Pope’s visit to Yad Vashem and its implications: An Indian viewpoint

via VEDAPRAKASH published on May 14, 2009

How the Pope’s visit to Yad Vasham affects India and Indians?Indians may not know what “Yad Vashem” is and hence they are not bothered about what Pope does. When Indians do not bother about what Sonia, Rajiv, Ambica Soni etc., in spite of their connection with Pope or Christianity as Christians, it amounts blowing conch on the deaf ears of Indians. But we have to blow. Jews and Christians theologically cannot together as the Mohammedans with the Jews. Jews do not accept Jesus or Christ or Jesus Christ. If at all, there is any story of “saviour”, even then they consider such “Jesus” as “imposter” only. When the Hindus of secular India have been very often accused being “idolatrous” by the Christians and Mohammedans, they themselves accuse each others in their respective “holy lands”! However, the poor Hindus have not come out such propagandist stupor as they do not have any Yad Vashem to remember their perennial holocaust being inflicted even today. Jews remember their killers, murderers, persecutors and tell the history to the progeny accordingly. But here, telling such history is branded as “communalization”, “saffronization of history” and hence a taboo. Even if the Supreme Curt approves it, they are not bothered, as they are above all!


Denial of holocaust by the Vatican ad Pope’s connection with Hitler[1] : Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land next week – May 2009 provides another test for the often tense relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community. The Holocaust has been a bone of contention in the emotionally charged history between Jews and the Vatican, when he addresses there, as ever. Recalling how Benedict spent his childhood as a member of the Hitler Youth and later enlisted in the Wehrmacht [2] (defense-power), Avner Shalev, Yad Vashem’s chairman of the directorate, said: “We expect that Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at Yad Vashem will include a reference to the memory of the Holocaust in the present as well as in the future,” adding that “It is impossible to claim that these things do not have an impact,” he said. “A person’s habitat bears an influence on him, despite the fact that immediately after the war he disengaged from these things and devoted himself to studying religion.” Shalev was making the comments during a briefing for reporters in the run-up to the pope’s visit to Yad Vashem spending much time reflecting on the matter of Holocaust denial. He quoted the Holy See’s envoy to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, who told a Yad Vashem symposium that anyone who denies the Holocaust cannot be considered a Catholic. “This certainly was not a slip of the tongue, but a statement that was coordinated with his superiors,” Shalev said, reminding reporters that pressure from Yad Vashem and the Israeli government compelled the Vatican to force Williamson to acknowledge that the Holocaust did indeed take place. Hardliners have played on this, and on Benedict’s own background growing up in wartime Germany. Michael Ben Ari, a far-right Israeli MP, said on Tuesday 05-05-2009 that the pope’s visit would be an insult to the memory of Holocaust victims. “A state welcome for the pope would be turning our backs on the millions of Jews who were killed in the shadow of the Christian religion of grace and mercy,” he told a session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. “This pope was a member of the Hitler Youth.”

Ordination of bishops without Vatican’s permission : Jewish-Catholic relations have been extremely tense since Jan. 24, 2009 when Benedict lifted excommunications of four renegade traditionalist bishops in an attempt to heal a schism within the church that began in 1988, when they were ordained without Vatican permission. One of the bishops, Richard Williamson, denies the full extent of the Holocaust and says there were no gas chambers. The priestly society to which he and the other excommunicated bishops belong, the Society of St. Pius X, was recently found by a probe to have openly propagated virulent anti-Semitism. The probe’s results were made public on Thursday 07-05-2009. They found that the society’s official U.S. Web site described Jews as “the enemy of man, whose secret weapon is the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy,” adding that “heads of Jewry have for centuries conspired methodically and out of an undying hatred against the Catholic name.” <!–[if !vml]–>

What is Yad Vashem : Literally meaning “Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority”), it is  Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem[3], is housed within an angular concrete ­corridor that leads visitors through appalling stories of persecution, suffering and death and out eventually to a calming view over the Jerusalem forests Halfway down the corridor in a room on the left are two black and white ­photographs of the wartime pope, Pius XII, with a few lines of text in English and Hebrew. It is one of hundreds of displays in the museum and easily overlooked, but it runs to the heart of Israel’s often troubled relationship with the Vatican.

Pope’s visit to Yad Vashem but without entering in[4] : Pope Benedict XVI makes an official visit to the Holy Land next week and will attend Yad Vashem on Monday 11-5-2009 to lay a wreath, but he will not visit the museum or see the caption. The wording set off a diplomatic spat two years ago when the papal envoy to Jerusalem threatened to skip Israel’s Holocaust day service and it remains contentious, symbolic of the troubled history between the Catholic church and the Jewish people.

Popes against Jews and holocaust : For some, Pius XII was little more than “Hitler’s pope” and the caption at Yad Vashem is accusatory. It claims Pius “shelved” a letter against racism and antisemitism prepared by his predecessor and says that when the Vatican received news of the murder of Jews “the pope did not protest either verbally or in writing”. In December 1942 he “abstained” from signing an allied declaration against the extermination of Jews, and when Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz “he did not intervene”. “His silence and the absence of guidelines obliged churchmen throughout Europe to decide on their own how to react,” it says. Israeli academics, including researchers at Yad Vashem itself, have pressed the Vatican to open its wartime archives and shed light on documents that might explain in more detail how the Catholic church acted. Workshops and discussions on the Holocaust have been held between Yad Vashem staff and Catholic clergy. Vatican officials have tried to smooth over the differences, although Pius remains on track for canonisation. Monsignor Antonio Franco, the papal envoy who threatened to stay away from the Holocaust service two years ago, said this week that the Vatican was making a “huge effort” to accelerate the opening of the archives. Perhaps within four or five years they might be revealed, he said. “It really demands a lot of work, a lot of investigation and things must be done in a very professional way,” he said. Pope Benedict was not coming to Israel to quarrel, Franco said, but at 82 he was an elderly man with a busy schedule and a visit to the museum had “never been on the agenda”. This despite the fact that in 2000 his more charismatic predecessor, John Paul II, spent several hours at Yad Vashem listening to Holocaust survivors.

The dual role of Pope: the pilgrimage and the politics : Vatican officials have also been at pains to describe the papal tour as a pilgrimage, not a political visit. But in reality it holds much more significance. It will be only the third visit of a pope to the Holy Land and comes at a time when hope of a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians is ever more illusory. More and more Christians are leaving the area, particularly the Palestinian territories, for several reasons, among them friction with the surrounding Muslim community and the suffocating and often deadly effect of Israel’s four-decade military occupation.Only in 1993 did the Vatican sign an accord recognising the state of Israel, but the “fundamental agreement” between the two sides, with its 15 articles about property rights and hugely valuable tax exemptions, has still not been implemented. Negotiations continue. Among Palestinians, political expectations are high. They hope Benedict will speak out in support of Palestinian independence. After he says mass in Bethlehem on Wednesday he will visit Aida, a Palestinian refugee camp, where a stone stage has been built for him next to Israel’s vast concrete West Bank barrier. Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, said the camp itself symbolised the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees who were forced out or fled from what is now Israel in the 1948 war. However, it is far from clear whether Benedict will speak out on these political issues, and it now seems doubtful that he will even reach the stage in Aida camp.

Denial of holocaust – Gas chambers : There are other issues of dispute, some theological, others practical. Many Israelis were angered by the pope’s decision in January to revoke the excommunication of the British bishop Richard Williamson, who denied the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. Senior Jewish leaders said that decision threatened the reconciliation between the Catholic church and the Jewish people. In February, an Israeli TV show was forced to apologise after airing a sketch that ridiculed Jesus and Mary.

Christianity – idolatrous religion !: Some opinion polls have suggested these differences run deep. A poll of Jewish Israelis by the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations last year found that 41% regarded Christianity as an idolatrous religion, and 46% did not believe Jerusalem was a central city for the Christian world. Some 40% believed the Catholic church had a very or largely negative attitude towards Judaism and Jews. Why then they accuse Indians – Hindus in particular as idolatrous. Now, the western elites started pointing out such iconoclasts as “Talibans” in 20th and 21st centuries, but there had been many such “Talibans” in India since the advent of Mohammedans and Christians in India from 8th century and 16th century onwards. Ironically, the very same areas have been infected with such “Taliban virus” even today.

Jewish-Christian dialogue : Elsewhere there are more careful voices. Father William Shomali, rector of the Latin seminary in Beit Jala, next to Bethlehem, said there was little point hoping that the pope’s visit might alter the reality of the conflict. “After hundreds of meetings between committees and sub-committees we are still negotiating how and with whom to negotiate,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a political visit or it will continue the frustration.” Instead, he hoped the pope would emphasise prayer, acknowledgement of the suffering of others, reconciliation and religious dialogue. “If everyone recognises his own guilt, reconciliation becomes easier,” he said. As for Pius XII and his wartime conduct, although it is true the Vatican has been slow to study the issue in detail, it also appears that Yad Vashem’s verdict is not the last word. Some historians, among them Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s biographer, have come out in support of Pius as in fact an unsung hero of the war. He points out that the pope’s 1942 Christmas message infuriated the Nazis because it defended the Jews, and notes that the pope organised rescues of Jews in Hungary and intervened to stop deportations in Slovakia. In 1943, Pius tried to disrupt implementation of the Final Solution throughout occupied Italy. Nearly 5,000 Jews, Gilbert says, were sheltered in Catholic institutions across Rome with the result that a larger proportion of Jews were saved there than in any other city under German occupation.

Goa inquisition and holocaust of India : In India, there had been holocaust under the Inquisition ordered at the behest of Francis Xavier in which lakhs of Hindus – old, young and babies were killed in the most cruel and heinous way. Of course, the killing and murdering of Hindus by the marauding Mohammedans has been another darkest chapter of Indian holocaust history. And there have been such Hitlers in India, but they are projected as “saints” in India. In Goa, Francis Xavier has been such Hitler in implementing inquisition. Ibrahim Lodi, Malikkafur, Aurangazeb and others have carried on such murderous looting, killing and marauding from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. But Indians do not have any “holocaust” museum! In fact, they do not know that their forefathers, mothers and others were killed like that.


Right time for Indians to have “Yad Vashem” : If facts are not informed to the Indians, then there is to meaning in have historians in India with adjectives like eminent, progressive, secular etc., as the have been parading in India with self-imposed authority. Like Hitler, they have been also aiding and abetting the Mohammedan and Christian killers.

Francois Gautier and Holocaust museum [5] : I reproduce Francois Gautier with some para alignment and addition bullets with full credit to him. “Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists have also suffered a terrible holocaust, probably without parallel in human history. Take the Hindu Kush (= kill Hindus) for instance, probably one of the biggest genocides of Hindus. There is practically no serious research ever done about it and no mention in history books. Yet the name Hindu Kush appears many times in the writings of Muslim chroniclers in 1333 CE. Ibn Battutah, the medieval Berber traveller, said the name meant ‘Hindu Killer,’ a meaning still given by Afghan mountain dwellers. Unlike the Jewish holocaust, the exact toll of the Hindu genocide suggested by the name Hindu Kush is not available. ‘However,’ writes Hindu Kush specialist Srinandan Vyas, ‘the number is easily likely to be in millions.’  A few known historical figures can be used to justify this estimate.

       The Encyclopaedia Britannica recalls that in December 1398 AD, Taimurlane ordered the execution of at least 50,000 captives before the battle for Delhi;

       likewise, the number of captives butchered by Taimurlane’s army was about 100,000.

       The  Britannica again mentions that Mughal emperor Akbar ordered the massacre of about 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus on February 24, 1568 AD, after the battle for Chitod, a number confirmed by Abul Fazl, Akbar’s court historian.

       Afghan historian Khondamir notes that during one of the many repeated invasions on the city of Herat in western Afghanistan, which used to be part of the Hindu Shahiya kingdoms ‘1,500,000 residents perished.’

       ‘Thus,’ writes Vyas, ‘it is evident that the mountain range was named as Hindu Kush as a reminder to the future Hindu generations of the slaughter and slavery of Hindus during the Moslem conquests.’ Or take the recent plight of the Kashmiri Pandits. Over 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to flee their homeland. Many Pandit men, women and children have been brutally murdered. About 70,000 still languish in makeshift refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi. Scores of temples in Kashmir have been desecrated, destroyed, looted, more than 900 educational institutions have been attacked by terrorists. Properties of Pandits have been vandalised, businesses destroyed or taken over, even hospitals have not been spared.”

Did you know that this huge human tragedy is taking place in Free India ? Burning books, looting culture is a very important part of the plan as we have seen during early Muslim invasions, where Buddhist centres of learning were ruthlessly burnt and razed to the ground. Kashmir was also the crucible of knowledge, spirituality, a hallowed centre of learning and the cradle of Shivaism. It was known as Sharda Peeth, the abode of learning. Kashmiri Pandits excelled in philosophy, aesthetics, poetics, sculpture, architecture, mathematics, astronomy and astrology. Sanskrit was studied, propagated and spoken by women and men. Scholars like Kalhan, Jonraj, Srivar, Abhinavgupta, Somanand, Utpaldev, Somdev and Kshemendra created an intellectual centre of unrivalled repute. Fundamentalism and terrorism have been ruthless in their assault on Sharda Peeth, zealous in ravaging its heritage, and consistent only in bloodthirsty intolerance. The destruction of Hindu places of worship, forced conversions of Pandits and death and ignominy to those who resisted, were accompanied by a savage assault on literary activity. This process has been going on since centuries. As a correspondent covering India for more than 20 years, I have witnessed the terrible damage terrorism in Kashmir has inflicted upon people’s lives, their families, their culture, the very fabric of society, not only of the Kashmiri Pandits, but also Muslims in the valley, who after all, are victims too of Pakistan’s bloody designs. Hence, with two journalist friends, we started a Foundation: FACT — Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism.

FACT doing good job[7] : FACT has been conducting exhibitions in different parts of India on terrorism, focussing on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, so that the people of India, who do not suffer directly from terrorism understand, what it does to others. Their is manifold, as Francois explains, “we would like to take the present exhibition all around India and all over the world, particularly the United States, where most symposiums on Kashmir, including some organized by the US State Department, are peopled mostly by Pakistanis, Muslims and US-based Indians who are anti-Hindu. We would also like to start another exhibition on forced Christian conversions in the Northeast. Ultimately, we would like to build a Hindu/ Sikh/Buddhist Indian Holocaust Museum based in New Delhi, or in Bangalore. It will record not only the genocide of Hindus Sikhs and Buddhists at the hands of Muslim invaders, but also the terrible persecution of the Portuguese (hardly mentioned in Indian history books) and British — nobody knows for instance that 20 million Indians died of famine between 1815 and 1920, because the English broke the agricultural backbone of India to get raw materials like cotton, jute etc”. Definitely, Indians have to support for this IndianHolocaustMuseum[8].

Indians have to identify their “Talibans” within India : When Wehrmacht (German: “defence force” or more literally “defence-power”) was the name of the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945 is remembered why not Indians remember their evil killers, devilish murderers, and demonic assassins? When the same type of “Talibans” have been knocking doors at the same places as happened in the past and the killings have already been taken place at different parts of India by the same type of “jihadis” with different names, Indian Muhahideens, Al-Umma, Le-T, Jaishe-mohammed, Al-Quida, etc., why Indians should be sleeping. Incidentally, the same delish creed now imposes Jizya also proving that they have come back. And our elite, eminent, progressive and secular historians are keeping quite. We do not find any Romila, Panikkar, Mukhia or any other fellow writing anything in “The Hindu”, “Frontline”, “Economic and Political Weejkly” etc. Therefore, Indians have to identify their enemies hiding behind the masks of Maoists, Marxists, secularists, Mujahideens, “freedom fighters”, non-state players etc., as they have been the real Talibans operating within India.


Indians should not make India “Hindukush” : “Kush” in Persian means killing, killing with bleeding and so on and thus, “Hindukush” meaning killing Hindus. Thus now we have been witnessing that Secular Indians or communal Hindus are targeted, bombed and killed throughout India and even neighboring nations – Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. But the media has been telling and spreading lies and falsities using bogus terminology like Tamils are killed, Maoists killed and so on. But in reality, only Hindus are killed in all these nations, once that was Bharat. Therefore, Indians cannot and should not make India “Hindukush”.








[1] Nadav Shragai , Yad Vashem hoping pope’s speech doesn’t strain already tense ties, for details, see at:


[2] Wehrmacht < (listen) (help·info) (German: “defence force” or more literally “defence-power”) was the name of the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945.

[3] As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter. For more details, see at:


[4]   Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Holocaust still an issue as Pope Benedict prepares to visit the Holy Land, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 May 2009 21.24 BST, for more details, see at:


[5] I have reproduced these paragraphs from the article of  Francois Gautier with some para alignment and addition bullets with full credit to him. For details see at:


 Ibid.  Francois Gautier

[7] Francois Gautier.

[8] See details about Hindu holocaust museum at:


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