Oswiecim, Poland – Pope Francis says human “cruelty did not end in Auschwitz” and that similar atrocities are being inflicted in war zones across the world today, citing prisoners who are kept in inhuman conditions and tortured.
Francis visited the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday, expressing his sorrow there in contemplative silence and prayer. Only hours later did he finally speak out about his feelings as he addressed pilgrims from a window of the archbishop’s residence in Krakow.
He said: “How much pain? How much cruelty? Is it possible that we humans created in God’s image are capable of doing these things? …Cruelty did not end in Auschwitz, in Birkenau.”
The pope continued: “Many prisoners are tortured just to make them talk. It’s terrible. Today, there are men and women in overcrowded prisons. They live — forgive me — like animals. Today, there is this cruelty. We say, yes, there we saw the cruelty of 70 years ago, how people died being shot or hanged or with gas.
“Today in many parts of the world where there is war, the same thing is happening.”