NEW YORK–Today Pope Francis made a Shabbat visit to Edith Bruck, an 89-year-old Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, at her home in Rome.
“I have come here to thank you for your testimony and to pay homage to the people martyred by the insanity of Nazi populism,” the Pope told her, according to the Vatican.
World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder applauded the Pope:
“I am deeply appreciative of Pope Francis’s tremendous compassion in visiting Edith Bruck who survived the horror of several Nazi concentration camps, lost her family who were murdered in the Holocaust and has bravely shared her story. The Pope has demonstrated a sincere commitment to both personal kindness for the experiences of others and to the urgency of continuing to draw attention to the inhuman atrocities of genocides including the Holocaust. At a time when neo-Naziism, anti-Semitism and other bigotries are resurgent in many parts of the world, Pope Francis’s moral integrity and sense of history set the standard for other faith, political and community leaders to follow.
“My gratitude goes as well to Mrs. Bruck for her courage in telling the world about her trauma and in dedicating her life to educating people about the horrible truths of the Holocaust. As survivors age, their testimonies become increasingly priceless, and we owe our understanding of the very worst of humankind to the individuals who have taken it upon themselves to bear witness to all they have endured. Through such comprehension, we pray that such evil shall never happen again.”