German chancellor says crimes at Nazi death camp will always be part of countrys history
Angela Merkel has expressed deep shame during her first visit as German chancellor to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust memorial and vowed to fight rising racism and antisemitism in Germany and Europe.
Dressed in black, Merkel said the crimes committed at the site in southern Poland where the Nazis ran their largest death camp would always be part of German history.
This site obliges us to keep the memory alive. We must remember the crimes that were committed here and name them clearly, Merkel said during a ceremony attended by the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.
I feel deep shame given the barbaric crimes that were committed here by Germans, she added.
The German chancellor also pledged a donation of 60m (51m) towards a fund to conserve the physical remnants of the site of the barracks, watchtowers and personal items of those who died, such as shoes, spectacles and suitcases.