The Diplomacy of the Holy See Towards the International Committee of the Red Cross on the subject of Prisoners of War: 1939-1944

Author/s Jacopo Pili
Online First 12/14/2023 Issue 2024/304
Language Italian Pages 27 P. 1-27 File size 170 KB
DOI 10.3280/ic2024-15935
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The Geneva Convention of 1929 placed the Holy See at a disadvantage in relation to the Red Cross on the subject of aid for prisoners of war, and the attempt by Vatican humanitarian diplomacy to obtain recognition of the work of its Information Service by the belligerent countries during the Second World War was viewed with suspicion by the International Committee and some national Red Cross societies. Attempts made to establish cooperation between the Red Cross and the Vatican on the subject of prisoners of war were weakened by this competition and reciprocal mistrust: if the Icrc believed that the Holy See should limit its action to spiritual support, the latter sometimes regarded the Geneva-based organisation with suspicion. Despite this, forms of collaboration gradually emerged as the conict continued and the humanitarian emergency widened, laying the foundations for the future relationship between the two humanitarian actors.

Keywords: prisoners of war; Humanitarian diplomacy; Holy See; Red Cross; Second war world; humanitarism

  1. Alastair Ager, Joey Ager (2015), Faith, Secularism and Humanitarian Engagement: Finding the Place of Religion in the Support of Displaced Communities, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Michael Barnett, Janice Stein (a cura di) (2012) Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism, Oxford, Oxford U.P.
  3. Annette Becker (2003), Oubliés de la Grande Guerre. Humanitaire et culture de guerre 1914-1918, Paris, Hachette
  4. David Bidussa (2020), La misura del potere, Pio XII e i totalitarismi tra il 1932 e il 1948, Milano, Solferino
  5. Pierre Bletet (a cura di) (1965-1981) Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre mondiale, 11 vol., Città del Vaticano
  6. Lucia Ceci (2013), L’interesse superiore, Il Vaticano e l’Italia di Mussolini, Roma-Bari Laterza
  7. James Crossland (2011) A man of peaceable intent: Burckhardt, the British and Red Cross neutrality during the Second World War, “Historical Research: the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research”, 2011, n.84 pp.165-182.
  8. James Crossland (2014), Britain and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1939-1945, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan
  9. Delphine Debons (2009), Le CICR, le Vatican et l'œuvre de renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre: rivalité ou collaboration dans le dévouement? ‘Relations internationales’, n.138, pp.39-57, 10.3917/ri.138.0039.
  10. Francesca Di Giovanni, Giuseppina Roselli (a cura di) (2004) Inter arma caritas: l'Ufficio Informazioni Vaticano per i prigionieri di guerra istituito da Pio XII, 1939-1947, (Città del Vaticano: Archivio Segreto Vaticano.
  11. Mara Dissegna (2020), The International Committee of the Red Cross, the Vatican and Prisoners of War in Alberto Melloni, Giovanni Cavagnini, and Giulia Grossi (a cura di) Benedict XV: A Pope in the World of the 'Useless Slaughter (1914-1918), Turnhout: Brepols, pp.459-478.
  12. Nobert Götz, Georgina Brewis, Steffen Werther (2020), Humanitarianism in the Modern World: The Moral Economy of Famine Relief, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  13. Matthew Hilton et al (2018), History and Humanitarianism: A Conversation, “Past & Present”, n.241, pp.1-38.
  14. David P. Forsythe (2005), The Humanitarians. The International Committee of the Red Cross, Cambridge, University Press.
  15. Dena Freeman (2019), Tearfund and the Quest for Faith-Based Development, London, Routledge.
  16. Marie Levant, Nina Valbousquet (a cura di) (2022), Religion et humanitaire: renouveau historiographique et chantier des archives Pie XII, in “MEFRIM” n.134, Rome, Ecole française de Rome.
  17. Marie Levant, Laura Pettinaroli and Olivier Sibre (a cura di) (2022), Le Vatican, acteur global au XXe siècle Le tournant des années Pie XII, (1939-1958), “Monde(s)” n.22, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes.
  18. Helena F.S. Lopes (2018), The Macau Delegation of the Portuguese Red Cross during the Second World War, “The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth history”, n.46; pp.1125-1147, DOI: 10.1080/03086534.2018.145254
  19. Roberto Mazza (2020), A Coherent Inconsistency: Italian Cultural Diplomacy in Palestine, 1918–1938, in “European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine”, 1918–1948.
  20. Dolores Martín-Moruno Feeling humanitarianism during the Spanish Civil War and Republican exile, “Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies,” 21 (4), 2020, pp. 445-457. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-00824-5_
  21. Leon Papeleux (1991), L’action caritative du Saint-Siège en faveur des prisonniers de guerre (1939-1945), Bruxelles, Institut Historique Belge de Rome,
  22. Johannes Paulmann (a cura di) (2016) Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid in the Twentieth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  23. Laura Pettinaroli (2020), The Holy See’s Humanitarian Diplomacy towards the Russian World (1914-22), in Alberto Melloni, Giovanni Cavagnini, and Giulia Grossi (a cura di) Benedict XV: A Pope in the World of the 'Useless Slaughter' (1914-1918), Turnhout, Brepols, pp.1087-1104
  24. Stefano Picciaredda (2003), Diplomazia umanitaria. La Croce Rossa nella Seconda guerra mondiale, Bologna, il Mulino.
  25. Davide Rodogno (2021), Night on Earth: A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East, 1918–1930, Cambridge, Cambridge U.P.
  26. Oliver Sibre (a cura di) (2018), La diplomatie globale du saint-siège au défi des sciences humaines: bilans, problématiques et nouvelles perspectives, “MEFRIM” n.130, Rome, Ecole française de Rome.
  27. Peter Stamatov (2013), The Origins of Global Humanitarianism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  28. Massimiliano Valente (2019), Benedetto XV e l’Ufficio provvisorio per informazioni sui prigionieri di Guerra (1914-1918), in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Biblioteken (QFIAB), 99, pp. 367-386
  29. Christine Winter (2013), Limits of Impartiality: The Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Australia during the Second World War, in “History Australia,” n.10, pp.56-74,
  30. Paolo Zanini, The Holy See, Italian Catholics and Palestine under the British Mandate: Two Turning Points, in “The Journal of Ecclesiastical History”, 67, 2016, pp.799-818. DOI: 10.1017/S002204691500333
  31. Paolo Zanini (2022), Rivendicazioni nazional-cattoliche e guerra fascista: La campagna per i Luoghi Santi dell'estate 1940, in: ‘Violenza sacra. V.2: Guerra santa, sacrificio e martirio in età contemporanea,’ M. Paiano ed. (Roma: Viella, 2022) pp.149-172.

Jacopo Pili, Il dialogo tra Vaticano e Comitato Internazionale della Croce Rossa sulla questione dei prigionieri di guerra (1939-1944) in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 304/2024, pp 1-27, DOI: 10.3280/ic2024-15935