The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Monday, May 29, 2006

Auschwitz and "a son of the German people"

The Pope in Auschwitz . . . . The train station in Lezajsk
Auschwitz visit 'difficult and troubling' for pope
OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) -- German-born Pope Benedict XVI, visiting Auschwitz
as "a son of the German people," on Sunday denounced the "unprecedented mass
crimes" of the Holocaust, and underlined the reality of Hitler's campaign to
wipe out Europe's Jews.

"To speak in this place of horror, in this place
where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost
impossible -- and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian,
for a pope from Germany," he said.
"In a place like this, words fail; in the
end, there can be only a dread silence," he said, "a silence which itself is a
heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent?" . . .

During his remarks, Benedict said that just as his predecessor, John
Paul II, had visited as a Pole in 1979, he came as "a son of the German
"The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish
people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the earth," he said,
standing near the demolished crematoriums where the Nazis burned the bodies of
their victims.
"By destroying Israel with the Shoah, they ultimately wanted
to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of
their own invention." . . .

Benedict did not
refer to collective guilt by the German people, but instead focused on the Nazi
rulers. He said he was "a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose
to power by false promises of future greatness."
He also did not mention the
controversy over the wartime role of Pope Pius XII, who some say did not do all
in his power to prevent Jews from being deported to concentration camps. The
Vatican rejects the accusation.
Typically, Benedict did not mention his own
personal experiences during the war. Raised by his anti-Nazi father, Benedict
was enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a teenager against his will and then was
drafted into the German army in the last months of the war.
He wrote in his
memoirs that he decided to desert in the war's last days in 1945 and returned to
his home in Traunstein in Bavaria, risking summary execution if caught. In the
book, he recounted his terror at being briefly stopped by two soldiers.
was then held for several weeks as a prisoner of war by U.S. forces who occupied
his hometown.

"A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

I know that the quote is taken out of context, yet how truly it fits Benedict's words . . .
To apologize for what has transpired is not asked from him, it is not asked from him for he could not do it. I was not hurt by the war, my acceptance means nothing . . . it is up to those who went through hell to forgive . . .
But to deny the acts of many, to call them "[A] people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness." is deceitful . . . the holocaust was not an act of few . . . it was a crime perpetrated by all from the Dutch in the West to the Ukrainians in the East, the Lithuanians in the North to the Greek in the South . . . with Germany standing in the middle of it all, orchestrating a grim Opera.
But what more could we ask for . . .
It's always easy to speak over someoneelse's problems, it's the ones that haunt us that we find so hard to exorcise.


David said...

It's ironic that the Poles resort to using the Nazi imagery considering all that the Germans put them through . . .

Anonymous said...

Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich escaped uninjured from anti-Semitic attack in central Warsaw during the Pope’s visit ...
(Shabbes bemidbar)
Reb Mordche,any comments?

Mottel said...

That should have been in the post as a link . . . must have been left out for some reason. I think it was a brilliant publicity move -it got him on CNN. B"H he wasn't hurt.

Mottel said...

As a side note, please post with a name next time.

Anonymous said...


In the word "all", don't vergot the Jews who sell there own people to the genocid.


The Zelot

Mottel said...

Zelot, are you Dutch by any chance?