World leaders markAuschwitz liberation

27th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 January 2005 , KRAKOW- - World leaders gathered in Poland on Thursday with 2,000 survivors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet troops. Some 10,000 guests gathered at the site for the former death camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland, for ceremonies honouring the camp's 1.1-1.5 million victims. Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Vice President Dick Cheney, French President Jacques Chirac and German President Horst Ko

27 January 2005 

KRAKOW-  - World leaders gathered in Poland on Thursday with 2,000 survivors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet troops.

Some 10,000 guests gathered at the site for the former death camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland, for ceremonies honouring the camp's 1.1-1.5 million victims.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Vice President Dick Cheney, French President Jacques Chirac and German President Horst Koehler are among those attending the memorial services hosted by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

"I'm concerned that 60 years after the end of the horror of the Holocaust we are witness to the rebirth of anti-Semitism in Europe", Katsav told Polands Rzeczpospolita daily this week. I ask myself how is it possible that the force of the Holocaust, which should restrict (anti-Semitism) is dissipating."

"The leaders of the free and enlightened world must counteract the rebirth of anti-Semitism with determination through legislation and respecting the law, the education of youth and influencing public opinion," he said. 

Auschwitz-Birkenau must be at the centre of the consciousness of the new Europe," Katsav said in Krakow at the Let My People Live" forum uniting Auschwitz survivors with young people from across the globe.

The Israeli leader pointed out that the former Nazi German death camp now physically lies within the boundaries of the European Union following Polands EU entry in May 2004.

Katsav also asked the pointed question why, despite knowing the truth about the infrastructure of death at Auschwitz, Western Allied forces failed to bomb its gas chambers and crematoriums in which the Nazis systematically murdered more than a million Jews from across Europe.

A key element in the plan of German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to kill Europe's 11 million Jews, the Auschwitz-Birkenau death complex claimed the lives of 1.1-1.5 million people, 90 percent of whom were European Jews.

Poles, Roma, Soviet troops, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and anti-Nazi partisans from across Europe where among the camp's other victims. All told some 6 million European Jews perished under Nazi rule in Europe during World War II.

"This cruelty happened in the heart of the civilised world," US Vice President Dick Cheney said at the forum, while calling for the modern world to "challenge evil in all it's forms".

We remember that humanity still has not fully understood the difficult lesson of Nazi crimes," Kwasniewski said at the Let My People Live" forum.

There is still too much pain and hate in the world, so much violence and cruelty - we see disdain for people. We must remember this lesson from the past and we must review it anew every day," he said.

Ukraines new president, Viktor Yuschenko, attends Thursdays ceremonies as the son of an Auschwitz survivor. His father was held prisoner of war at the death camp after being captured as Soviet Red Army soldier.

Polish organisations protesting human rights abuses by Russian military forces and Chechen partisans in Chechnya mounted protests ahead the Russian president's arrival, while reports said they were also considering further demonstrations on Thursday at Auschwitz.

The French president opened a new French pavillion in Block No.20 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. 
  

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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