This article was last modified on September 22, 2008.

John Paul II and the Holocaust

The Internet is circulating with rumors and conspiracy stories about Pope John Paul II. One of the more dastardly is Tony Alamo, the “World Pastor” of Alamo Ministries. Here is what he has to say in his tract called “The Fugitive Pope”:

“In the early 1940s, a young Polish salesman, employed by I.G. Farben Chemical Company (manufacturer of Cyanide Gas) sold cyanide to the Nazis for use in Auschwitz… Fearing for his life after the war, he took refuge in the Catholic church (cult) and was ordained a priest in late 1946. In 1958, he was ordained Poland’s youngest bishop. After the 30-day reign and assassination of his predecessor, he assumed the papacy as Pope John Paul II… and now controls an organization in America called the Jewish Federation and one of its many branches, the Cult Awareness Network which kidnaps and ‘deprograms’ Christians and other victims… Pope John Paul II has never made one anti-Nazi statement, certainly because he is a Nazi… State and Federal agencies with their news media and judicial system in every nation, under instructions from Rome, will certainly say that Fugitive Pope is hate literature.”

This might sound very far-fetched to say the Pope worked for the Nazis or indirectly killed the Jews and other claims made by Alamo. But a quick Google search will reveal that many people have similar opinions and even some very reliable sites pass this off as fact to one degree or another. Some of it is obviously anti-Catholicism, but much of the spread is sheer ignorance on the part of the people repeating the stories.

In short, this is all bunk. Someone will try to refute me citing some strange obscure reason these lies are true, but that’s the problem with conspiracy theories – a lack of evidence only further validates their points. No documents to prove a claim? Obviously the government destroyed those records! You get the idea. So without further ado, here is a break-down of the claims made by Alamo and the truth or falsity of them.

Karol Wojtyla Working for IG Farben

The claim Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) worked for Farben in his youth is one of the more widespread rumors on the Internet about this pope. Yet despite the repetition of this “fact” over and over again, I have yet to read anywhere that cites a source backing up this assertion. No papal resume, no Farben employment records, no witness statements from co-workers. Quite simply, no shred of evidence to validate these claims.

John Paul was an orphan by 1941 having lost his parents and a brother. He was 21 years old. Contrary to being a Nazi supporter, official histories tell of John Paul’s “intensive” connections to the Jewish community in Krakow, Poland. Furthermore, being a Roman Catholic was not a favorable decision in the eyes of the Nazi regime who had imprisoned numerous priests. During the war, he worked in a quarry (1940-1944) and at the Solvay chemical factory. While at this time I am unclear what this chemical factory was, there is no reason to believe the factory was connected to Farben seeing as John Paul was Polish and the company (Farben) was German.

John Paul’s primary preoccupation during the German occupation of Poland? Preparing himself mentally, spiritually and physically to become a priest. Shortly after the war in November 1946 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest (having been at the seminary in Krakow since 1942, studying under Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha).

Nazis Using Cyanide Gas in Extermination Camps

Saying that the Nazis used “cyanide gas” in the death camps is technically incorrect or at the very least somewhat vague. What they actually used was a chemical called Zyklon-B. A minor difference, but for a source to be reliable they should at least know their facts.

Cyanide gas (more technically called hydrogen cyanide) is actually relatively common. The gas is present in vehicle exhaust and also in the smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products. The gas can come from burning plastics or even in house fires – many “smoke inhalation” deaths are due to cyanide poisoning. The gas is colorless and smells faintly like bitter almonds. Prussic acid gives off hydrogen cyanide and people who commit suicide by ingesting “cyanide pills” will have the almond smell around them. The lethal dose of cyanide is 50mg.

Zyklon-B was a pesticide that gave off cyanide gas, but was not cyanide gas itself (so to say the Nazis bought “cyanide” is incorrect). This product was actually in pellet form, and was kept in airtight containers where it was stable. Once exposed to air, the pellets would react and give off the cyanide gas. Originally the Nazis used this gas in concentration camps to kill lice, but already by 1941 it had become prominent at Auschwitz. Ironically, the inventor of Zyklon-B was Fritz Haber – a German Jew.

Even if we give Alamo the benefit of the doubt and substitute “Zyklon-B” for “cyanide gas”, the fact remains this product was most likely not sold to the Nazis by John Paul II. IG Farben and the German government already had a very close working relationship well before the war. For a thorough history of IG Farben during the Hitler regime, I recommend Joseph Borkin’s “The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben”.

The Assassination of Pope John Paul I

First let’s clear up that this pope’s reign was 33 days rather than 30 (a slight difference, but we may as well be specific). But now more to the point. Alamo casually says that John Paul I was “assassinated.” That is possible, but not the sort of claim you can throw around casually.

Many conspiracy theories (including one taken from “Godfather III”) have been offered to suggest that John Paul died from poisoned coffee or some other undetectable method. They will tell you it was suspicious how quickly he was embalmed without an autopsy being performed. They will also tell you that his official cause of death (heart attack) is incorrect because the media attributed that attack to smoking, a habit John Paul never had.

The problem with this theory is that there is no way to know. Anyone can say he was poisoned and without an autopsy you can’t say definitively one way or the other. But lack of proof he wasn’t poisoned doesn’t mean automatically that he was. And just because he didn’t smoke, doesn’t mean he can’t have a heart attack – the media is known to make mistakes. He was sixty-five years old, certainly old enough to have a heart attack.

Can we say John Paul was assassinated? Sure we can, but without definite proof we should either say he was “allegedly” assassinated or simply rely on the official version – common heart attack.

Pope John Paul II and the Jewish Federation

To the best of my knowledge, there is no connection between John Paul and the Jewish Federation. Why there would be any connection between the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican and a Jewish American charity is beyond me. Upon his death, the Jewish Federation mourned the loss of a man they considered a “friend” to Israel, though this in no way implies he was intimately involved with the group.

The Cult Awareness Network and the Jewish Federation

There were two different Cult Awareness Networks (more on this in the next section). Neither the old one (run by the Christian Rick Ross) or the new one (run by Scientologists) have any decipherable connection to the Jewish Federation.

The Kidnappers at the Cult Awareness Network

Strangely enough, there is some truth to the claim that the Cult Awareness Network has kidnapped people, although the word “kidnapped” is misleading in its severity.

There was a family involved in the Life Tabernacle Church for a while before the mother decided to withdraw from the organization in 1996. She consulted the CAN to help “deprogram” her children. While two children were successfully deprogrammed, the third (18-year old Jason Scott) was unwilling to leave the church. At his mother’s insistence, the CAN held him against his will and eventually helped him to overcome his belief in the church. In the meantime, Scott (who was a legal adult) sued the Network for false imprisonment. The lawsuit succeeded, leaving the Network marked as a band of kidnappers.

Prior to this instance, Rick Ross (head of CAN) was a prominent figure in the anti-cult movement (and remains so today). He had even been hired by the FBI during the Branch Davidian crisis in Waco to conduct psychological warfare on the Davidians. While controversial, he was well respected by many of the Bureau’s members.

After the false imprisonment, however, Ross and the Network were hounded by Scott’s lawyer, a Scientologist. This lawyer filed numerous lawsuits and the CAN had to declare bankruptcy. In the ultimate show of disrespect, the Scientologists purchased the rights to the name “Cult Awareness Network” along with their website and phone number. The site is now used to promote lesser religions (which had formerly been accused of being cults).

Pope John Paul II Never Criticized the Nazis

Tony Alamo makes some outrageous claims, including the story that the Nazis, Hitler and the SS were all Catholics. This is not true. Hitler’s faith was Christian in some regards, but contained thinly veiled allusions to German mythology. Some have even called his belief system “Wotanism” after Wotan, the chief German god (known as “Odin” to the Norse). Further, Catholicism was by no means the preferred religion of the German Reich. Priests and bishops were arrested just the same as any other so-called criminals.

The Catholic Church does not deny that the Pope did not speak out against Nazis. But even if he never did, they remind us that he was made pope in the late 1970s, over thirty years after the end of World War II. John Paul speaking out against Hitler and his followers is about as sensical as George W. Bush speaking out against Timothy Leary or Charles Manson. The threat simply does not exist and more pressing issues are at hand.

Post Script

This page has undergone more traffic in the past day than in the past several years due to Tony Alamo’s alleged involvement with child abuse. Alamo and his associates are innocent until proven guilty. And, it is important to note, even if proven guilty his words would be no more true or false. Even the worst of men can tell the truth, and words must be analyzed outside of their source.

Also try another article under Historical / Biographical, Political
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

27 Responses to “John Paul II and the Holocaust”

  1. Douglas Willinger Says:

    What do you have to say about Wlodimir Ledochowski SJ?

  2. Neil Says:

    First off, I think that the way most people have come across the idea that John Paul II worked for I.G. Farben was because William Cooper said it in his book, “Behold a pale horse”.

    If you look at the history of German chemical companies though(, if you read about their growth and collaboration together, it’s easier to understand why it might be believed that the former pope had involvement in I.G. Farben. As far as I know, no paper evidence remains today, of course, but I wouldn’t expect the leader of an organization as monumentally powerful (and held up to such high moral standards) as the Catholic church to leave that sort of information available to the public, where people like you and I can access it on the internet, do you? If information like that was left to be leaked then there would have been serious consequences.
    Of course, now I can be written off as a wild conspiracy nut by asserting that, and it’s understandable. However, just because publicly-accessible evidence is gone doesn’t mean that something never happened. But on the same token, just because something is suggested doesn’t mean it’s true either.
    So how do I decide what to believe in this situation? I look at the history and integrity of the catholic church. I wouldn’t expect anything less than a poison-selling death dealer to hold the highest spot in the Vatican- a perfect candidate to continue with the mentality that produced the saga of admonition and death (the inquisition, the crusades, the dark ages) the catholic church has continued throughout its existence. Because of their history, I wouldn’t write the possiblity of the pope selling Zyclon B for I.G. Farben at any time.
    Also, I have “The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben”, and it’s a good book.

    Just my opinion.

  3. Douglas Willinger Says:

    Much to read about Wlodimir Ledochowski and his plausible role with WW2.

  4. Barry S. Roffman Says:

    When I was a teenager somebody placed a copy of the Fugitive Pope on my car windshield. Now I’m 60, I still hold a copy of the article (which is available on the Internet), and I’m still waiting to see documentary proof of this charge. I have a 30-year old son, who during a custody battle, actually had his Catholic baptism annulled by Archbishop McCarthy of Miami during the reign of the Pope in question. My son is now an Orthodox rabbi. While I remain grateful to Pope John Paul II for the annulment in 1984, and while I remain skeptical of the charge against him, the fact that the Catholic Church chose to replace him with a former member of the Hitler Youth lends credibility to the story, as do recent efforts by the Church to pray for the conversion of Jews to Catholicism. Surely there were Catholic heroes who aided the Jews during the Holocaust. The Church is so large. If it really opposed what was done, it should have elected such a hero, rather than a collaborator.

  5. bert Says:

    I have to agree with Neil on this one.

  6. Derek Says:

    But all of this is your opinion really isn’t it; I’m not throwing my hat into either ring, but not everything that proves anything is there for all to see is it? Can you honestly say that you have absolutely no bias in this subject? I am just passing through and have not got time for deep involvement in this, but you seem to have securely categorised the term ‘Conspiracy Theory’ into one particular mental file.

  7. Kaniqua Says:

    Solvay was an I.G. Farben subsidiary, and cyanide was used along with Zyklon B and other poisons. (Cyanide gas lingered too long and endangered the staff.)

    Of course, as you can see in the linked book, Anglo American interests were deep in Farben too.

    Thyssen/ Harriman et al

  8. gavin Says:

    Kaniqua, thanks for the book link. I have ordered a copy and will hopefully be able to modify this article in the future. How much Solvay was independent or a controlled subsidiary is unclear, even from the link provided. But you raise some good points and, as I say, hopefully I can address those.

  9. Barry S. Roffman Says:

    Yesterday CNN ad a lot of news about a sex scandal in Tony Alamo’s Church (see

    Normally I would not pay attention to something like this. But the CFR and Catholic organizations behind it probably do not like Alamo very much. For something around 4 years, this guy has been writing that Pope John Paul II worked for I.G. Farben to manufacture poison gas (Zyklon B) to kill Jews during the Holocaust ( Frankly, I never saw the evidence required to back him on it, but perhaps the Catholic Church wants to put him down to discredit the charges. There is more concern about Pope Benedict and Pope Pius Xii. See

  10. Matt Allen Says:

    People who hate Catholics are going to hate Catholics no matter what you say or do. The fact is that Pope John Paul II was internationally recognized by friends and enemies alike as a servant of God who worked for Peace throughout the World and who by his own example to his would-be assasin, showed the Mercy of Christ to others. His legacy is historically significant and positive. So what are the facts about a detractor named Tony Alamo? Tony, is not just another criminal evangelist but is a convicted child rapist. He dares to call the Catholics a “cult” while he took on child brides for his own perversions. The Catholic Church does more for charity, education, healthcare and for the poor worldwide than any other group. What did Tony Alamo do with all the money he took in from his followers?

  11. Barrt S. Roffman Says:

    There are people in my own religion that are extremely charitable, but who sadly, I have come to see as Cultists. They control much of “Orthodox” Judaism in Central Florida where I live, and to a great extent extent even control/provide my access to kosher food. It was with great pain that I found it necessary to quit one of their congregations, but there was far too much idolization of a rabbi who died in 1994. I write about this in detail at True religion focuses on the Almighty, the one that Christians refer to as the Father. Remember that even the Jew, Jesus, said, “Call no man on Earth your father, for we all have one Father who is Heaven.” Yet Pope means “father,” and Catholics call their priests, many of who like Alamo are also perverts, “father.” All organized religions are subject to abuse. They all, even terrorist organizations like Hamas, use charity as a cover. It is up to their members to keep their clergy honest and focused on the important core tenets of the belief. I remain unsure about charges against Pope John Paul 2, but I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the current pope has no business being in office. He should be replaced immediately with a true man of G-d.

  12. Barry S. Roffman Says:

    TYPO CORRECTED. There are people in my own religion that are extremely charitable, but who sadly, I have come to see as Cultists. They control much of “Orthodox” Judaism in Central Florida where I live, and to a great extent even control/provide my access to kosher food. It was with great pain that I found it necessary to quit one of their congregations, but there was far too much idolization of a rabbi who died in 1994. I write about this in detail at True religion focuses on the Almighty, the one that Christians refer to as the Father. Remember that even the Jew, Jesus, said, “Call no man on Earth your father, for we all have one Father who is Heaven.” Yet Pope means “father,” and Catholics call their priests, many of who like Alamo are also perverts, “father.” All organized religions are subject to abuse. They all, even terrorist organizations like Hamas, use charity as a cover. It is up to their members to keep their clergy honest and focused on the important core tenets of the belief. I remain unsure about charges against Pope John Paul 2, but I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the current pope has no business being in office. He should be replaced immediately with a true man of G-d.

  13. Tony Hater Says:

    Burn in hell Tony………

  14. Brian Albuquerque Says:

    Whether the allegations against Pope John Paul II being a Nazi collaborator are true or false.We will never know.Cover ups do happen.But did not Saul tranform into Paul? Scandals abound in every organisation,even in the Vatican.But this should not affect our Faith. To those who sin without repentence & with impunity,God help them!!! The sooner the Church goes back to It’s roots,the better.Those who think they can commit sin without God’s knowledge they are fooling themselves.
    The enemy is within but forces of good will prevail.
    Pope John Paul II will be judged by his good works,which was mainly in reaching out to the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.He was the most charismatic Pope ever.
    When Paul was questioned by the Christians who recognised him “Are you not the same Saul,who persecuted us?” He replied”I have sinned against no man” ” If the Lord has forgiven me,who are you to condemn me?”
    Roman Catholics & Protestants are members of one Family”The Family Of God” Let us unite like the early Christians who lived in the underground catacombs.Let us combine our Faith with Works & glorify God’s Kingdom on Earth.

  15. Helga Hickman Says:

    Would you please investigate as to the veracity of the Jesuit Oath?

    Thank you!

    Helga Hickman

  16. chips zynga Says:

    i probably would not have contemplated this was interesting a handful years ago however it’s amusing the way time varies the method by which you respond to a good range of creative ideas, thanks for the posting it’s good to see anything smart once in a while in lieu of the customary rubbish mascarading as blogs and forums on the internet, i’m going to have fun with a few hands of zynga poker, take care

  17. Frankie Perez Says:

    Its a crying shame you people cant see the word of God unfolding before your very eyes.Newyork times front page vatican priests raped and molested over 200 deaf boys…last month benidects brother under investigation for molesting choir boys.and on and on and what do they do in return…a slap on the wrist no prosecution because the vatican avoids scandal.Canada another scandal and they just put that priest in hiding to avoid prosecution.What if it were your children at the demise of these filty child molesting bastard priests.Oh no but lets just let it slide because its the vatican the pope…He s as wholly as swiss cheese.Wake up or will reality strike when it happens to you and your children what then,The vatican sits a Queen on the beast that carries her and GOD WILL DESTROY HER AND THOSE WHO HAVE PARTAKEN OF HER FILTH AND ABOMINATIONS..REVELATION CHAPTER 17 AND 18.In her is every abomination in the earth and God states her destruction will come in one hour..and people of the earth will mourn her.You people need to wake up cause God says we are living the last book of the bible right now.As far as Tony Alamo he has been attacked by irs,fbi cia and the list goes on well if you read your bible Jesus says they hated me and they will hate you,they will say all manner of evil against you for my sake.This vatican ruled govt gives him life on trumped up charges because he exposes their filth like God does.Why havent any of these filthy pedophiles been tried and put to death for the countless children who s lives have been destroyed and will never be the same thousands and thousands have been raped and molested not one is in prison.They move them to another cult location and they continue their on slaught of destroying and defiling these children.Vatican is well funded to pay off millions to cover the filth of its own pedophiles and avoid prosecution or scandal…but they and that filthy pope who runs it sits back and laughs and they they laugh at you americans and people all over the world cause there is nothing you can do to stop them…But God can and he will

  18. Clinton English Says:

    Thank you, Mr. Barry S. Roffman, for pointing out what Christ said about calling no man on earth your Father, as you have only one Father who is in Heaven. (paraphrased) Most people do not understand, nor want to understand, that Christ was a devout, observant Jew who was faithful to Judaism. I am not a religious person, but I am a believer in the teachings and doctrines which Christ taught not just to and for His 12 Disciples, but for the world. The only way anyone can know Christ is to study his teachings and apply those teachings in their lives as best they can. I am of the opinion that the Catholic Church is no more in line with Christ’s principles than any other organized religion that is based on power and its struggle for greater power rather than humility and humbleness. I would hate to think that my salvation would depend upon “Hail Mary’s” or repeating senseless words or phrases of repetition. All God asks is that one step into His presence and ask Him and Him only, for forgiveness and pardon. He gladly gives it.

  19. Deus Ex Says:

    Christianity is a religion based on the Jewish Torah which was based on the Egyptian book of the dead. Europeans were forced to convert to this middle eastern religion by the romans and in fact have no real attachment to it. Perhaps it is time to stop arguing the about Tony Alamo, a known pedophile who is jewish and believes he is the messiah (Just like in Jesus time where many Jewish men claimed to be the messiah). Jewish people didn’t believe it then and don’t believe it now so why should europeans be forced to continue with the charade?

    The Catholic Church needs to update its doctrine to support a more scientific approach to the creator (metaphorically speaking) by embracing science and truth that are based in facts (not legends or myths). If the church (Catholic) goes in this direction, it will grow and prosper once again. As for the middle eastern religions, leave Judaism, Islamism, Bahaism, Buddhism, Hinduism et al to the indigenous people who created them.

    Deo gratias

  20. Barry S. Roffman Says:

    It is certainly true that Christianity is a religion based on the Jewish Torah. But what evidence do you offer that the Torah was based on the Egyptian book of the dead? It is true that Europeans were forced to convert to Christianity by the Romans. Was Tony Alamo a known pedophile? Yes, but that seem to be a requirement to be a Catholic priest too these days. Was he Jewish? IF his mother was a Jew, he was born a Jew, but apostatized. He certainly did not practice or call himself a Jew as an adult.

    The Catholic Church cannot update its doctrine to support a more scientific approach to the creator (metaphorically speaking) by embracing science and truth that are based in facts (not legends or myths) without abandoning its canonized texts – especially the Tenach (Old Testament). When it does so it will no longer be the Catholic Church, but that does not matter to them, what does matter is money and power. So what Europeans do? Stay the hell away from Islam and its offer of 72 virgins in exchange for you becoming a suicide bomber. You don’t need 330,000,000 gods of Hinduism, and Judaism doesn’t seek you unless you are ready to follow 613 Commandments, only 7 of which apply to Gentiles and which are necessary for salvation. If you do become a Jew, stay away from Chabad which sees a 16-year dead rabbi as Messiah (will we never learn?). What 7 commandments should you follow? (1) No murder, (2) No theft, (3) No Incest (most rabbis add no adultery), (4) No cruelty to animals (5) Do not blaspheme God, (6) Do not worship idols, and (7) Maintain courts of Justice. These are the 7 Precepts of Noah, a gentile. It’s all you need.

    If you want to know how the Catholic Church works, read my Baptism Annulled book at

    Barry S. Roffman

  21. Gino Says:

    How funny “Contrary to being a Nazi supporter, official histories tell of John Paul’s “intensive” connections to the Jewish community in Krakow, Poland.” Official histories huh? Who is the naive one here. Tell me what official histories mean and what makes them official. Last i checked official histories mention very little about the American Indian genocide in this country. You trust your officials and others will trust their critical thinking capacities.

  22. jinxed Says:

    It’s funny if you go to the and google the names in the pictures, it turns out many of them were Protestants like Mueller, Coch, and the Deutsche Christen, it just so happens that Alamo wrote “Catholic” in front of their titles to mislead us.

  23. Mary Says:

    I distinctly remember reading when JPII was elected that he waffled on becoming a priest and detoured in biochemistry endeavors, and now this bio info is no longer available now that holocaust survivors and researchers have cast wider nets of justice. I also read somewhere that his dad was a manager or even an owner of that Solvay plant. People forget that the easiest pro-pedophile Vatican-approved excuse for killing Jews was their occasional support of maternal life-saving family planning. As an ardent fetal idolator, Karol Wojtyla could have piously supplied chemicals to camps that punished “baby killers”. German Catholics were ordered to vote for anti-abortion, never-excommunicated Catholic Hitler, and it is very damning of JPII that he appointed Hitler’s banker, Herman Abs, to run the Jewish gold-looting Vatican Bank, knighted Nazi Kurt Waldheim, elevated numerous Nazi clergy, and even took the name of the most overlooked Nazis of all popes, Paul VI, who deliberately funded Nazi Catholic Croatian Ustashi DEATH CAMPS that exterminated 1 MILLION Serb “heretic abortionist” Christians in WWII. These “abortionists” included kids, pregnant women and their FETUSES. Hundreds of priests ran these camps, and they later ran the Vatican Nazi ratlines that smuggled 100,000 Nazis to the Americas. I wish Hollywood would make a movie about what “pro-life” Paul VI did as Cardinal Montini.

  24. The Framing Business » John Paul II and the Holocaust | davidfulton3 Says:

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  25. Roseanne Sullivan Says:

    Karol Wotjyla worked in a quarry owned by the Solvag company quarrying limestone. Later he was promoted to work in the Solvag water purification unit, where he carried buckets of lime around his neck. He was never a salesman. Another false claim is that he became a Catholic after the war to escape being deported for war crimes. To the contrary, the men who worked with Wotjyla reported that he would often kneel to pray. He was a lifelong devout Catholic and a daily Mass goer. See Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel.

    You have to realize that the man who wrote the book that carries the false assertion about John Paul II was William Cooper. Cooper was a crazed conspiracy theorist who was eventually shot by authorities because he was threatening his neighbors. Read the Wikipedia article about him. Cooper cited no evidence for his claims.

  26. Gram E Says:

    Instead of this centuries old blowing the whistle on mother church as it goes about its most likely less than good business, why don’t we attempt to correct the very nature of religion by making sure that it conforms to reason. In other words, why don’t we toss out not only this brand of that kind of religion but all magic-based religions altogether. Why don’t we start from scratch? Still, this is interesting stuff worth mentioning and discussing. Thankyou.

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