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Vatican Opens Secret Archives from Pre-WWII Period

The Vatican has opened its secret archives of the pre-World War Two papacy of Pius XI.

The documents detail the 1922 to 1939 papacy of Pius XI, when his successor - the wartime Pope Pius XII - served as the Vatican's secretary of state.

For years, the Vatican has defended Pope Pius the XI against claims he did too little to save European Jews from the Holocaust. There is hope the released records could offer insight into the controversy.

However, the Vatican still has not released the records from Pope Pius the XII's papacy.

Archive officials say some 50 researchers have come to consult the nearly 30,000 files totaling millions of pages.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.