Pope: 'Powers' did nil when Jews were taken to Auschwitz

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Does Pope Francis Have a Political Agenda?

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday denounced what he calls the "great powers" of the world for failing to act when there was intelligence indicating Jews, Christians, homosexuals and others were being transported to death camps in Europe during World War II.

He also decried the deaths of Christians in gulags in Russia under the Stalin dictatorship, which followed the war.

The pope's harsh assessments came in impromptu remarks during his visit to Turin, northern Italy, when he told young people he understands how they find it hard to trust the world.

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Pope visits Shroud of Turin in Italy (used in article #21199090)
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Pope: 'Powers' did nil when Jews were taken to Auschwitz
Pope Francis touches the holy Shroud, believed by some Christians to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, on June 21, 2015 in Turin's cathedral. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis prays in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Francis visited the long linen with the faded image of a bearded man, during his two-day pilgrimage to Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis greets bishops as he leaves after prayin in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Francis visited the long linen with the faded image of a bearded man, during his two-day pilgrimage to Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Nuns look at Pope Francis as he arrives to pray in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Francis visited the long linen with the faded image of a bearded man, during his two-day pilgrimage to Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis stops in front of the tomb of the blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, after he prayed the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Francis visited the long linen with the faded image of a bearded man, during his two-day pilgrimage to Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis arrives at Turin's Vittorio Veneto square to celebrate a mass, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
A view of Turin's Vittorio Veneto square crowded by faithful attending a mass celebrated by Pope Frances, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis caresses a child as he arrives at Turin's Vittorio Veneto square to celebrate a mass, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis arrives at Turin's Vittorio Veneto square to celebrate a mass, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives at Turin's Vittorio Veneto square to celebrate a mass, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Basilica, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis speaks to faithful in front of the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Basilica, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis salutes during a meeting with the youths, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis kisses a wooden cross brought by a group of young people during a meeting with the youths, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis talks about egoism and money during a meeting with the youths, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis salutes the faithful gathered outside the hospital Cottolengo of Turin, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis gestures as he speaks at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Basilica, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis is framed by balloons as he arrives at the of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Basilica in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis smiles as he arrives at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Basilica, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis hugs Turin Arcbishop Cesare Nosiglia at the end of a mass he celebrated in Turin's Vittorio Veneto square, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Pope Francis arrives at Turin's Vittorio Veneto square to celebrate a mass, northern Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Pope Francis (C) waves from his Popemobile as he leaves after celebrating mass in Turin's Piazza Vittorio on June 21, 2015. The pontiff is on a visit to Turin to venerate the Holy Shroud, believed by some Christians to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, after which the pope will meet prisoners, young people and the sick in his first pastoral trip to northern Italy. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in Turin's Piazza Vittorio on June 21, 2015, during mass celebrated by Pope Francis. The pontiff is on a visit to Turin to venerate the Holy Shroud, believed by some Christians to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, after which the pope will meet prisoners, young people and the sick in his first pastoral trip to northern Italy. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis kisses a boy as he arrives to celebrate the mass at Turin's Piazza Vittorio on June 21, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
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"The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody," Francis said, citing the death camp in Poland, and asked: "Why didn't they bomb" those railroad routes?

Referring to the gulags in Russia, Francis said: "How many Christians suffered, were killed" there.

Lamenting the cynicism of world players in the 1930s and 1940s, Francis said: "the great powers divided up Europe like a cake."

He also cited what he called the "great tragedy of Armenia."

"In the last century, so many, millions, (of Armenians) died. But where were the great powers then? They were looking the other way," the pope said.

In April, the pope angered Turkey when he referred to the slaughter of Armenians by Turkish Ottomans as "genocide."

In today's world, he told the young people: "Everything is done for money." He criticized those advocating peace while manufacturing or selling arms.

Francis reiterated his view that conflicts in the world today are tantamount to "a Third World War in segments."

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