Jun 1, 2009 9:32 pm


Yigal Palmor:

The trip went as planned. The controversies were totally predictable: A German pope with a past like he has, going to Yad Vashem. What do you expect?

Nothing. Certainly not that he will turn even one cheek, church doctrine or no church doctrine.

At his farewell ceremony, the Pope tried again to talk appropriately about the Holocaust. Once again, he failed to acknowledge any personal or church responsibility for the Nazi crimes. The opposite is true. by attributing the Holocaust to a"Godless regime, he sought to distance the church and himself from the atrocities despite the fact that he was a member of Hitler Youth and the church's behavior during that era was far from laudatory. See Hitler and the Concordant with the Papacy

The ceremony at the Presidential Palace was followed by one of the most solemn moments of my stay in Israel – my visit to the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem, where I paid my respects to the victims of the Shoah. There also I met some of the survivors.

Those deeply moving encounters brought back memories of my visit three years ago to the death camp at Auschwitz, where so many Jews - mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends - were brutally exterminated under a godless regime that propagated an ideology of anti-Semitism and hatred.

That appalling chapter of history must never be forgotten or denied. On the contrary, those dark memories should strengthen our determination to draw closer to one another as branches of the same olive tree, nourished from the same roots and united in brotherly love.

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