February 13, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

A documentary film crew from San Francisco, California, was in London on January 23, 2019 to interview Dr. Robert Ventresca, Associate Professor in the Department of History.

Director and Producer Steven Pressman, with help from cinematographer Dave Sperling, interviewed Dr. Ventresca for an upcoming documentary with the working title of Holy Secrets: The Vatican, the Americans and the Holocaust.

Dr. Ventresca and Pressman discussed the Vatican’s role in, and response to, the Holocaust which, Dr. Ventresca explains, “remains one of the most controversial topics in the history of the 20th Century.”

Pressman says he wishes to shine a spotlight on those in the United States, both in the clergy and diplomatic circles, working behind the scenes to influence the Vatican and attempt to convince them to side with the Allies, and to denounce Hitler and fascism.

Pressman says that when he was conducting his initial pre-production research for the film, “Dr. Ventresca’s name popped up pretty immediately.” Pressman had heard about Dr. Ventresca’s work on the Vatican and the Holocaust, which the latter discussed in detail in his book, Soldier of Christ, his biography of Pope Pius XII.  Dr. Ventresca’s name had continued to be on Pressman’s list of people to interview because “he’s one of the experts in this field.”

This is not the first time Dr. Ventresca has appeared in a documentary, as he was interviewed as part of 2018’s Pope: The most powerful man in history on CNN.

“I see it as one of the primary responsibilities of the historian, especially in our day and age when we seem to be suffering from bouts of historical amnesia, to set the historical record straight,” Dr. Ventresca says.

Pressman isn’t sure where the documentary will air as yet. His 2013 film, 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, has aired on HBO. He was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Historical Programming – Long Form.

At King’s, Dr. Ventresca teaches History 1404E (The Totalitarian Age), History 1812G (Revolutions in World History), and History 3809F (History, Ethics and Public Policy). He is also a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada.