Pope Benedict XVI

Dialogika Resources

General Audience (excerpt)

From the conclusion of the weekly General Audience. Unofficial translation from German.

A special concern of mine today is to remember Holocaust Memorial Day. Exactly sixty-five years ago, on 27 January 1945, the concentration camp Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. The shocking reports by survivors revealed to the world the most heinous crimes of inhuman megalomania and racial hatred produced by the Nazi ideology in Germany.

The memory of these deeds, in particular the tragedy of the Shoah against the Jewish people, as well as the witness of all those who risked their lives to oppose this madness, warn us time and again to have absolute respect for human dignity and human life. All the people each nation and each continent should understand themselves to be one large family. May God Almighty enlighten hearts and minds, so that such terrible crimes are never repeated.

From the pope's remarks in Italian:

Sixty years ago, on 27 January 1945, the gates of Nazi concentration camp in the Polish city of Oswiecim, known by its German name of Auschwitz, were opened and the few survivors were liberated. This event and the testimonies of survivors revealed to the world the horror of crimes of unprecedented cruelty, committed in the extermination camps established by Nazi Germany”.

Today, we celebrate the "Day of Remembrance" in memory of all victims of these crimes, especially the planned annihilation of the Jews, and in honour of those who, risking their lives, have protected the persecuted and opposed to this mad homicide. With deep emotion we think of the countless victims of blind racial and religious hatred, who suffered deportation, imprisonment, death in those abhorrent and inhuman places. May the memory of these facts, particularly the tragedy of the Holocaust that affected the Jewish people, inspire increased conviction of the dignity of every person, so that all men perceive themselves as one great family. Almighty God enlighten hearts and minds, so that such tragedies never happen again!