Marking 70 years of liberation, German chancellor says society must not ignore attacks on Jews and Israel supporters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Sunday that society must “never close its eyes” to anti-Semitism as she joined Holocaust survivors to mark 70 years since the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau.
“We are all forever called upon, to never close our eyes and ears to those who today accost, threaten and attack people when they identify themselves somehow as Jews or also when they side with the state of Israel,” Merkel told a solemn ceremony.
After laying a wreath with a former French deportee, Merkel thanked ageing survivors of the death camp who had travelled to Dachau, northwest of Munich, for sharing their life stories, saying she was “greatly moved” so many had made the journey.
“We all are forever called upon to make unmistakably clear that Jewish life is part of our identity,” Merkel added.
American forces liberated the Dachau camp on April 29, 1945, and discovered on arrival the unspeakable horror that had led to the death of around 43,000 people from starvation or disease.
Similar 70th anniversary commemorations have taken place at other former camps this year, beginning in January with Auschwitz in what was Nazi-occupied Poland, but Dachau is the only one Merkel has attended.