WW2: 'Gypsies suffered more'

2009-03-28 12:30

Brasilia - A Brazilian archbishop dropped a bombshell on Friday when he said Catholics and gypsies had been more persecuted than Jews during the Second World War.

"The Jews talk about six million people killed. But how many Catholics were victims of the Holocaust? They were 22 million in all," Archbishop Dadeus Grings, from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, told advertising magazine Press & Advertising.

The archbishop also contended that while "Jews say they were the main victims of the Holocaust, the biggest victims were the gypsies, because they were exterminated".

The Jewish federation of the state of Rio Grande do Sul was quick to fire back, stressing that "this was not the first time Dadeus referred to the Holocaust in a distorted way".

"To diminish the Holocaust is an attack against the millions of people killed in a war unleashed by fanaticism and intolerance," the group added in a statement.