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Pope Benedict praises Britain's fight against Nazis

Pope Benedict XVI praised Britain's World War II fight against the Nazis today as he gave his first speech of his state visit to the UK.

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 and religious leaders 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 in a marquee 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 this Sunday attended by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William.

The Pope was forced to join Hitler Youth as a 14-year-old schoolboy against his wishes.

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