VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI says the end of Nazi rule in his homeland of Germany made him happy and allowed him to resume studies for the priesthood.
Benedict remembered his youth Saturday at the Vatican when he met with a group of Germans from Freising, the city where he was ordained in 1951 and where he had studied in a seminary a few years earlier. A delegation of Freising’s citizens gave him honorary citizenship.
The pontiff said not only was he glad that he had escaped unharmed from the misery and dangers of war but also because “Nazi dominion” had ended and he was free again.
As a young man in Germany in the final years of the war, Benedict deserted the Nazi army.