Pope Francis noted that January 27 is Holocaust Remembrance Day, mentioning the annual observation after the general audience of January 25.
It is a day in “remembrance of that extermination of millions of Jewish people and people of other faiths that must neither be forgotten nor denied,” he said.
The Holy Father added:
There can be no sustained commitment to building fraternity together without first dispelling the roots of hatred and violence that fueled the horror of the Holocaust.
Family of victims
Last month, the Pontiff signed a decree recognizing the martyrdom of a Polish family, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children, who were murdered by the Nazis in 1944 for hiding eight Jews in their home. The Jews, who were also killed, had taken refuge in the home of this Catholic farm couple, the “Samaritans of Markowa,” who have been recognized as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ since 1995.
On March 24, 1944, the German police entered the Ulma home, killed the eight Jews who had taken refuge there, and then shot the couple. The German soldiers then turned their attention to the children, whom they also shot: eight-year-old Stanislas, six-year-old Barbara, five-year-old Władysław, four-year-old Franciszek, three-year-old Antoni, and one-year-old Maria. The couple was expecting a seventh child, also recognized as a martyr by the Church.