman
Greve - Firenze- Italy
Researching on:
LUFT and GRUNBLATT from Kolomya
(Author of http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/Italy/italian.htm)


neville silverston

The most comprehensive book I have read on this subject is "Hitler's Pope" The Secret History of Pope Pius X!!. by John Cornwell  1999
Dr Neville Silverston
Cambridge UK