|[images added by
London, Sunday, February 18, 2007
July 1966 David Irving (left) invited
Rolf Hochhuth to stay at his London
partment; fearing arrest in civil proceedings,
Hochhuth has not visited London since.
KGB and the plot
to taint 'Nazi pope'
THE KGB hatched a plot to smear
the late Pope Pius XII as an antisemitic
Hitler supporter and fostered a controversial play
that tarnished the pontiff, according to the
highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer to
have defected to the West.
Former Lieutenant-General Ion Mihai Pacepa,
who headed the Romanian secret service before
defecting in 1978, has broken a silence of nearly
half a century to reveal that he was involved in
the operation code-named Seat12, a Kremlin scheme
launched in 1960 to portray Pius XII "as a
cold-hearted Nazi sympathiser".
WHAT an extraordinary
story about Hochhuth, and what utter
rubbish; he was my best friend in those
years and still is a good friend; I have
two chapters about him in my memoirs.
There was never a hint of Soviet influence
-- which is not to say he may not have
been fed a corrupt dossier in some clever
way. He could be very naive.
Irving first met Hochhuth in the Hamburg
editorial offices of Der Stern on Jan 25,
recently relesaed files in the Public
Record office in London show that the
Government suspected at that time I too
was receiving Soviet financial support,
otherwise how could I be living in my fine
apartment in Mayfair just on the income of
a struggling author. Sadly untrue; or
Schön war's, as the Germans
In fact I worked 365
days a year, many hours a day, for forty
years to build up what we had -- and saw
it all seized, lock stock and barrel, in
years on: Rolf Hochhuth in
The result, according to Pacepa, was the 1963
play The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth,
which argued that Pius XII had supported Hitler and
encouraged him to launch the Holocaust. It ignited
a furious debate over Pius XII's attitude towards
The controversy was revived when the director
Costa-Gavras adapted the play for his 2002
film Amen, whose poster depicted a swastika
twisted into the cross.
The cold war plan had the motto "Dead men cannot
defend themselves" as the Pope had died in 1958.
"Because Pius XII had served as the papal nuncio in
Munich and Berlin when the Nazis were beginning
their rise to power, the KGB wanted to depict him
as an antisemite who had encouraged Hitler's
Holocaust," Pacepa wrote in an article published by
the National Review.
To obtain original Vatican documents, the KGB
recruited the Romanian foreign intelligence service
to pretend that Romania was ready to restore its
broken relations with the Vatican. Pacepa said he
was granted access to its archives by Monsignor
Agostino Casaroli, who was in charge of
confidential talks with Soviet bloc
Pacepa persuaded Casaroli, whom he met at a
Geneva hotel, that he needed to find historical
roots that would help Romania to justify publicly
its change of heart towards the Vatican. For two
years, three spies posing as priests smuggled
documents out of the Vatican archives and the
Apostolic Library to be photographed. "Everything
was immediately sent to the KGB via special
courier," Pacepa said. "In fact, no incriminating
material against the pontiff ever turned up.
Nevertheless, the KGB kept asking for more
On a visit to Bucharest in 1963, General Ivan
Agayants, chief of the KGB's disinformation
department, told Pacepa that Seat12 had
"materialised into a powerful play attacking Pope
Pius XII, entitled The Deputy", Pacepa
In his article he claims that Agayants took
credit for the outline of the 1963 play, by the
unknown Hochhuth, and added that its appendices of
background documents had been put together by his
experts with the help of the material that Pacepa
The play, published in book form with an
appendix that Hochhuth called "historical
documentation", was translated into some 20
"Today, many people who have never heard of
The Deputy are sincerely convinced that Pius
XII was a cold and evil man who hated the Jews and
helped Hitler to do away with them," Pacepa
ASKED about Pacepa's article, Hochhuth has
denied any KGB influence and insisted that the play
was all his own work. In the early 1960s he
defended his portrayal of Pius XII, saying: "The
facts are there -- 40 crowded pages of
documentation in the appendix to my play."
Hochhuth later wrote another controversial play,
Soldiers, in which he accused
Churchill of ordering the murder of
Wladyslaw Sikorski, the Polish general.
The Vatican is now pursuing its efforts to have
Pius XII declared a saint. Among those who have
defended Pius is Israel Zoller, the chief
rabbi of Rome in 1943-44, who said the Pope had
instructed bishops to allow Jews to seek refuge in
convents and monasteries.
Father Peter Gumpel, a member of the
Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints,
said of Pacepa's article: "We already knew that
Soviet Russia was very hostile to Pius XII and
started a fully fledged campaign against him.
"There was definitely a communist influence over
the play."© Copyright
Times Newspapers Ltd
Vierteljahrhundert: Der Briefwechsel Rolf
Hochhuth / Golo Mann: "Ein Kronzeuge
für Hochhuths These war der britische
Historiker David Irving, dem der Dramatiker
freundschaftlich verbunden war. Diese Beziehung
sollte in der Folge das Verhältnis zwischen
Mann und Hochhuth stark belasten."
Schriftsteller Hochhuth ist aus Sicht des
Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland ein
«geistiger Brandstifter». Diese
habe er mit seiner Verteidigung des
Holocaust-Leugners Irving bewiesen.
Irving reminisces on the German playwright Rolf
publisher scraps Rolf Hochhuth's autobiography
because of 40-year friendship with Mr
articles by Rolf Hochhuth in Junge
Hochhuth: Wellen. Critic's
fury that in 1996 somebody can still write words
of praise for the radical right-winger David
Irving without any footnote. 'Because I am
Hochhuth,' says Hochhuth obstinately."
Jews force Rolf Hochhuth to eat crow: apologises
for backing David Irving as serious
Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin, 26. Februar 2005,
relativiert seine Irving-Äußerung
N24, 24. Februar 2005, "Ehrenerklärung"
für Irving: Giordano kritisiert
Netzzeitung.de, 25. Februar 2005, Hochhuth
will öffentlich mit [Paul] Spiegel
Hochhuth will Streitgespräch mit Paul
LVZ Online [Leipziger Volkszeitung], 25.
Februar 2005, Hochhuth
vor dem Fall?
Pro-Israel Springer group slams Germany's
leading leftist playwright Rolf Hochhuth for
praising Mr Irving Der
Tagesspiegel: Rolf Hochhuth lobt
| Die Zeit: Jens Jessen, "Auf
der Suche nach dem Skandal: Hochhuth und der
Hochhuth verteidigt Holocaust-Leugner
Hochhuth talks about his demand
for a bombing war museum in Germany, and his
forty year friendship with David Irving |
of David Irving with Rolf Hochhuth
für ein Bombenkriegsmuseum; David Irving;
und Winston Churchill (all in German)
Deutschland [Germany's communist
newspaper], 15. März 2005: Hochhuth
lesen! Der rechten »Jungen Freiheit«
gab Rolf Hochhuth ein Interview. Was soll man
von ihm halten?
Zeitung, 15. März 2005: Geplanter
Gastauftritt von Rolf Hochhuth sorgt für
Ärger: Am 24. April kommt der
Historiker als Gast der
Diskussionspartner nach Wuppertal.
Jüdin Eva Menasse in Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung: Skandale: Keine Gnade
fur Hochhuth [No