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Rome Reports

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Slovakia's Jewish community: I hope the world hears the Pope's words

Pope Francis visited Bratislava's historic Rybné námestie square to speak with members of Slovakia's Jewish community. Many of them were Holocaust survivors who welcomed the Pope's message of hope and unity among people of different faiths. 

"The speech of Pope Francis where he is supporting us, where he is calling us, for the better, for dialogue, is very very important."

"I feel terrific and sad. Sad for so many people of my family and others near my family. But I hope that the Pope's words are going to be heard all over the world."

Among those present were Christians who helped hide Jews during the various waves of Jewish deportations throughout` Slovakia.

"My father in 1942 occupied in his office the son of this doctor who was 17 years old, a young man, a student of secondary school in the town Žilina."

Pope Francis spoke at the site of the former Bratislava synagogue, which was destroyed under Slovakia's communist regime. Today, it is the site of a Holocaust memorial, commemorating the 105,000 Slovak Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.