Pope Benedict XVI visited his predecessor John Paul II's birthplace Wadowice on Saturday - a Polish town which was once home to a flourishing Jewish community.
The visit came a day before the German pope was set to visit the Auschwitz death camp. Benedict has acknowledged he was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a teenager.
The stop to the infamous death camp was not originally planned, papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Saturday.
"But the pope said 'I want to go, I have to go,"' said Navarro-Valls.