Vatican Issues Document on Jewish Holocaust and Condemns Racism (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: The Vatican issued a remembrance on the Jewish Holocaust and the Nazi-inspired mass extermination of other peoples during World War II. The document condemned racism and expressed sorrow for the sins of “sons and daughters” of the Church who cooperated with or tolerated the evil, while recalling the heroism of those who assisted and protected Jews, including Pope Pius XII.
During the course of World War II, the Nazi regime of Germany, headed by Adolf Hitler, engaged in a ruthless and brutal policy of extermination of about six million Jews in countries occupied by German forces. An equal number of non-Jews, mainly in Slavic countries of Eastern Europe, also perished in death camps, including thousands of Catholic clergy. The Nazi regime was both anti-Semitic and anti-Roman Catholic, though only Jews were eventually targeted for the final solution, or total extermination.
Although anti-Semitism had existed for many centuries in predominantly Christian countries in Europe, the Nazi ideology was unusual in the ferocity of its hatred. Nazism was also a racist ideology that viewed Aryan peoples as a superior race and regarded other peoples, such as Slavs, as inferior. Some Jews, anticipating the hostility of the Nazis, attempted to emigrate from Germany, and others were expelled by the Nazis during the 1930’s. Although some Jews succeeded in establishing new homes, many others...
(The entire section is 963 words.)
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