Sunday, May 28, 2006

Today the official deathtoll of the eartquake on Java rose in the direction of 5,000. When I watched the news on the BBC tonight I was surprised to see that the main headline was about pope Benedict's visit to the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. I found this impressive picture, made by a Reuters photographer. A visit by a pope to Auschwitz remains a very significant and symbolic event, particularly if that pope was born in Germany and grew up under the Nazi regime, as many commentators pointed out before me. I understood that the pope personally insisted on adding the site to the program for his visit to the land of his predecessor, and on going on foot through the gate with what is probably the most infamous three-word-phrase in German. Kol HaKavod to him, for his courage and for what appear to be his good intentions. Why the car that brought Mr Ratzinger within meters of that gate had to be an Audi I do not understand, but that of course is just me being a nudnik, splitting hairs without a justifiable reason. On the other hand, go and find any big company that existed 60-70 years ago and did not get its hands dirty somehow. Would Ford have been a better choice?

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