Germans will never forget the “unfathomable horrors” the Nazis inflicted at death camps.
The words of Chancellor Angela Merkel, as she addressed a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.
In a moving speech to 120 elderly survivors from 20 nations and six US soldiers who helped liberate the camp, Merkel said Dachau and other death camps freed near the end of World War Two stand as eternal reminders of the Nazi regime’s brutality.
“These former concentration camps have come into public focus in recent weeks with the passing of the 70th anniversaries of the liberation of one camp after another,” Merkel said at Dachau, now a memorial with 800-thousand annual visitors.
“There were unfathomable horrors everywhere,” she continued.
“They all admonish us to never forget. No, we will never forget. We’ll not forget for the sake of the victims, for our own sake, and for the sake of future generations.”
The Nazis set up Dachau in March 1933, weeks after Adolf Hitler took power, to detain political rivals.
It became the prototype for a network of camps where six million Jews were murdered, as well as Roma, Russians, Polish and homosexuals.
More than 200-thousand people were being held in the camp when US troops liberated it on 29 April 1945.