Help! Nazi Pope Allegation


Hello all!

I am having a small problem, and I need some help from you. My boss is a very liberal secular progressive that has no use for religion at all. He is a VERY liberal Lutheran, and we do not talk about religion if I can avoid it. (Yes, I know I need a new job, but I only have to work here another two months and I am off to Texas A&M to work on my PhD.).

Today we had a real issue. He accused the Pope of, at one point in his life, being a Nazi sympathizer. Naturally, I was offended and left his office in a hurry. What I need from you guys is some documentation that will prove his claim is not true. Credible sources only please. Cheers!



It’s a well-refuted charge. Search such terms as “Hitler’s Pope”, and “hitler pope pius XII”

In fact, it is estimated that the Catholic Church saved 800,000 Jews during the war - more than any of the allied nations saved (and they had military power, unlike the Church).


Sadie, here are some articles that should help:


I got the impression from your post that you were speaking of Benedict XVI not Pius XII (as others have answered). Pope Benedict was a member of the nazi youth as it was mandated for all youth–but he defected from it.


Thanks to all those that helped…but I am not talking about that Pope…I am talking about the current Pope…




That is correct…I am talking about Benedict XVI


I think “defected” my be the wrong word. He got out of it. Here’s an article from the mainstream media:

In his memoirs, he wrote of being enrolled in Hitler’s Nazi youth movement against his will when he was 14 in 1941, when membership was compulsory. He says he was soon let out because of his studies for the priesthood.

Two years later, he was drafted into a Nazi anti-aircraft unit as a helper, a common fate for teenage boys too young to be soldiers. Enrolled as a soldier at 18, in the last months of the war, he barely finished basic training.,2933,153862,00.html


Ah, the “Nazi Pope” threw us off.

Yes, as a youth Josef Ratzinger was compelled to enter the Hitler youth and later the military. He later deserted before the war ended. From Wikipedia (consistent with the facts that came out when this whole question came up):

“Following his fourteenth birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was enrolled in the Hitler Youth — membership being legally required after December 1939[4] — but was an unenthusiastic member and refused to attend meetings[5]. His father was a bitter enemy of Nazism, believing it conflicted with the Catholic faith. In 1941, one of Ratzinger’s cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was killed by the Nazi regime in its campaign of eugenics. In 1943 while still in seminary, he was drafted at age 16 into the German anti-aircraft corps. Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry, but a subsequent illness precluded him from the usual rigours of military duty. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family’s home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the War in summer 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year.”


Oooookaaayyy; trying this again :wink: :


Popes are infallible when performing their duties, not impeccable. All sorts of nasty people have done the job.
Unless you are a personal friend of the present incumbent there is no pressing need to defend his past life. Maybe he was a Nazi, maybe not. What of it?


Common misapprehension: being in the German Army makes one a Nazi. The Nazi Party (political) was in charge of Germany, but not all Germans belonged to the party. Some in the Army were certainly members, but many were not. Being a member of the US army does not automatically make one a Republican does it?:smiley:


Commonj misapprehension: being in the German Army makes one a Nazi. The Nazi Party (political) was in charge of Germany, but not all Germans belonged to the party.

A very good point. This was somewhat of a Hollywood myth because German soldiers in World War 2 movies made great evil enemies that could be killed without any real worries of guilt.

I am German and my Grandfather was conscripted to the German Army and fought against the Soviets at Konigsberg (what is now Kaliningrad).

He was by no means a NAZI and my family were not supporters of Hitler or the NAZI Party. I could share some stories from those times, but this is not the thread.

Needless to say, when they came and told you that you were in the army - or in Ratzinger’s case manning an anti-aircraft gun - you did what you were told, because there were consequences of not doing so. Conscientous Objection wasn’t exactly well-received by the Nazi Government!


My uncle also grew up in Germany. He is a devout Catholic and was forced to join the Nazi Youth or Hitler Youth. In NO way did he or does he believe in anything the Nazi Party stood for. Since he was forced as the Pope how can someone hold it against him.


People get this information from mainstream media. The media are in the business of spreading hatred and misinformation. They are professional liars.

Politicians maintain control over people by divide and conquer. That’s one of the reaons that we have wars. Politicians use their lackeys in media to spread hatred and demonize various groups. It worked for Hitler, and it works for our politicians.

ابو كمون


Even though this isn’t the thrust of your question, Pope Pius XII in WWII was such an ally to the Jews and an inspiration to these persecuted people that the Head Rabbi of Rome converted to Catholicism shortly after the war.

That fact alone should refute any false accusations against the Pope during the WWII.

Regarding our good Pope of today, I’d like to see Sadie ask her boss what he would do if he were drafted into the army at 14 - an army that shot deserters in front of all their comrades as a lesson to others.


Here’s the analysis from a prominent Jewish website:

It doesn’t appear to share the conclusion of your boss.


That’s true, German General Irwin Rommel was not a Nazi either.



He was part of the Hitler Yough but the thing is that EVERYBODY was! You know what would happen if his parents would not make his sign up or if he would refuse? I think you can imagine the consequences…

So, just because he was a member he wasn’t a Nazi. He never agreed with them and only did what he had to do for his own sake and for the sake of his whole family.

Besides that he was just a kid.


I greatly admire the Pope. As an outsider who strives for objectivity and empathy, I am of the opinion that he is the only world leader not ruled by the love of money.

The intention of my previous comment was to suggest that others who wore the same uniform strove to be decent and honorable men. It seems that we are all given an imperfect starting point in life, and that we must work within the confines of our situation to do the best that we can.

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