POPE Benedict XVI praised Britain’s fight against the Nazis as he gave his first speech of his state visit.
The Pontiff described how the country’s war time leaders fought valiantly against Hitler’s forces during the Second World War.
“We can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.
“I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives.”
The Pope comments were made at a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where hundreds of guests were gathered to hear him speak.
His words come as Britain commemorates the efforts of pilots and ground crew during the Battle of Britain.
A special service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the Battle of Britain will be held on Sunday.
The Pope joined Hitler Youth at 14 against his wishes.
The Pope went on to praise Britain’s role on the world stage: “65 years ago, Britain played an essential role in forging the post-war international consensus which favoured the establishment of the United Nations.”
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