The Pope has said countries have a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism and the “virus of indifference” threatening to erase the memory of the Holocaust.
Francis’ comments to an international conference on Monday comes as the largely Roman Catholic Poland considers legislation that would outlaw blaming Poles for the crimes of the Holocaust.
The proposed legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel.
Francis did not mention that dispute, but spoke of his 2016 visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp which the Nazis set up in occupied Poland during the Second World War, saying he remembered “the roar of the deafening silence” that left room for only tears, prayer and requests for forgiveness.
He called for Christians and Jews to build a “common memory” of the Holocaust, saying: “It is our responsibility to hand it on in a dignified way to young generations.”
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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