Angela Merkel in Dachau

This week, Angela Merkel became the first German chancellor to visit Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich. This was the first camp built by the Nazis in March 1933, with over 200,000 imprisoned and 43,000 dead until April 1945, when American soldiers arrived and released all prisoners.

Merkel was invited to attend a wreath laying ceremony by Max Mannheimer, a 93-year old former prisoner. A few survivors and their families also attended to listen to an emotional speech by the chancellor in the camp's central parade ground. She spoke of "deep sadness and shame" and warned people against indifference, allowing those that follow a different religion or sexual orientation to be victimised or even murdered. Despite the controversy of a visit in the middle of a political campaign, Mannheimer called it "historic".


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