Rome (JTA) — Pope Benedict XVI’s trip last week to his native Germany, the first since he was designated pope in 2005, afforded the opportunity to reflect on the lessons drawn from the Nazi regime and the Holocaust, the chief Vatican spokesman said.
“One cannot pass through Berlin without feeling the weight of the darkest page in the history of Germany and Europe in the last century: the madness for power and murder that marked the Nazi era,” the Rev. Federico Lombardo, the director of the Vatican press office, said on Vatican Television.
Lombardo said it had been important for the 84-year-old pope, in an address to the German Parliament, to describe the Nazi regime as a “highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss.”
It was important, too, for the pope to meet with a delegation of German Jews, which had included Holocaust survivors, Lombardo said.