In response, the President of the Federation, Henry Chmelnitsky says that the statements of Bishop Dadeus will do nothing to build a peaceful and harmonious coexistence among Brazilians of all origins. To Chmelnitsky, to reduce or relativise the Holocaust hits the memory of millions of deaths in a war started by fanaticism and intolerance. The Chairman of the Federation also said that he hopes Dadeus reflects on his statements.
Response to statements by the Archbishop of Porto Alegre, Dom Dadeus Grings
We are surprised by the statements of the Archbishop of Porto Alegre, Dom Dadeus Grings, published by the magazine Press. It is not the first time the cleric has distorted the Holocaust (Cathcon - he said in the 90s that there were one million Jewish victims). We, Brazilians of all origins have built through decades a tradition of peaceful and harmonious coexistence. Statements such as those by Archbishop Dadeus will do nothing for this model which serves as inspiration to other countries. To reduce or relativise the Holocaust hits the memory of millions of deaths in a war started by fanaticism and intolerance.
The Vatican itself, in recent years, has adopted an open and transparent position in relation to the murder of six million Jews. Moreover, relations between the Catholic Church and Jewish community have never been so good. In May, Pope Benedict XVI will visit Israel.
In this situation, once again Archbishop is out of tune using arguments similar to those without any moral or scientific value. Fewer Jews died in the War II because there were and still are fewer Jews in the world. Proportionally, a slaughter minimized by Archbishop really meant the annihilation of most of a national group that was already small.
We express the hope that Dom Dadeus reflects on his statements. He is a man of faith and peace. He met the directorship of the Israeli Federation here a few days ago, which much honored and moved the Jewish community of Rio Grande do Sul. However, when replaying stereotypes created by the Nazis, Dom Dadeus is positioning himself on the wrong side of history. his statements not only afflict Jews but millions of Roma, disabled, homosexuals and opponents of the Nazi regime that were also murdered.
The only way to prevent a repeat of barbarism perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews or against other ethnic or religious groups - is always to respect the memory, with seriousness, honesty and fraternity. This is what we expect from Dadeus Grings and men and women committed the truth and justice.
Porto Alegre, March 26, 2009.
Henry S. Chmelnitsky