Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Pope and Kristallnacht

Catholic News Service reports:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- German-born Pope Benedict XVI said he still feels "pain for what happened" in his homeland in 1938 when Nazi mobs went on the rampage against Jews, an event that became known as Kristallnacht.

The pope was 11 years old when, on the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938, "the Nazi fury against the Jews was unleashed in Germany."

Marking the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht -- German for Night of the Broken Glass -- the pope asked Catholics to pray for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and he condemned all forms of anti-Semitism.

Pope Benedict spoke about the anniversary during his midday Angelus address Nov. 9 at the Vatican.

During Kristallnacht throughout Germany "stores, offices, homes and synagogues were attacked and numerous people were killed, initiating the systematic and violent persecution of German Jews that concluded with the Shoah," or Holocaust, the pope said.

"I still feel pain for what happened in that tragic circumstance whose memory must serve to ensure that similar horrors are never repeated again and that we commit ourselves, at every level, to fighting anti-Semitism and discrimination, especially by educating the younger generations in respect and mutual acceptance," the pope said.

He also asked Catholics to pray for the victims of the Nazis and "to join me in showing deep solidarity with the Jewish world."
The entire article is here.