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Why a Lutheran Pastor and a Catholic Priest Tried to Save the Souls of Nazis

Tony Rossi writes:

If there are a group of people in modern history who are thought of as irredeemable, it’s the Nazis. Truth be told, the orchestrators of the genocide of the Jewish people and the murders of millions of others certainly didn’t “deserve” any kind of mercy. Yet at the end of World War II, two American Army chaplains – Rev. Henry Gerecke, a Lutheran minister, and Father Sixtus O’Connor, a Catholic priest – made an unprecedented attempt to save the souls of the Nazi leaders held at Nuremberg prison. Their little-known story has now been documented by award-winning journalist Tim Townsend in the book “Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis.” During an interview on “Christopher Closeup,” Townsend admitted that prior to writing this book, he simply knew the “Hollywood” version of the trials and thought of the Nazis as a “stereotype of evil.” And while there were those like Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who seemed to revel in cruelty as he oversaw the extermination of the Jews, there were others, like Wilhelm Keitel, who didn’t fit so neatly into a preconceived box.
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