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Never again such tragedy in the name of racial and religious hatred

· Appeal after the General Audience on the Day of Memory ·

After the General Audience on Wednesday, 27 January, the “Day of Memory”, the Holy Father made an Appeal in remembrance of all victims of racial hatred and religious crimes, in particular the tragedy of the Shoah. The following is a translation of the Pope's Appeal, which was given in Italian.

Seventy-five years ago, on 27 January 1945, the gates of the Nazi concentration camp were opened in the Polish city of O{l-sacute}wi{l-eogonek}cim – known in German as Auschwitz – and the few remaining survivors were freed. This event and the testimonies of the survivors reveal to the world    the horror of the unprecedented crimes committed in the extermination camps created by Nazi Germany.

Today, we observe the “Day of Memory”, in remembrance of all the victims of those crimes, especially of the planned extermination of the Jews, and of all those who, in the face of homicidal madness, risked their lives to protect the persecuted. Our hearts are moved as we think of the countless victims of a blind religious and racial hatred who suffered deportation, imprisonment and death in those abhorrent and inhuman places. The memory of these events, particularly of the tragedy of the Shoah that struck the Hebrew people, evokes the need for an ever more earnest respect for the dignity of every person, so that all men and women may see themselves as part of one large family. May God almighty illuminate our hearts and minds, so that these kinds of tragedies may never be repeated!

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