Monday, September 18, 2006

Vatican opens pre-WWII archives

BBC News
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The Vatican has opened to scholars and historians part of its vast collection of archives.

The section being opened covers the rise of Mussolini and Hitler and the run-up to the World War II.

It dates from the reign of Pope Pius XI, who was pope from 1922 until just before the outbreak of war in 1939.

Details of the Vatican's relations with Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini are expected to be of great interest to scholars.

The Vatican houses one of the world's most important historical archives, the so-called "secret archive" which contains some 2m documents dating back up to 1,000 years.


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