My Jewish Legacy | Holocaust Denial by Priest in Europe

Holocaust Denial by Priest in Europe

Holocaust Denial by Priest in Europe

Posted by Elyse in News 29 Jan 2009

Pope Criticized as Priest Says Nazi Gas Chambers ‘Disinfected’

From Bloomberg News

Email | Print | A A A

By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI again came under fire from members of the Jewish community after a second priest publicly questioned whether Jews were exterminated in Nazi camps and said gas chambers were used merely to “disinfect.”

“I know that gas chambers existed to disinfect,” Father Floriano Abrahamowicz, a priest in the northern town of Treviso, told local newspaper Tribuna in an online interview published today. “But I can’t tell you if they killed anyone or not.”

Abrahamowicz’s comments come less than a week after Bishop Richard Williamson said there was “no historical evidence” that the Holocaust ever happened. Both priests are members of the ultra-conservative Society of Pius X that was readmitted into the Catholic Church on Jan. 24.

The Vatican has distanced itself from the statements amid mounting protests from the Jewish community, culminating in the decision by Israel’s chief rabbinate to sever ties with the Holy See. The Shoah, the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis, “should be a warning for all against forgetting, denial and reductionism,” Benedict said yesterday.

Williamson, one of four hard-line traditionalists who broke with the Church in the 1980s, sparked the controversy last week when a Swedish television station aired an interview in which he said “historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy by Adolf Hitler.”

The timing of the reversal of Williamson’s excommunication and the Swedish broadcast were “absolutely unrelated,” and the pope doesn’t share Williamson’s views, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated this week.

Williamson, 68, was excommunicated in 1988 after being consecrated without papal permission by an archbishop who opposed Church reforms and founded his own fraternity in response. Williamson’s remarks “do not reflect in any way the position of our society,” Bernard Fellay, the current leader of the fraternity, wrote in a letter to the pope that the Vatican distributed on Jan. 27 to reporters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson in Rome at

Last Updated: January 29, 2009 09:13 EST

I’m totally surprised, like Wow!!  Why would he say that???  Of course they killed Jews and other non Nazi’s in the gas chambers!!  And yes there is proof of the Holocaust.  The proof is the Holocaust survivors!

If it wasn’t for the Holocaust survivors then maybe you could make an argument that this did not happen, but it did!!  Yes the Nazis killed them, all of the stories from the survivors and documentaries and movies, there is even evidence of the fingermarks from the people who were slowly dying in the gas chambers.  I just can’t belive he would say that.  I mean I know there are other people in the world who agree with him, but this is ignorant. 

  • Andrew Bodenheimer January 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm / Reply

    Elyse, that’s excellent that you are paying attention to things like this when they happen. It is important, because I think if the Catholic Church opens its arms to openly anti-Semitic groups who deny the Holocaust, then it can provide “legitimacy” to all of those who (wrongly) deny that the Holocaust occurred. There is an interesting article by two leaders from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that was posted on The Washington Post, and I am reprinting it here so you can read it. Love you!

    by Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein

    from The Washington Post On-Line

    What the Pope Should Do To Reassure the World

    Pope Benedict’s decision to undo the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, an unrepentant Holocaust denier, has been met with wall to wall condemnation. Short of the launch of a new Crusade, it is hard to imagine how the Pope could have ignited such outrage with one decision. Yet there is an even greater crisis waiting in the wings that will soon be picked up by world media. Williamson’s fellow travelers — the entire network of the breakaway Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) — are vocal enthusiasts of a medieval religious anti-Semitism that gives the Islamist imams in Pakistan some serious competition.

    The papal move to re-embrace SSPX was carefully negotiated. And if Pope Benedict was expecting any cosmetic changes in SSPX’s Jew-hatred he was dead wrong. True ideologues in their hatred, their group’s website remains unchanged. Jews, it tells us, are directly responsible for the crucifixion. Jews are cursed with the “blindness to the things of G-d and eternity.” As a people, they stand “in entire opposition with the Catholic Church.” “Christendom and Jewry are designed inevitably to meet everywhere without reconciliation or mixing.” Jews “should neither be eliminated from among us, nor given equality of rights.”

    SSPX bookstores sell the anti-Semitic screeds — “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and Henry Ford’s “The International Jew.” But Jews, we are told in an essay by SSPX icon Fr. Denis Fahey, should not worry. He explains why he is not an anti-Semite. Anti-semites hate Jews, which he does not. He hates the Jewish naturalism, which is the plot of Jews (who have secretly abandoned God for the last two millennia) to take over the world.

    Pope Benedict XVI has made a personal crusade of hastening Church unity. According to the Vatican document announcing SSPX’s rehabilitation, lifting the ban against the four bishops allows the Church to talk in earnest with the four, and the tens of thousands of traditionalist Catholics they represent. Short of assigning Bishop Williamson a stint as intern in the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum it’s not clear what else can be said to a man of God who just last week denied the Nazi gas chambers and that 6 million Jews were the victims of genocide.

    The Pope’s moves reveal a stunning blindness and deafness to the troubling reality all around him in Europe. He rehabilitated Holocaust denier Williamson in the days before both the 50th anniversary of the Convocation of Vatican II, and Holocaust Memorial day, January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest Jewish cemetery on the planet. More troubling is that this Pope’s outreach to this brazenly anti-Semitic group comes amidst an explosion of anti-Semitism not seen since the days before World War II. As synagogues and Jewish places of business are firebombed, as placards at demonstrations organized by extremist Muslim groups sport the slogan, “Upgrade to Holocaust 2.0″ and “Jews to the ovens,” the Pope has unwittingly lent credence to those who unleash hate and violence against Jews. Why now?

    Some Church apologists argue that the Pope has reached out to the four in order to rein them in. He will have more control over them, more influence over what they can teach and preach, if they are brought under the umbrella of the Church. But this move has not been accompanied by declarations that there is no turning back the clock on the teachings of Vatican II that blazed the way for new understanding between Catholics and Jews. In fact, other Church observers speak more ominously, claiming that Vatican II is “not a dogma of faith,” and therefore no barrier to the reintegration of SSPX faithful into the Church.

    Millions of Jews, and tens of millions of mainstream Catholics, wait in dismay and anxiety. The teachings of Vatican II and Nostra Aetate were the most serious moves by any religious group to undo the effects of hundreds of years of Church-inspired anti-Semitism and persecution. They also helped bring Catholicism firmly into an age of modernity, without sacrificing its integrity. They allowed hundreds of millions of Catholics to escape the tension between modernity and sincere religious belief. They do not want to
    see a return to the medieval abbey.

    Both Jews and Catholics wait for the next moves of the Holy See. The Pope can repair the public relations debacle by declaring unequivocally that the teachings of Vatican II are not optional and not just tools to be taken off the shelf for interfaith op-eds. He can state that they represent the true spirit of the Church, from which there is no return.

    The ultimate irony may lay in the fact that one of the intellectual architects of Vatican II, responsible for seeing that the progressive innovations of Vatican II were consistent with rigorous Church theology, was one Father Joseph Ratzinger–the future Pope Benedict XVI. Jews and Catholics can only pray that at the end of day it will be the voice and conscience of that Father which will ultimately prevail.

    Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is its Director of Interfaith Affairs.

    Posted by Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein on January 29, 2009 4:42 PM

  • Toby May 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm / Reply

    These are some very rare information. I would never regularly research anything on this topic about WWII. Thanks!

Post a comment

Visit Us On Facebook