The pope condemned the current wave of anti-Semitism and warned of the threat of populism, according to a SWC statement on Wednesday.
Francis commented on the facsimile that the letter written and signed by Hitler in 1919 makes it clear that he did not care about the German people, but only promoted a dangerous ideology.
The Pope encouraged the SWC to continue to serve as a bridge between the past and the future. “Continue to commemorate history so that it may benefit the future,” Francis was quoted as saying.
Second visit in a few years
Representatives of the Los Angeles-based Center Against Antisemitism were last at the Vatican in January 2020. The occasion at the time was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Pope Francis strongly condemned all forms of anti-Semitism in the face of the “barbaric resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents,” the Vatican said on Wednesday. He also called on Christians and Jews to think more about their common heritage.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a Jewish, politically active non-governmental organization. Named after Holocaust survivor and “Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005), it was founded independently in 1977. The center deals primarily with the topic of the Holocaust. The organization has other locations in New York, Miami, Jerusalem, Paris and Buenos Aires.