The pope who was once a member of the Hitler Youth arrives in the Holy Land and condemns anti-Semitism





Pope Benedict used his first speech in Israel to remember the six million Jews killed by the Nazis and try to heal fresh wounds over his reinstatement of a bishop who denied the Holocaust.

The pontiff also called for he establishment of an independent Palestinian homeland - putting him at odds with the new Israeli government.

'Tragically, the Jewish people have experienced the terrible circumstances of ideologies that deny the fundamental dignity of every human person,' he said.

'I will have the opportunity to honour the memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah,' the German-born pope said, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust, 'and to pray that humanity will never again witness a crime of such magnitude'.

Pope Benedict was forced to join the Hitler Youth when he reached the age of 14, in 1941. According to his official biography, he was an unenthusiastic member and refused to attend meetings although he later served in a Hitler Youth anti-aircraft unit.


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