Archbishop of Toulouse Protests the Persecution of the Jews

(August 23, 1942)


PASTORAL LETTER FROM HIS EXCELLENCY MONSIGNOR SALIEGE, ARCHBISHOP OF TOULOUSE

On "human dignity", read out from the pulpit on August 23, 1942 without comment.

My very dear Brothers,

There is a Christian morality, a human morality, which lays down duties and recognizes rights. These rights and duties stem from the nature of man; they come from God. One can violate them... [but] no mortal has the power to do away with them.

Children, women, men, fathers and mothers being treated like a lowly herd; members of a single family being separated from each other and carted away to an unknown destination - it is our age which was destined to see this dreadful sight.

Why is there no longer any right of asylum in our churches?

Why are we the defeated?

Lord, have pity on us.

Our Lady, pray for France.

In our diocese, moving scenes have occurred in the camps of Noe and Recebedou. The Jews are men; the Jewesses are women. The foreigners are men and women. One may not do anything one wishes to these men, to these women, to these fathers and mothers. They are part of the human race; they are our brothers, like so many others. A Christian cannot forget this.

France, beloved Fatherland; France, which bears in the consciences of all your children the tradition of respect for human dignity; chivalrous and generous France - I have no doubt that you are not responsible for these errors.

Yours devotedly, dear Brothers,

(Signed) Jules Gerard SALIEGE
Archbishop of Toulouse

Source: AIU, CC-26, CDJC, CCXVIII-72


Source: Yad Vashem