Vatican City 75th Anniversary
As Zenit reported on February 10, 2004, “Vatican City this week celebrate[d] its 75th anniversary as a sovereign city.” The article continued: “Wednesday [February 11, 2004] marks the anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Pacts [better: Treaties] in 1929. Signed in the Lateran Palace by Benito Mussolini, the representative of the king of Italy, and by Cardinal Pietro Gasbarri, the secretary of the state of Pope Pius XI, the pacts [treaties] were a triple agreement: a political treaty, a financial convention and a concordat.” The article also explained:
“Among other things, the Lateran Pacts [Treaties] established the sovereign Vatican City State, made Catholicism the official religion of Italy, and regulated Church-state relations… The 1929 pacts [treaties] also established the international character of the Holy See. It is the Holy See which is recognized in international law and which carries on diplomatic relations with other nations.”
This glowing description from Zenit, an official organ of the Catholic Church, is contrasted by the very critical report by Der Stern Online, of February 10. The magazine entitled its article: “The Pact with the Devil.” It explained:
“The Treaties served as a signal for Adolph Hitler, who signed four years later a Concordat with the Catholic Church.” The article pointed out that both the Catholic Church and Mussolini’s Fascist Government profited from the Treaty, and that the Catholic Church “supported the Fascist propaganda.” Applying a statement by Pope Pius XI about Mussolini, the Fascist labeled Mussolini as “the man of predestination.” The magazine quoted an expert on German Fascism, Lutz Klinkhammer, who is presently teaching in Rome. He stated: “One can say that the Lateran Treaties have ‘catholizised’ Fascism and ‘fascismized’ Catholicism.”
To become, as a Church organization, a sovereign state and to entertain diplomatic relations with other governments and nations of this world constitutes a gross misunderstanding of Biblical teaching. As true Christians, we are not to involve ourselves with the political and governmental affairs of this world. For more information, please read our Q&A in Update #76, titled, “Voting in Governmental Elections?”
Collaboration Between Germany and the Vatican
Zenit reported on February 8, 2004, that “Germany and Vatican City State plan to issue jointly a special stamp to celebrate the 20th World Youth Day, to be held in Cologne next year. A spokeswoman of the Finance Ministry in Berlin confirmed the news Thursday.”
While such an endeavor would be unthinkable under the U.S. constitution, demanding strict separation between Church and state, the German government is obviously less restricted from such collaboration with the Catholic Church, although it CLAIMS to be a secular state.
Could Many of the Jews Have Been Saved?
On February 13, 2004, Der Spiegel Online published a disturbing article discussing whether or not the Allies could have saved many of the Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The truth is that they decided not to intervene, although they knew of the mass executions. The magazine stated: “During the last months of the war the Nazis murdered thousands of Jews in Auschwitz. The British and the Americans did not intervene, although they knew about it.” The magazine pointed out that photographs were taken by the British Airforce on August 23, 1944, clearly revealing how thousands of Jewish corpses were burned under open sky.
When former Minister President of Israel, Benjamin Netanjahu, visited Auschwitz in 1988, he stated publicly: “All what needed to be done was to bomb the railways.” He echoed a demand by Jewish organizations in 1944, that had been directed to Washington and London at that time.
Evidence shows that Washington and London knew of the Nazi murders as early as August or November of 1942. The British paper, “The Guardian,” even speculated that through the failure of Washington and Britain to intervene, hundreds of thousands of lives were taken.
Der Spiegel Online took a much more differentiated view in its article. It pointed out that an attack on Auschwitz would not have been easy. Although the concept of “precision bombing” was known, it was very imprecise at that point in time. The magazine conceded that attacks on railways would have been a possibility, but “in doing so, the Allies would have risked many victims among the Jewish prisoners…. Such a scenario was not to the liking of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.” He did not want to be seen as the person killing innocent Jews while attempting to free them, according to the magazine article.
The magazine then stated that Russia could have stopped the mass murder of the Jews much easier than the Americans and the British. When the above-mentioned picture was taken on August 23, 1944, the Red Army was only 160 kilometers away from Auschwitz. Stalin COULD HAVE STOPPED the mass murder, if he had wanted to, but he did not want to, according to the magazine. Since Stalin was a full-fledged Anti-Semite, he had no interest in saving the Jews. His interests were to destroy Hitler and Fascism, in order to bring to Europe another form of totalitarianism — that of Russian Communism.
Der Spiegel Online summarized its findings with this remarkable statement: “Whether Stalin would have tried to even prevent his Western Allies from helping the Jews remains speculation. One thing seems to be certain, however: The great war of the [Russian Motherland] was never a war to help the Jews.”
From www.voanews.com, “European Union officials meet Thursday (2/19/04) in Belgium with prominent Jewish leaders at a one-day conference on fighting anti-Semitism in Europe.” This meeting comes about as growing incidents of attacks on Jewish owned property in Europe and real or perceived threats to Jews have increased. Although, as this article points out, “young Muslims have played a large role in a reported recent rise in anti-Jewish attacks in Europe,” the incidents involve a more widespread mood. Especially in France, Jewish leaders are alarmed at the steady emergence of anti-Semitism within this key nation of the European Union.
Some Jewish leaders have stated that they now are experiencing “fear” in much the same way that existed before World War II.
Conditions in the Middle East have not helped ease these emerging tensions. Biblical prophecy unambiguously reveals that real anti-Semitism will once again sweep through the coming power-bloc now arising in central Europe!
Haider vs. Bush?
Several newspapers reported on February 13, 2004, that Joerg Haider of Austria compared, indirectly, U.S. President George W. Bush with Adolph Hitler. When asked whether he would still compare Saddam Hussein with President Bush, he answered in the affirmative and added: “Hitler, too, was democratically elected.” Subsequently, however, it was reported that Haider denied having indirectly compared Bush with Hitler. He stated that he had been misinterpreted and that he had just meant to say the opposite.
Excellent Relationships Between Germany and Austria
As NEWS-Networld reported this week, the Austrian government described the relationship between Germany and Austria as “excellent.” The article pointed out that there “exist many similarities and close contacts.”
Although this does not come as a surprise, it is still important to realize that Biblical prophecy strongly suggests a very close relationship between Germany and Austria in the years to come. Such strong relationships have of course existed in the past, and from all the Biblical evidence available to us, they will exist again in the future.