Posted on October 25, 2018

The Pope Compares Populists to Hitler

Julian Robinson, Daily Mail, October 24, 2018

Pope Francis has compared populists to Hitler and said the ‘sowing of hate’ was to blame for the Second World War.

The 81-year-old pontiff told crowds at a book launch in Rome, Italy that Nazi Germany rose to power through the use of populism.

Increased efforts, he said, were now needed to teach the young about the history of the First and Second World Wars ‘so that they do not fall into the same mistake and know how populism spreads.’

Pope Francis was speaking at the launch of a book about the wisdom of the older generation. Film director Martin Scorsese was present at the event.

According to ANSA, the Pope said: ‘It is important that young people should know how populism is born.

‘I think of Hitler last century, who had promised the development of Germany. That we know how populism starts: by sowing hate. You can’t live sowing hate.’

The Pope’s comments were made after a woman who teaches Italian to refugees told him at the book launch that she was concerned about a rise in anti-migrant sentiment.

DW reports that Francis cited the Bible as saying refugees should be welcomed.

But he said governments are entitled to set immigration limits, adding that it was ‘important for all of Europe to strike a deal on this problem’.

In January last year, Pope Francis warned against a rise in populism and the dangers of allowing political crises to usher in dictators like Hitler.

He also condemned the use of barbed-wire fences to keep foreigners out.

He said at the time: ‘Crises provoke fear, alarm. In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933.

‘Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: ‘I can, I can’.

‘And all Germans vote for Hitler. Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people.’