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Today in World War II History—April 13, 1941

Pope Pius XII, painted by Peter McIntyre, 1944 (Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 Box 128/ NCWA 202)

Pope Pius XII, painted by Peter McIntyre, 1944 (Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 Box 128/ NCWA 202)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 13, 1941: USSR and Japan sign a five-year nonaggression pact.

On Easter, Pope Pius XII cancels usual service in St. Peter’s Square due to the war and says mass in a private chapel instead.

Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941, Molotov and Stalin in background (public domain via Russian Archives and Wikipedia)

Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941, Molotov and Stalin in background (public domain via Russian Archives and Wikipedia)