Pope Francis paid a surprise visit on Saturday in Italy, to the residence of Edith Bruck, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and author, and they paid homage to all those killed by Nazi “insanity”.
Bruck, 89, who lives in Rome, was born into a poor Jewish family and spent time in a series of concentration camps, where her father, mother and brother all passed away.
A Vatican spokesman, who announced the visit after it ended, said the two spoke of her time in the camps and the importance that future generations be made aware of what happened.
“I came here to thank you for your witness and to pay homage to the people martyred by the insanity of Nazi populism,” the Vatican quoted the pope as telling Bruck.
Bruck, who has lived in Italy for decades and writes in Italian, was about 13 when she was taken to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland with her family.
The Nazis and their allies murdered around 6 million Jews, as well as others, in German-occupied Europe.
More than a million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz in southern Poland, which was liberated by Soviet troops on Jan. 27, 1945. The vast majority were gassed to death.