Pope Francis warned Europeans Sunday that “saviors” like Adolf Hitler can emerge in times crisis when people lack judgement.
Francis cautioned Europeans from repeating mistakes made in the 1930s. In time of crisis “we look for a savior to give us back identity, and we defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire fences, from other peoples,” Pope Francis said in an interview published Sunday in Spanish newspaper El Pais.
He further sees similarities between populism in Europe and the times when Hitler came to power. (RELATED: European Populists Meet To Plan ‘Patriotic Spring In Europe’)
“Germany … was looking for a leader, someone who would give her back her identity and there was a little man named Adolf Hitler who said ‘I can do it,’” Pope Francis said. “Hitler did not steal power, he was elected by his people and then he destroyed his people.”
The interview was conducted during U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. The pope said he will give the new president time before he forms an opinion on him.
“We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion,” Pope Francis said. “But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise.”