Julie Burchill's article on Pope Benedict (Comment, September 9) is embarrassing. Criticising a young German for having been in the Hitler Youth is outright foolishness.
Joseph Ratzinger became a member of the organisation in 1941 at the age of 14.
As of December 1936, membership of the Hitler Youth became mandatory by law for all so-called 'Aryans' living in Germany from ages 10 to 18.
Joseph Ratzinger was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings. His family believed that Nazism conflicted with their Catholic faith.