I normally am not a fan of hardbacks, but after reading reviews of this book, I couldn't wait for the paperback. And I'm glad I didn't. I stayed up all night reading this absolutely gripping book which shows truth is stranger than fiction.
Rabbi Dalin drops one bombshell after another, exceeding, for sheer intrigue, any conspiracy theory, and debunking along the way a legion of myths that are everywhere parrotted and nearly universally believed.
The pogroms that for 800 years have been directed against the Jews largely resulted from a weird superstition called blood libel, in which it was held that the Passover feast involved murder and cannibalism, the same charge levelled against the early Christians' communion in the Roman empire. Kings and emperors allowed and encouraged mob violence against the Jews, and it was often the popes who protected them, even excommunicating any Christian who took part in the riots.
After World War II, many Jewish leaders openly thanked Pope Pius XII for helping save Jews, among them Albert Einstein. How then did he ever get tarred as "Hitler's Pope"? The charge that Pope Pius XII was complicit with the Nazis was first levelled in a play in the '60s by a former Hitler Youth, but amazingly that charge was revived in a recent film called "Amen".
The myth caught press in a book tellingly titled "Hitler's Pope", although the author, in light of new evidence to the contrary, has since withdrawn the thesis. To the contrary, argues Dalin, Pius XII was the driving force behind the rescue efforts and deserves to be called a "rightous gentile".
The next bombshell concerns a forged anti-Jewish conspiracy theory from Czarist Russia called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which was widely circulated in Europe since Victorian times and is still reprinted, along with Hitler's biography, Mein Kampf, in Arab countries. The modern-day terrorism, Dalin contends, is an extension of the Nazi ideology and an attempt to carry out their "final solution" against the Jews. The myth of "blood libel" is still taught by these terrorists as a warrant for their jihad (holy war) against Israel.
Somehow Dalin gets all this across in 200 pages, including copious notes in an easy read so engrossing you forget it's not fiction. This is the definitive book that Garry Wills and the other self-proclaimed enemies of JPII and Pius XII need to answer, if they can, and if not, wake up. Thanks to Rabbi Dalin, the Day of Disinformation is over, and the truth shall make you free.