Many people continue to believe that Pope Benedict was a supporter of the Nazi regime in his youth.
This is slander.
CatholicEducation.org published a reminiscence of Pope Benedict's life in Germany under Hitler. It was published in 1997.
When Pope Benedict was asked to describe his father's attitude towards the Hitler regime, this is what he had to say:
He [the father] was in the civil service until 1937. In Tittmoning we lived through the so-called "time of struggle", the final period of the Weimar Republic. I was still very small, but I can remember how he suffered. He had subscribed to Der gerade Weg, an anti-Nazi newspaper; I can still remember the caricatures of Hitler. He was very sharp in his terminology. The approaching seizure of power, which he saw coming, was also the chief reason why we went to the village. There the situation was obviously much less tense, even though there were unfortunately a large number of Nazis among the country farmers. He made no public opposition; that wouldn't have been possible even in the village. But at home, whenever he read the newspaper, he almost had fits of rage. He always expressed his indignation vigorously and always spoke freely to people whom he could trust. Above all, he never joined any organization, even though he was a civil servant.
Where you in the Hitler Youth?
At first we weren't, but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941, my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later, as a seminarian, I was registered in the HY. As soon as I was out of the seminary, I never went back. And that was difficult, because the tuition reduction, which I really needed, was tied to proof of attendance at the HY. Thank goodness, there was a very understanding mathematics teacher. He himself was a Nazi but an honest man, who said to me, "Just go once and get the document so that we have it..." When he saw that I simply didn't want to, he said, "I understand, I'll take care of it", and so I was able to stay free of it.
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