Anorak News | Hitler’s Pope Moves Against Israel

Hitler’s Pope Moves Against Israel

by | 13th, May 2009

pope-wailing-wallWAS the Pope in the Hitler Youth by choice? On Hit and Run, Michael C. Moynihan spots that Matt Drudge is leading with Israeli criticism of Pope Benedict’s Holocaust speech at Yad Vashem.

Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin stepped up attacks on Benedict, accusing him of a fascist past: “He came and told us as if he were a historian, someone looking in from the sidelines, about things that should not have happened. And what can you do? He was a part of them.”

Everyone was part of them. Everyone was part of us. Everyone is part of history. You might not get a namecheck in a book or film but you were there when it happened.

According to Rivlin, Benedict was a “German who joined the Hitler Youth and…a person who joined Hitler’s army, which was an instrument in the extermination.”

Some 14-year-olds can be utter bastards, but making one of them, Ratzinger, responsible for the murder of six milllion Jews and millions of Slavs, gypsies, The Blitz and the inescapable haunting sickness endured by survivors of torture seems to be stretching the point.


Rivlin is presumably pointing to this 1996 statement, when the then-Cardinal Ratzinger addressed his membership in the Hitler Youth (HJ) in an interview: “At first we weren’t, but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941 (sic), my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later, as a seminarian, I was registered in the HY (sic). As soon as I was out of the seminary I never went back.”

Ratzinger’s memory is slightly off here: membership in the Hitler Youth became compulsory in 1939, not 1941, when the number of 10- to 18-year-old Germans enrolled reached an astonishing 98.1 percent. If they weren’t first compelled by their parents, school comrades, or teachers, they were then compelled by the state. It is disingenuous to state, without qualification, that Ratzinger “joined the Hitler Youth.”

arab-nazisAnd while in the HJ he…

“…served on anti-aircraft batteries” as a member of the HJ. In early 1943, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering ordered HJ members between the ages of 15 and 17 to serve as anti-aircraft gunners, in order to reroute 120,000 servicemen to more active roles on the front lines. According to historian Michael Kater, author of a history of the Hitler Youth and this terrific book on jazz culture in Nazi Germany, the total number of children conscripted into the anti-aircraft corps between 1943 and 1945 was approximately 200,000. By the end of the war, when the country was relying on a mixture of the elderly and underage, flak crews of HJ members included both boys and girls.

It can be better aruged that Ratzinger was a victim of the Nazis.

The pity is that he did not make a stand against Naziism – at least not one that is recorded. True enough to say not many teenagers would have the gumption, desire nor wherewithall to facedown Naziism, especially when they are filled with ideology of being part of the master race.

But, then, not many teeangers have the determination and fierce sense of right and wrong to one day be Pope.

Perhaps this is why the Vatican spokesman, the Rev Federico Lombardi, says the pontiff had “never, never, never” belonged to the organisation?

The Pope is not a political man, his mind on higher things. Right? As he says in the West Bank:

“The Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders.”

Look back to history to look forwards. How far back so we look – to the time when the land was promised to Jews? To the time before the 1967 wars? To the Holocaust?

As Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini, said on Berlin radio while he was Hitler’s guest in Germany:

Kill the Jews – kill them with your hands, kill them with your teeth – this is well pleasing to Allah!

How far back to you go to understand the present?

Posted: 13th, May 2009 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (11) | TrackBack | Permalink