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Angela Merkel Visits Auschwitz for the First Time as Germany's Chancellor

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany has an unending responsibility to remember the Nazis' war crimes, as she made her first trip while in office to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

The responsibility was "part of our national identity", she said.

The Nazi regime murdered an estimated 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them Jewish, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Mrs Merkel was accompanied on her visit by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and a death camp survivor, 87-year-old Bogdan Stanislaw Bartnikowski, BBC reports. 

She walked through the notorious "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) gates at Auschwitz and then held a minute's silence at the so-called Black Wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed

She then moved to the Birkenau site where she gave her speech.

"Remembering the crimes... is a responsibility which never ends. It belongs inseparably to our country," Mrs Merkel said.


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