Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Audience with his holiness, pp. 101-104 PDF (1007.0 KB)
Seated at his desk, he spoke to us in English, and said how happy he was to see us. I gave him the regards Archbishop Spell- man sent by me. His Holiness spoke very highly of His Excel- lency, Archbishop Spellman, particularly as to the ability of His Eminence, and was glad that the Archbishop was equally respected and liked by non-Catholics as well as Catholics. Speaking to His Holiness about the condition of Germany, we told him of meeting Cardinal Faulhauber in Munich. He was most interested and spoke very highly of Cardinal Faulhauber. When I told him of the wreck of the Frauen Cathedral in Munich, he replied that he was heartsick at so much devastation. He in- quired as to whether or not Cardinal Faulhauber's palace had been ruined; we were glad to say that the residence of His Eminence had been only slightly damaged. I told him of the complete demolition of the Unter den Linden, Potsdamer Platz, and the main section of Berlin; of the damage to the Dom Cathedral, Lutheran Cathedral, and the many Catholic churches. He specifically asked as to the State Museum. When I replied that it was badly damaged, he said: "All too sad to think of." I reported to him that Count von Preysing, Catholic Bishop of Berlin, was ill; that I therefore had not been able to see him, but that he had sent a personal note of felicitation to His Holiness and also to Archbishop Spellman. His Holiness speaks excellent English. He spoke very highly of Count von Preysing. He labors a bit with our language, yet his enunciation and grammar are perfect. He has some difficulty in understanding English-one must speak slowly. Speaking and understanding seventeen different languages, he prides himself on addressing foreign visitors in their own tongues. The Holy Father stated that he knew nothing of the conditions east of Berlin, but understood they are very bad. He was thorough- ly familiar with the anti-Communistic work of our press. Also, he seemed thoroughly informed as to conditions in America. We talked of personal friends in America, and he asked to be 102
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