By Caroline Pinder Cracraft
The Gunter Grass case:
On Sunday, Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai used a law permitting a bar on entry to former Nazis to declare Grass persona non grata for his “attempt to fan the flames of hatred against the state of Israel and its people, and thus to advance the idea to which he publicly affiliated in his past donning of the SS uniform”.
Grass was conscripted into the Waffen SS.
Pope Benedict XVI was born in Bavaria, with the name Joseph Ratzinger. Young Ratzinger, according to Wikipedia:
Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after December 1939—but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother. In 1941, one of Ratzinger’s cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and killed during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics. In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer (air force child soldier). Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family’s home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year. —
Caroline Pinder Cracraft lives in Chicago.
This article was published at Mondoweiss.net here: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/is-the-pope-also-barred-from-entry-into-israel.html