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|Pope John Paul II
On Sept. 1,[url=http://rogervivierheelssale.webstarts.com/][b]roger vivier heels sale[/b][/url], 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Within weeks,[url=http://giuseppezanottisneakerssale.olimx.com/][b]giuseppe zanotti sneakers with[/b][/url], the Poles succumbed to German tanks advancing from the west and Soviet troops invading from the east. Immediately, the Germans instituted a brutal campaign designed to wipe out all traces of Polish culture and identity. The German governor of occupied Poland, Hans Frank,[url=http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/][b]http://billigmonclerjackenkaufen.olimx.com/[/b][/url], issued clear orders: "Every vestige of Polish culture is to be eliminated." Poles were to survive on 900 calories a day. "Troublemaking" priests, professors,[url=http://giuseppezanottisneakerssale.olimx.com/][b]giuseppe zanotti sneakers[/b][/url], and politicians were rounded up and shot or sent to concentration camps. In the Nazis' new world, there was no room for Poland: "Those Poles who seem to have Nordic appearances will be taken to Germany to work in our factories,[url=http://peutereyoutletitaliaonline.olimx.com/][b]http://peutereyoutletitaliaonline.olimx.com/[/b][/url]," Frank wrote. "Children of Nordic appearance will be taken from their parents and raised as German workers. The rest? They will work. They will eat little. And in the end they will die out. There will never again be a Poland."
Wojtyla was directly exposed to the war's cruelties. Dozens of his professors were sent to camps or shot. Krakow's historic libraries and statues were destroyed. Thousands of priests were imprisoned and executed. Over the course of the war, 6 million people in 5 Poles killed. "Individuals, families, and peoples still retain memories of those six terrible years," John Paul II wrote in 1995. "Memories of fear,[url=http://duveticamen.blogspot.com/][b]http://duveticamen.blogspot.com/[/b][/url], violence, extreme poverty, death; tragic experiences of painful separation, endured in the absence of all security and freedom."
As Poland was plunged into darkness, the church again emerged as a sustaining light. Wojtyla entered an underground world. Like all able-bodied men, he worked during the day a limestone quarry, at a chemical factory on the edge of the city at night risked summary execution by studying in secret. In 1942, he illegally entered the priesthood.
When the war ended three years later, Wojtyla and his fellow seminarians emerged from hiding. The young man was ordained in 1946. He celebrated his first masses in the crypt of the royal church in Krakow, surrounded by the marble tombs of 14th-century kings. He would return to the ancient church often 1958 as Poland's youngest bishop, in 1964 as the archbishop of Krakow,[url=http://woolrichoutletde.albirank.net/][b]Woolrich Deutschland Outlet[/b][/url], and in 1979 as the first Polish pope. "He always came here as a bishop,[url=http://duveticaitaliaoutlet.webmium.com/][b]duvetica down jackets[/b][/url], for both public and private prayer," recalled Janusz Bielanski,[url=http://peutereyoutletitaliaonline.olimx.com/][b]Peuterey Uomo Jacket[/b][/url], the cathedral's provost, as he prepared for the pope's 2002 visit. "He's the Peter of our times. We all want his good fortune." John Paul II's visit the next day was the last time he prayed at the Wawel Cathedral.
Despite the priest's dramatic rise through the ranks of the church, he retained a personal connection with his parishioners that presaged his popularity with Catholics around the world as pope. Even today,[url=http://giuseppezanottichainsandals.olimx.com/][b]discount giuseppe zanotti chain sandals with big promoton[/b][/url], Poles love thinking about their pope as a regular guy. Hundreds trek to the tiny apartment in Wadowice to see his baby pictures and worn sneakers, his red knit ski cap and a kayak oar that guided him along the lakes of southern Poland. His famous rapport with the world's young people can be traced back to the time he spent leading youth groups on weekends.