by JF

An impressive and well documented work which exposes the connections between the “Vatican Ratlines” and “Operation Paperclip” in the latter stages of WWII and the ensuing years of the so-called Cold War. The book must get high marks in showing this connection.

Unfortunately the authors, like so many researchers in our spiritually bereft times, bring with them into their investigation the presupposition that the Vatican, for all its adroitness at espionage and intrigue, is at the mercy of the governments of the United States and Britain, rather than the other way around. The authors are never able to shake themselves loose of this presupposition, despite the fact that, time and again in the telling of their factual story, they appear mystified as to certain apparently inexplicable acts of acquiescence to the Vatican by the governments of these two nations–acts of acquiescence usually resulting in the pardoning of more Nazi war criminals so that they could be ferreted out to the New World or else to various parts of eastern Europe to help fight the vaunted threat of Communism. Another item which the authors don’t seem to have a proper handle on, and which again appears to leave them a bit befuddled, is the pattern of high level espionage that was carried on by Allan Dulles. As the authors document, Dulles, while ostensibly working on behalf of the U.S., in effect began his own private intelligence agency and then saw to it that the bulk of U.S. intelligence services did not know what was happening regarding the smuggling out of wanted Nazi war criminals. His actions always dovetailed with the wishes of the Vatican, and always transgressed official U.S. policy, yet the authors never make the obvious connection that Dulles was an agent of the matchless intelligence network of the Vatican itself: They instead assume that Dulles was some kind of maverick acting on his own, which is foolishness.
Another item of rather unique interest that surfaces in the research of Aarons and Loftus: They record much, and make much, of the espionage activities of a certain Soviet spy named “Turkul” who apparently penetrated and, for a time, compromised the intelligence network of the Vatican itself. If this is true, this certainly would help to account for the rabid anti-communist crusades in which Pius XII was ceaselessly engaged in the 1950s–which is a history which has been largely forgotten about nowadays but which is documented admirably in several works by the author Avro Manhattan. Of course, the authors themselves do not come to any sort of reasonable conjecture on this, nor do they discuss the possibility at all.

Thus, taken as a whole, though this book reveals much of the sinister facts behind the Vatican Ratlines, it is a book to be gleaned from, and the author’s obvious presuppositions are not to be trusted implicitly. It is especially valuable for the connections the authors seem to make between the Ratlines and Operation Paperclip, and for some of the other valuable documentation which allows the reader to make some reasonable conjectures on his own. But again, the reader will have to take this information and connect the dots on his own. The preconceived bias of the authors towards the Vatican–that it is geopolitically subordinate to mere secular governments–should be taken with a grain of salt.

Rating: Δ Δ Δ