Associated Press

January 1984


WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department on Friday made public a formerIy top secret report alIeging that Vatican officials helped Nazis escape from Europe after WorId War II.

The report, which was dated in 1947 said the Vatican's motives apparently were "the propagation of the faith" and that church officiaIs asked few questions of those they helped. "It is the Vatican's desire to assist any person, regardless of nationality or poIitical beliefs, as Iong as that person can prove himself to be a Catholic," it said.

The report was prepared by former U.S. diplomat in Rome, Vincent La Vista. Officials, who insisted on anonymity, said they didn't know what, if any, foIIow-up action was taken as a resuIt of the report. La Vista Ieft the U.S. foreign service in l949, according to State Department records.

The report said the, Vatican was "the largest single organization involved in the illegal movement of emigrants" after World War II, assisting a wide varity of persons, including German Nazi and Italian fascists.

Among those who were helped by the Vatican, La Vista wrote, was a person he described as "the notorious Dr. Nix," identified elsewhere in the report as Willy Nix, head of the Free German Committee in Rome.