Pope Francis paid a personal visit to the home in Rome of Edith Bruck, a Hungarian writer who survived the Holocaust, the office of the spokesman of the Holy See said on Saturday.
During the hour-long visit, the two spoke about the time Bruck had spent in the concentration camps, as well as about the fears and hopes of the present, and the importance of remembering the past as well as the role played in that matter by the elderly. Pope Francis visited the 89-year-old Bruck after reading an interview with her in L’Osservatore Romano published on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day. Andrea Monda, editor-in-chief of L’Osservatore Romano, accompanied him on the visit. Pope Francis “asked forgiveness from the Lord in the name of humanity” and thanked Bruck for her testimony, Monda said. Bruck, born in Tiszakarád in 1932, was deported with her family and spent time in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. Her parents and brother died in Dachau, but she and her sister survived. After 1945, she lived in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Israel. In 1954, she immigrated to Italy, where she moved in the circles of the country’s best known literary figures and formed a friendship with Primo Levi, another Holocaust survivor. Bruck has translated works by a number of Hungarian authors, including Attila József, Miklós Radnóti and Gyula Illyés, into Italian.