Pope recalls Holocaust and start of Second World War

By staff writers
September 8, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI devoted his address at an open air Mass in Viterbo, Italy, to recalling the deaths of "tens of millions of people" in the Holocaust and the Second World War.

The service on 6 September 2009 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the War.

“We cannot forget the major events that took place during one of the most terrible conflicts in history, that left tens of millions dead and provoked so much suffering for our beloved Polish people,” the Pontiff declared.

“It was conflict that saw the tragedy of the Holocaust and the extermination of so many other innocents,” he added.

On Sunday 6 September 2009, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics also spoke to an international gathering in Krakow, Poland, organized by the Catholic diocese of Krakow with the Community of Sant’Egidio.

This morning (8 September) a silent march to the gas chambers of the concentration camp at Birkenau took place, along with a memorial ceremony at the International Monument to the victims of fascism.

In the afternoon, a peace procession is taking place through the town.

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