Pope Remembers Auschwitz: Urges Never Again

Recalls Victims, Those Who Opposed «Murderous Madness»

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today joined with those marking «Remembrance Day,» as the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp has its 65th anniversary.

At the end of the general audience in Paul VI Hall, the Pope recalled that on Jan. 27, 1945, the gates of the Nazi concentration camp «known with the German name of Auschwitz» were opened, «and the few survivors were liberated.»

«Such an event and the testimony of survivors revealed to the world the horror of crimes of unheard of cruelty, committed in the extermination camps created by Nazi Germany,» he said.

The Holy Father noted how today is observed as the «‘Day of Remembrance,’ in memory of all the victims of those crimes, especially the planned annihilation of the Jews, and in honor of all those, who at the risk of their own lives, protected the persecuted, opposing the murderous madness.»

«With a moved spirit we think of the innumerable victims of a blind racial and religious hatred, who suffered deportation, imprisonment, death in those aberrant and inhuman places,» he continued.

The Pontiff expressed his plea that the memory of such events, «in particular the tragedy of the Shoah that struck the Jewish people,» will «awaken an ever more convinced respect of the dignity of every person, so that all men will perceive themselves as one great family.»

«Almighty God,» he concluded in prayer, «illumine hearts and minds, so that such tragedies will not be repeated!»

Traditional greeting

In his traditional greeting to youth, the ill and newlyweds, the Pope expressed his hope «that each one in his or her own condition will contribute with generosity to spread the joy of loving and serving Jesus Christ.»

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