Operation Rabat

(capital city of Morocco)

'Rabat' was a German unrealised plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII and the diplomatic corps of the Vatican state (late 1943/January 1944).

The plan is believed to have been originated by Adolf Hitler, who then withdrew his approval on the grounds of the worldwide disapprobation which would have followed. The basic nature of the plan, to have been implemented in January 1944, was for men of SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Bruno Streckenbach’s 8th SS Kavalleriedivision 'Florian Geyer', disguised as Italians, to enter the Vatican in Rome and seize the pope for swift removal to Lichtenstein castle near Reutlingen in the south-western part of Germany or, according to other sources, merely to kill the pope.

The motive for the scheme seems to have been the concerns in the Nazi leadership about the pope’s perceived pro-Allied attitude and also his lack of antagonism to Jews, which went as far as concealing them in Roman Catholic monasteries.