Pope Benedict XVI has visited the former Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau to finish his Polish visit. The German-born Pope prayed for peace in his native tongue during a somber ceremony.
"In a place like this, words fail," lamented the Pope. "In the end, there can only be a dread silence - a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"
Some might ask Pope Benny the same question, considering that he was formerly a member of the Hitler Youth, and watched Jews being herded into death camps while stationed in Hungary.
The prayer by God's Rottweiler was the first time he had publicly spoken German during his visit to Poland. There had been some uncertainty and controversy as to whether the Pope should speak in German while in the death camps. Some Jewish groups had said that speaking the language of the Nazis would insult the memory of the people murdered there.
The 79-year-old pontiff lit a candle in memory of the victims of Auschwitz, before meeting 32 survivors of the horrors. However, he made no apology on behalf of his German countrymen, and pointedly did not make a direct reference to anti-Semitism.
It is believed that at least 1.1 million people were killed in the death camps during the Holocaust, over 90% of whom were Jews.
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