Church of Spies by Mark Riebling

Author Rating:
4.25/5,
  • Author:
    Mark Riebling
    The late 1930's saw a rapid realisation by the Catholic Church that any temporary lull in anti clerical operations by the Nazis was likely to be short lived . Probably the strong Catholic faction in Bavaria had provided a degree of cover but the rhetoric was building. Events in Poland at the start of the war were to show the plan to crush the Catholic Church there and to liquidate it's hierarchy.

    PIUS XII faced the rise of Hitler with no army other than the Swiss Guard. The Italian Papal states were reduced to Vatican City and subterfuge would be his best course of action.

    On the one hand Pius played an open policy of reaching working arrangements with the new German regime . On the other hand subtle alliances were formed with anti Hitler factions at the highest levels of the German military.

    The book is a well researched fascinating story that explains how some of the myths of Pius's pro Nazi views entered circulation.

    Mark Riebling is no stranger to the grey world of political espionage (See Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA).The book draws on a wide range of sources including the Hoover Institution and the US National Archives. The 249 pages of the book are backed up by a remarkable 99 pages of notes and source references. There is a good index and a helpful list of abbreviations .

    The detail is invaluable for further research and writing but also makes a good read of a fascinating tale.

    Basic books have produced a good quality publication with a £19.99 price and a Kindle edition is also available. Amazon link is
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