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1919 signed letter contains Hitler's first known stance on Jewish 'removal'
June 7th, 2011
06:35 PM ET

1919 signed letter contains Hitler's first known stance on Jewish 'removal'

By Dana Garrett, CNN

New York (CNN) - A signed letter by Adolf Hitler, which contains what is believed to be the earliest written expression of his views on Jews and anti-Semitism, was unveiled at a press conference in New York on Tuesday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Rabbi Marvin Hier said the letter, written in 1919, is "one of the most important documents in the entire history of the Third Reich."

Wearing white gloves to protect the fragile, yellowing document, Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, pointed out what he considered to be the most significant phrase in the four-page, typed letter - the words "Entfernung der Juden," German for "removal of Jews" - which Hitler wrote must be the government's "final goal."


"In 1919 he wrote this. Twenty-two years later he implemented it as Chancellor of the Third Reich," Hier said. "He removed the Jews altogether."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, purchased the letter from a private dealer for $150,000 and will put it on permanent display in July at the center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Hitler was a 30-year-old veteran of World War I when he wrote the letter on September 16, 1919. At the time, he was working for the propaganda unit of the German army, Hier said. It was Hitler's supervisor, Capt. Karl Mayr, who assigned him the task of articulating the army's position on the Jews for Adolf Gemlich, who was an army spy. (At about the time he wrote the letter, he also attended a meeting of the German Workers' Party to find out more about them, at Mayr's request. Later, it would be the National Socialist Workers' Party, and Hitler would be its chairman.)

The letter, which was written on a German army typewriter, is addressed to Gemlich. It was authenticated in 1988, according to the Wiesenthal Center.

In the letter's English translation provided by the Wiesenthal Center, Hitler identifies Judaism as a race, not a religion, that has been preserved "through a thousands years of inbreeding" and is only concerned with "the pursuit of money and power."

"The result of which is that a non-German race lives among us with its feelings, thoughts and aspirations, while having all the same rights as we do," Hitler wrote.

He warned against anti-Semitism "born of purely emotional ground," which he wrote would only lead to pogroms - referencing the organized mob attacks that targeted Jews in Russia and, later, Germany. Hitler's letter makes clear he had a larger objective in mind. "The final goal must be the removal of Jews," he wrote. "To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness."

Hier said the letter was found in 1945 in the Nazi Archives near Nuremberg by an American soldier, William F. Ziegler, and sold to an historical documents dealer.

It has remained in private hands since then. Hier said a dealer offered him the letter in 1988, but then sold it to another collector before the Wiesenthal Center could verify its authenticity.

When it was offered a second time, Hier said there was no hesitation.

"We knew immediately that the Gemlich letter is absolutely historic. There is nothing like it in the world," he said.

Hier said an unsigned "office copy" of the letter exists in Munich, which scholars have known about, but that the copy now in the hands of the Wiesenthal Center is the only signed copy. It has never been publicly displayed.

Hier said the letter is significant in large part is because there is no known signed order by Hitler for the extermination of the Jews. Instead, it was the No.2 man in the Reich, Hermann Goering, who gave the order in July 1941 to Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Nazis' security apparatus, to carry out "the final solution of the Jewish question."

"This is the first document and only document of its kind that deals with the Jews exclusively and postulates the solution," Hier said of the Hitler letter.

Whether Hitler had in mind concentration camps and mass extermination at the time is not a question that can be answered by this document, Hier said. "But I can tell you that Hitler in 1919 said we don't want any Jews in the country that I live, and I don't want them removed by corner pogroms. I need them removed by a legal system where the government legally removes them," Hier said. "That is unprecedented." he added.

Hier said he hopes the letter, which will be part of an interactive display in Los Angeles, will be used to teach students young and old about demagogues and the consequences of taking them lightly.

He said if people had taken bets in 1919," they all would have bet this is a lot of nonsense, nothing would happen like this. And 22 years later, it happened exactly as he wrote it.," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Europe • Germany • Holocaust • Judaism • New York • United States

soundoff (931 Responses)
  1. ILoveBuckyBull HeLovesBaseball

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujYH6H4z6Oc&w=640&h=390]

    June 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • everyoneLovesButterflies

      To fully experience this video, play the butterfly song (below) at the same time, and it makes for a very extraordinary soundtrack. The butterfly song is awesome! Please rip it to CD so that you can also play it in your car as well. 🙂

      June 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • everyoneLovesButterflies

      but you'll probably want to turn the butterfly song way down since it is much louder than this video.

      Rock on!

      June 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. George

    Jews do have money and power, and I, a non Jew, would rather see them have it than anyone else.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Dr. Bombay

      If you would, please elaborate on this seemingly strange comment.

      June 8, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • mickyblue

      its simple, we kill the batman..

      June 9, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  3. Marie Kidman

    "
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig
    ^

    June 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Go post your sh-t on YouTube and leave us alone.
      You are harassing us. You are just like the Texas valeDICtorian that forced her audience to listen to her nonsense.
      Go away.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • FreedomFries

      Whoever likes to post pictures of butterflies with pretty piano music is A-OK in my book.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Great, go take your book and bittyflies to YouTube.

      June 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    I wanted to recommend a very good book about National Socalism: "Where ghosts walked : Munich's road to the Third Reich" / David Clay Large.

    Hitler merely was a marionette of the German military, particularly of General Ludendorff, who was member of a antichristian and a antijewish cult.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Horrifying, but true, the satanic cult, general Ludendorff was a member, still exists. It is called "Verein fuer Gotteserkenntnis" and has its office in Tutzing in the near of Munich.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Laughing

      Poor old Hitler, it's not his fault he was in charge when the holocaust was going on, he was just a puppet.......

      Yeah, sounds ridiculous to me too

      June 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Marie Kidman

    "
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig
    _

    June 8, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  6. krischunsLoveScience

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nJl3dF7xKc&w=640&h=390]

    June 8, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  7. JustTheFacts

    It appears that you and I are caught in a circular argument. Van Til wrote, “To admit one’s own presuppositions and to point out the presuppositions of others is therefore to maintain that all reasoning is, in the nature of the case, circular reasoning. The starting point, the method, and the conclusion are always involved in one another.” I respect your opinion, mainly because you are able to give your opinion without disrespecting others; however, because all arguments are ultimately circular, the question becomes one of grounding. In the end, we all need to fight against suppression and hate, regardless of what form it shows its ugly face.

    @Fidei Coticula Crux

    I'm all for God-worship. Worship 1 Almighty God, many Gods or no God. I could care less. Imposition of God or a specific God, on me, at the barrel of a gun and I have to draw the line. Maybe it's just me. I don't know.
    You have to ask yourself if your specific religion is THE ONE TRUE RELIGION, why you would have to resort to force or deadly force to get another to believe the same as they do about there specific religion. Does that person really care if you make it to heaven or not and want you to "see the light" or is there some other underlying reason? Religion breeds fanaticism and that is the evil that lurks in man. Not every man, but it only takes 1. You can have fanatics that are not religious. True. BUT they do not hold sway over MASSES of people like religious fanatics do. It is much much harder for them to gain control over a population without Organized Religion. Man or small groups of men twist religion to suit their own agenda. Most of the time that agenda is sinister. It's never REALLY about God or God-worship at all. It's just an excuse. History proves that with ceaseless regularity.

    June 8, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      What about Marxism, Socialism, Nazism, etc? Aren’t they also a form of ideologue fanaticism that is used to sway the masses and control the population? However, I do agree with you that people in the position of power have used religion for their own personal purpose. And like I said before, there are people who kill in the name of religion, but just because they kill in the name of religion doesn't really mean they kill because of religion. To determine if they kill because of their religion, one would have to review and study the religion’s individual doctrines. See how this argument goes in circles.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  8. Wanda

    Can you believe this?!? and closing remarks? wow!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKvbNh3Xg7Q&w=640&h=390]

    June 8, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  9. Buckeee Baseballfan

    The video that changed all of our lives. Forever. And ever.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzetqYev_AI&w=640&h=390]

    June 8, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Revenge of the Moderately Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell

      It's the video that dazzled and duped a bunch of rubes and yokels whose critical thinking skills are so non-existent that they cannot see the massive holes and flaws in it.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • GeraldZ

      Wonderful presentation! I'll definitely be sharing this one with my friends!

      June 8, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Sarah Palin's Shocking Bikini Wax Disaster

      Christians are so cute when they try to pretend that they understand science! It's like seeing a 2-year-old pretending to drive using a can lid for the steering wheel.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Science neither proves nor disproves the exits of God. Unlike the objects of science, we cannot put God under a microscope or create a better computer program to understand him. The only thing that science can prove when it comes to the subject of God is that it provides a probability that He could exist.

      June 8, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Revenge of the Moderately Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell

      How cute! Buckee becomes GeraldZ and shills his own post. He does that every time he posts this insipid video. Of course, shilling is a totally dishonest technique, but when you are selling manure, I guess dishonesty is all you've got.

      Ironically, the Nazis used to do the same thing – when a speech was made, they would pepper the crowd with party members dressed in ordinary clothes who would go around saying "he's right, you know" to the gullible dumb-dumbs in the crowd.

      June 8, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Sorry your life is so easily changed by an idiot.
      again......
      Assuming, for the moment only, you are not Dr. Schroeder, why do you keep posting this piece of cr-p, but appear to be unable to engage in any reasonable debate about it. In each place you post some variation of "case closed".
      It's not, (or you wouldn't be here). You are unable to state why you think it is. However, I encourage the viewing of this video. Also go look at his, (Gerald Schroeder's) other things on the web. He is the distinguished recipient of the Moron of the Month Award, (9/08). He SHOULD be given the "Most Non Sequiturs in a Half Hour" award, and the "Let Me Show You What's Wrong with Intelligent Design" award.
      Much of his astoundingly illogical and incorrect presentation could be forgiven him, as he claims to be an (MIT) trained biologist and physicist, (and obviously not a theologian or philosopher), but his statement that "A Brief History of Time", (which is supposedly his OWN field) was written by Stephen "Dawking", and that Mcluhan's "The Medium is the mAssage",
      only leaves one to wonder how far, exactly, he is out of touch with reality.

      @Fedei Coticula Crux

      "The only thing that science can prove when it comes to the subject of God is that it provides a probability that He could exist."
      -- care to tell us where science says anything about god ? Or says anything about a discussion of a "probability that He could exist." You got the equation for that probability handy ?

      June 8, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Reality

      Obviously, the "professor" has not seen the "How the Universe Was Made series" i.e. everything to include humanity was once stardust!!!

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      @Bucky Ball,

      Do you have the equation for the probability that God doesn’t exists? Like I said, science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Fidei Coticula Crux
      Yeah, it's the same probability that Santa, Unicorns and dragons don't exist.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Fidei Coticula Crux
      Sorry. Doesn't work that way. You seem to be the one making the positive assertion here. I don't have to prove anything, (and also I happen to know, and wonder why you don't, that it's impossible to prove a negative).

      June 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Fidei Coticula Crux: You said, "Like I said, science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God."

      So why should we even give it any thought at all? Seems like a waste of time.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      @Bucky Boy
      Hey buddy ! Come on. Think about it. Do you actually think this guy sat in a room at MIT and faced a group of oral examiners for a PhD ? I don't think so.
      He couldn't face a group of cats asking where the nearest Pet Smart is. You are, (while charmingly so), ever so naive.
      Call me later.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Reality
      Obviously, the "professor" has not seen the "How the Universe Was Made series" i.e. everything to include humanity was once stardust!!! Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star.
      ------
      This is what you believe? Would I be wrong to ask for proof?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Steve (the real one)

      I don't speak for Reality but I'm glad you brought that up. Reality's theory is an outlandish one and sort of fun to think about, A universe that is forever expanding, stopping and then contracting to an infantismal pinpoint of pure energy only to explode again and create another universe. There is absolutely no proof that it could be right and so it probably takes equal amounts of faith to believe in something like that as it does to believe in god. However, the difference between those two is this theory is a) just a theory and can easily be disproven because Reality can not provide the burden of proof needed to prove it otherwise and b) this theory does not dictate how Reality lives his life, treats others, his own morals or any other inane ritual he needs to do. Your question of asking proof is equally valid as an atheist asking for proof of god.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Reality

      "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]

      One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."

      A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

      What we know for certain:

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to whiz by us daily.

      3. One large hit and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 billion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 billion years?

      June 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  10. Mike

    This letter is a fake, there is no other letter to back up what it says. And since it is the only letter that attest to what is in the letter makes the letter itself unreliable. There never was a Hitler, this was probably a pseudonym. Many people today who have no firsthand knowledge of the event agree with me. I am sure if I get my friend Prof Crossan on the phone he would also agree with me, if only to make a buck. 6 million is just too large of a number to be real. Only an idiot non-free thinker would get information from a historical doc ument.

    You see how stupid these arguments

    June 8, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Mike

      sound when you apply them across the board to every historical doc ument

      June 8, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Gataker

      You funny guy.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • trigtwit...America's favorite tard baby

      And I thought I was a retard.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Gabe

      Your doc ument is stupid and offensive and i do see how stupid your arguments (are)

      June 8, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Gabe

      and you also clearly missed the point of this letter being in this museum

      June 8, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Why Mikey you must be right about that. Hitler was a fake. That's why all those hundreds of thousands of film records of him were digitally manipulated back before that technology existed. Uh huh. You are so right.

      Some people are stupid all day.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Mike

      @Gabe and Bucky,
      I hope you are just playing along with the reality joke and not serious but in case you are

      @Gabe, and your comments aren't offensive? The doc uments are so offensive that you ignore them thus making you less offensive?

      @Buck if film is a stumbling block for you, then replace Hitler with Napolean.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Mike
      You poor soul.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  11. YANKO

    We have created a new social network for people of all faiths and religions..it is in spanish right now only, but next week will be in another languages..check it out: http://www.wpray4u.com

    June 8, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  12. bauer1ctu

    Hitler never mentions the final solution in Mein Kampf, you should go back and read the book more carefully. He mentions the removal of the Jews from the Reich but not by means of shipping them to death camps to be gassed. Infact the process that eventually led to the creation of Israel in 1948 was started by the Nazis. The final solution comes much later and it is a result of overcrowding in the concentration camps. The quickest and cheapest way to decrease the number of Jews in the concentration camps was to kill them. This decision wasn't made until the early 40s and the first death camp wasn't even set up until 1942.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  13. Joe

    That's why he was a meglo-maniac.

    June 8, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  14. Osama bin Laden

    durka durka

    June 8, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  15. Osama bin Laden

    Hello my friends .... It is me Osama.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  16. God's son was Jewish

    I get real tired, very quickly when I see the name 'Jesus Christ'. Jesus is not a Christian, was never a Christian. If you choose to believe in God, and you choose to believe God only had one son–Jesus–then you must believe that God chose a Jew to be his one and only son. Jesus was JEWISH, he was a RABBI. Could it then be assumed that God was Jewish himself? Now, THAT is up for a true debate.

    If you choose to believe in Jesus and Jesus' work, then you must understand Judaism. Christianity is based on a leader of another religion.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Krau0231

      What are you rambling about?

      June 8, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Gee Suss

      ummm hello.... i think someone should go back to seminary school so they can learn what it is that they think they are talking about. wrong wrong wrong
      i hope you have a great day
      smiley face
      😀

      June 8, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Just me

      Jesus was Jewish, and Jehovah God did choose this race over other races, not because He saw them as better, but because He had to choose some race on the face of the earth to reveal Himself through. Jesus was a carpenter who taught, but not an official rabbi. Don't you find it odd that throughout history, the most persecuted race is the Jews. And never in history has a race been spread apart, and lost, only to be reconciled again to their homeland. It truly is amazing! I just they would realize their remarkable heritage

      June 8, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      @Just Me
      Oh OK. That must be why it says :
      "Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him." (Mathew 26:49)

      June 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  17. JustTheFacts

    There are many differ types of differences between people groups, not just religion, that causes man to give reason to hate: race, culture, ethics, gender, age, economic, government, etc. Man will use any excuse to impose their will onto other individual people groups that are not like them; and, it is typically done by a leader who is in the position of power.

    @Fidei Coticula Crux

    I couldn't agree with you more. That particular excuse is used way too much, because it's easy and it actually WORKS. It works better than most excuses on populations. Why is that? Organized Religion controls the masses. Controls their dissent, controls their disagreements. Why is that? Because they are UNIFIED under 1 umbrella, like only an Alien Invasion from Mars could unify a peoples or nation. It's a control tool. A very effective, exploited, control tool for governments to use..... and they use it to great effect.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      JustTheFacts,

      It appears that you and I are caught in a circular argument. Van Til wrote, “To admit one’s own presuppositions and to point out the presuppositions of others is therefore to maintain that all reasoning is, in the nature of the case, circular reasoning. The starting point, the method, and the conclusion are always involved in one another.” I respect your opinion, mainly because you are able to give your opinion without disrespecting others; however, because all arguments are ultimately circular, the question becomes one of grounding. In the end, we all need to fight against suppression and hate, regardless of what form it shows its ugly face.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  18. Marie Kidman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig
    |

    June 8, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  19. Frank

    The problem at the time of Hitler's dream of removing the Jews from Germany is that no other country wanted them and then he resorted to extermination. How anyone can hate another human so much just because they are of another race or religion, goes beyond me.

    June 8, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • palintwit

      No other country wants Palins either.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Krau0231

      Wow, Frank, you got quite the theory there! The "problem" was not that no other country wanted the Jews, though there were many cases of Jews who escaped the country being sent back to Germany. Deportation was never facilitated by Nazi Germany, and Jews who did escape did so on their own. Furthermore, Hitler did not resort to extermination. He escalated a process that had already begun by his own men in the field, who had already begun shooting Jews in mass. In fact, there is no record of Hitler ever giving the order to kill the Jews, it is something that, for lack of a better term, grew organically from the indoctrination of the SS in Nazi ideology. If you ask me, I'd say the real "problem at Hitler's time" was Hitler, Himmler, and the rest of the Nazis.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  20. scarycat

    Unlike Germany, aren't we all immigrants or their descendants to USA? Why is one should stay and one should leave?

    June 8, 2011 at 9:44 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.