Holocaust: Angela Merkel visits Auschwitz for first time

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been visiting the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, in her first trip to the site while in office. She is taking part in a ceremony alongside a camp survivor and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Her visit comes amid a rise in German anti-Semitism and ahead of the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation. The Nazi regime murdered an estimated 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them Jewish, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The chancellor was pictured walking through the notorious “Arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free) gates at Auschwitz. She held a minute’s silence at the so-called Black Wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed, before moving to the Birkenau site where she gave a speech.

“Remembering the crimes… is a responsibility which never ends. It belongs inseparably to our country. To be aware of this responsibility is part of our national identity,” Mrs Merkel said.

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