Asked “is it time to forgive the German people and Germany for crimes committed in the Holocaust,” some 51 percent said they totally disagreed with the sentiment, according to a report in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Nineteen percent disagreed somewhat. Only 23 percent were willing to forgive, and 7 percent had no opinion.
In the survey, conducted by Israel’s Geocartography Institute on behalf of the Center for Academic Studies, 500 men and women over 18 were interviewed, a representative sample of the Jewish population of the country.
The poll finding came as the American Jewish Committee on Sunday slammed Pope Benedict XVI for saying his World War II-era predecessor, Pope Pius XII, “did all he could to save people.”
The current pontiff made the remark in his new book, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Sign of the Times,” which is to be published in Benedict’s native Germany on Tuesday.
“There is certainly enough evidence to refute those who charge that Pius XII stood idly by while the lives of Jews and others were imperilled,” said rabbi David Rosen,the AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs.
“On the other hand, not only did Pius XII never directly challenge the Nazi regime regarding the extermination of the Jews; perhaps even more dramatically, he never publicly expressed any condemnation, let alone express of regret, subsequent to World War II.”
Rosen said that “the Shoah (Holocaust) represents the darkest abyss of our history and perhaps of human history. For us (and perhaps for all), one can never say that any persons did all they could have done in the face of such evil unless they laid down their life to oppose it.”