I should have written this a long time ago, especially because the Spanish version came out in March. Now that it was updated, I think I can make a pretty complete post about the relationship about Ratzinger and the nazis.
Yes, Joseph Ratzinger was part of the Hitler Youth.
Because he had no other option.
At that time, every teenager who turned 14 was drafted and sent to serve in the nazi army. Ratzinger never said “I want to kill Jews, so I’ll enroll with the nazis.” He was just drafted and that was it. He even disliked it so much that he eventually deserted.
Then there is a picture that drives many atheists and non-believers in general nuts. This picture.
It’s unbelievable that there are people who think they hold the flag of reason and yet, are so stubborn in their desire to see Ratzinger as a nazi that they are very willing to throw reason through the window and yell harangues, just like the most fanatical jihadist.
If you know a little bit of history about Raztinger, you’ll see that he was born in 1927. When he turned 14, he was drafted to the Hitler Youth (this is, in 1941). In 1945 the war ended and he deserted from the army. He was 18 at that time. He then went to the seminary and was ordained as a priest in 1951 at the age of 24.
So, Ratzinger would only have used the priest robes six years after WWII ended and the nazi regime ended, a regime Ratzinger despised. Because of this, it’s ridiculous to think that he could have done the nazi salute.
But if you still want to believe that the picture above is a nazi salute, consider that when a priest is ordained, he has to lift both arms. Obviously, if we just present ONE arm lifted, the less enlightened and most fanatical minds will think that it is a nazi salute. But if we investigate with real desire to know and not just being a mindless lemming that follows and attacks whatever he or she doesn’t like, we will find the truth:
These are Raztinger (at the right) and his brother, being ordained as priests. There is no sign of nazism in it. If you truly care about truth and facts, just drop the idea.
So, don’t you ever try to relate Ratzinger’s mistakes to his being in the Hitler Youth, since you would be ridiculed by a well-informed catholic. This is something very simple and obvious that can be prevented by just reading a little bit. Religious fanatics may permit themselves those attitudes, to be ignorant and babble non-sense, since their beliefs do not require them to know, just to believe.
A non-believer should not behave that way.
Ratzinger is a despicable person for many reasons, but this is not one of them.
If you want more information, you can check out the New York Times Article about Ratzinger’s youth.