Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon called Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi." Speaking at an interview during a film festival in New York, the Oscar winner for "Dead Man Walking" said that she had sent a copy of that book to the pope. The actress said that she was talking about the previous pontiff, John Paul II, but "not this Nazi one we have now," The Los Angeles Times wrote.
Bob Balaban, who was interviewing Sarandon, tried to tone down the remarks, but Sarandon repeated her comment.
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, used to be a member of youth organization Hitler-Jugend. The pontiff said that many teenagers in Nazi Germany were forced to join the organization. The membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after December 1939. However, Ratzinger's brother said that Joseph was not an enthusiastic member of the organization.
In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer. 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.
Following repatriation in 1945, the two brothers entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein, later studying at the Ducal Georgianum (Herzogliches Georgianum) of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. They were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich, according to Wikipedia.
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