Pope John Paul II spoke out yesterday in remembrance of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, praying that a new relationship between Christians and Jews would be born from "sorrow over this tragedy."After praying at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem, the principal Israeli monument to those who perished in the Holocaust, the Pope asked that there would be no more hatred but only respect between the two faiths."There are no words strong enough to deplore the terrible tragedy of the Shoah [the Hebrew word for the Holocaust]," said the pontiff in what was obviously a highly emotional moment. To reinforce its importance to him, he spoke of his childhood in Poland and of Jewish friends lost in the Holocaust. "My own personal memories are of all that happened when the Nazis occupied Poland during the war. I remember Jewish friends and neighbors, some of whom perished, while others survived."He was greeted by six Jewish Holocaust survivors, including a childhood friend. The Pope also met 30 Jews living in Israel, who, like him, were originally from Wadowice, Poland. The Pope was accompanied by Israel's prime minister, Ehud Barak, whose mother's parents were killed in a Nazi death camp in Poland."I have come to Yad Vashem to pay homage to the millions of Jewish people, who, stripped of everything, especially of their human dignity, were murdered in the Holocaust," the pontiff said. "More than half a century has passed, but the memories remain.""How can we fail to heed their cry?" he said of the Holocaust's millions of victims. "No one can forget or ignore what happened. No one can diminish its scale. We wish to remember. But we wish to remember for a purpose, namely to ensure that never again will evil prevail, as it did for the ...1
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