Monday, April 14, 2008

Pope Benedict XV knows

As a boy of fourteen, Joseph Ratzinger had a cousin who had been born with Down's Syndrome, only a bit younger than himself. In 1941, German state "therapists" came to the boy's house and probably informed the parents of the government regulation that prohibited mentally handicapped children from remaining in their parents' home. In spite of the family's pleas, the representatives of the Nazi state took the child away. The Ratzinger family never saw him again. Later the family learned that he had "died," most likely murdered, for being merely "undesirable," a blemish in the race, and a drain on the productivity of the nation. This was Joseph Ratzinger's first experience of a murderous philosophy that asserts that some people are disposable.

Many people are expecting Pope Benedict XVI to speak out in defense of human life and against abortion during his visit to the United States next week. What few people realize, however, is that the pope knows first hand what happens when a society refuses to defend the most defenseless of its citizens.

Pope Benedict XV=Joseph Ratzinger, the cousin of a child with Down syndrome who was killed by the Nazi's simply for being born "different".

In the next few weeks, I intend to write about Hademar, the institution where children with disabilities were sent by the Nazis. I told a story about Hademar at a Teacher's conference once, and there wasnt a dry eye in the house. The story is sobering, painful, and real. It is comforting, in a way, to know that even the Pope knows just HOW real eugenics is.

3 comments: said...

I spent 6 years in Germany. I visited Dauchau. I had friends who had grandparents with the camp numbers forever printed on their arms.

I will be very interested in reading your next posts.

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Well the remodeling of your blog is done! I hope you like it. If there is anything you want to add or change and need help let me know.

And I LOVED all the pics of Ciarra! A few of them I couldn't use because they were too small, but I think it turned out well.

Debbie Yost said...

Hi Michelle,
I just dropped by because Shannon pointed me here. Love the new design. I didn't know that about Pope Benedict, but unlike you, I am not a political and news junkie. :) Thanks for sharing.