Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Hitler Youth and the Vatican - By Marc Ash

I guess the question is this, are we a product of our past actions or sins? Better yet, should we continue to believe in an organization that has a history of misleading or simply lying to the public? Do we have a moral obligation to question this type of duplicity? If these types of religious organizations can’t stand up to the test of truth and morality, does morality/truth even exist in the form that these institutions teach?

Boys as young as 14 faced advancing allied forces, often fighting to the death. Death, however, was not always the fate that awaited the young Germans, some were captured. The American and English soldiers who questioned the young prisoners noted two things almost categorically: most of the child soldiers were or had been Hitler Youth, and those who had held membership in the Fuhrer's youth corps were impossible to reason with. Passionate ideological mind-sets were reportedly common among these boys.

Recent worldwide press attention to the boyhood membership of now-Pope Benedict XVI in the Hitler Youth Movement has re-focused the attention of world on the origins of the catastrophic conflict that engulfed mankind in the mid-twentieth century. The debate has been focused in particular on what constituted a good German at that time.

Why Does All This Matter?

The Vatican contends today, as it has always contended, that they 'don't do politics.' History disagrees, particularly with regard to the Vatican's relationship with the Nazis. Serious allegations have swirled for years about the Vatican's complicity with the Nazis during and after the war. Those charges have resulted in several investigations and at least one lawsuit, but no more. The Vatican has refused repeated requests to open its archives from the period. Until they do so, the question remains open, as well it should.

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