Recently uncovered correspondence with the Vatican suggests that Pope Pius’ file photo from the Canadian Department of Defense

Sept. 16 (UPI) — A 1942 letter discovered by a Vatican archivist shows that Pope Pius XII, who served as pontiff during World War II, likely knew about the Holocaust, an Italian newspaper reported Saturday.

According to the Roman daily Corriere della Sera, the correspondence also suggests that the late pope, who has long been criticized for failing to address the crimes against humanity committed by the German Nazis, was probably of murderous character was aware of the regime’s concentration camps.

The newspaper said the December 14, 1942 letter, discovered by Vatican archivist Giovanni Coco, was correspondence between anti-Nazi German Jesuit priest Lothar König and Pius’ secretary Robert Leiber.

In an interview, Coco said the correspondence referred to a “blast furnace” in the Belzac concentration camp and that the priest stated that “up to 6,000 men die every day, mostly Poles and Jews.”

The new correspondence, if authenticated, would cast serious doubt on previous claims that Pius and his clergy were unaware of Nazi Germany’s genocidal actions.

Historians have Pius

While it is not known how involved Catholic clergy were with specific refugees, Nazi war criminals Joseph Mengele, Klaus Barbie and Walther Rauff fled Europe on rat strings.

Barbie, who was responsible for the torture and murder of French resistance fighters, was helped in his escape by American intelligence, who saw him as a potential ally against the Soviet Union.

Although it is known that Pius

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