The story

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday recalled growing up during the Nazi era in his native Germany and stressed the "fundamental importance of freedom" as he addressed a rally of young people in New York.

"My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers," he told the crowd at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers.

"Its influence grew, infiltrating schools and civic bodies as well as politics and even religion before it was fully recognized for the monster it was," the pope said.

"Many of your grandparents and great-grandparents will have recounted the horror of the destruction that ensued. Indeed, some of them came to America precisely to escape such terror."

As he praised the spread of democracy and respect for human rights, the pope cautioned about the dangers people face in the modern world. Read full article »

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