2009-10-09 15:13:29

Pope attends WWII anniversary concert

(October 9, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano were treated to a special concert in Rome Thursday evening by young musicians from around the globe on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II this year. May the memory of those sad events, be a warning especially for the new generations, never to give in to the temptation of war, the Pope said at the end of the concert. It featured music by Jewish-born composers Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn, and performed by the InterRegionales JugendsinfonieOrchester, which gathers young musicians from 10 nations. The chief organizers of the concert entitled, “Young People Against War”, were the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity together with the German embassy to the Holy See and the European Kulturforum of Mainau. The Pope underscored how by using the universal language of music the concert wishes to encourage young people to build the future of the world, by being inspired by the values of peace and brotherhood among men. However, according to the Pontiff, the Second World War was a catalyst, for the birth of the ecumenical movement that greatly contributed to peace and understanding among peoples. The German-born pontiff has spoken out frequently about the horrors of the war. He was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth corps and later in the army before deserting.

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