Pope recalls ‘Crystal Night’ of ‘our older big brothers’
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Pope recalls ‘Crystal Night’ of ‘our older big brothers’

Pontiff marks 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht by stressing 'closeness and solidarity with the Jewish people'

Pope Francis attends a vigil for peace in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Saturday, September 7, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis attends a vigil for peace in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Saturday, September 7, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Riccardo De Luca)

ROME – Calling Jews “our older big brothers,” Pope Francis marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht by renewing what he termed his “closeness and solidarity with the Jewish people.”

Francis spoke about the anniversary following his Sunday address to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

“Today is the 75th anniversary of the so-called ‘Crystal Night,’ ” he said. The violence on the night between Nov. 9-10,1938 against Jews, their synagogues, homes, and businesses, he said, “signaled a sad step toward the tragedy of the Shoah.”

He added, “We renew our closeness and solidarity with the Jewish people, our older big brothers. And we pray to God that the memory of the past, the memory of past sins, helps us to be ever vigilant against any form of hate and intolerance.

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