A leading Israeli official has praised Pope Pius XII for saving Jews during the Nazi occupation of Rome, a surprise twist in a long-standing controversy over the pontiff’s wartime role. The comments by Mordechay Lewy, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, were some of the warmest ever made by a Jewish official about Pius. Most have been very critical of his record.
(Photo: Muslims in Perpignan pray in public after a Muslim youth was murdered, May 28, 2005/Georges Bartoli)
Marine Le Pen has put paid to the idea she would put a softer face on France’s National Front for elections in 2012 with anti-Muslim comments that have aroused a storm of criticism. Le Pen, the likely next far-right challenger for the French presidency, compared overflowing mosques in France with the Nazi occupation — remarks indicative of a drift to the right in parts of Europe that could let the National Front eat into support for the ruling conservative UMP party in 2012.
Percy MacLean can call on 250 years of experience to weigh up how immigrants integrate in Germany. Since his Scottish ancestor arrived in 1753, the family has produced mayors, members of parliament and even a Nazi.
An Iranian Internet site for devotees of Nazi Germany has been allowed to reopen after being blocked briefly by government censors, a news website reported, raising questions about the official attitude to anti-Semitism.
Jewish leaders reacted with dismay Sunday to comments in Pope Benedict’s new book that his wartime predecessor Pius was a “great, righteous” man who “saved more Jews than anyone else.”
(Photo: “Stumble stones” in Berlin’s Wilmersdorf district November 7, 2008/Fabrizio Bensch)
The metal plaques, called Stolpersteine, or “stumble stones,” are set into the ground at my father’s ancestral home in this picturesque village south of Frankfurt.
Pope Benedict on Sunday expressed “shame and horror” over the wartime suffering caused by his German homeland and said he was moved to mark the 70th anniversary of a key air victory with Britons.