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Pope Francis

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The Pope calls for peace on the 70th Anniversary of WWII

2009-10-09

Italy’s president also attended the concert, which was also organized by the German Embassy in the Vatican in an effort to promote the dignity of all men and reconciliation between the people.

Hans-Henning Horstmann
German Ambassador to the Holy See
“The message is that young people from ten countries met for peace and reconciliation. We needed a strong message and music is a strong message.”

It was a concert of great symbolism. It featured an orchestra of young people from 10 different countries who decided to interpret works banned by the Nazis. Some of the pieces of music were composed by Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, both of Jewish origin.

Once again, the Pope denounced the planned extermination of Jews by the Nazis and said he regrets the wounds the war left behind.

Benedict XVI
“...(It was..)a painful chapter of history full of violence and inhumanity, which caused the deaths of millions of people, leaving the victors divided and Europe to rebuild”.

The Pope recalled that several months before the start of the war many raised their voices to avoid conflict. Among them, he recalled the message of Pius XII in August 1939 which said that nothing is lost with peace, but with war and you loose everything.

Then the Pope asked the young generation to remember these "sad events caused by National Socialism", in order to avoid the temptation of war.

JMB/MC