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    Merkel in Auschwitz

    The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, visited the former Nazi concentration camp ‘Auschwitz-Birkenau’ yesterday, accompanied by the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki. This was Merkel’s first visit in this place during her 14 years long term of office.

    During celebrations concerning the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Auchwitz-Birkenau Foundation, the former prisoner of the Nazi concentration camp, Bogdan Bartnikowski, gave a testimony about what was happening in the camp during war.

     ”I was 12 back then. I had to take off all of my clothes in front of a crowd of women. My mother was standing next to me. I didn’t know what to do with my eyes, I didn’t know where to look. We were sitting naked the entire night. I wanted to sit close to my mother, but on the other hand I didn’t want anyone to touch me”- says Bogdan Bartnikowski, former prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau.


    This was the first visit of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel in Auschwitz even though she has been in office for 14 years and it’s not her first time in Poland. Today, Merkel spoke about why it is so important to remember what was happening in the former Nazi concentration camp.

     ”We shouldn’t say anything about what was happening to women and children here, simply because there are no words that could describe the pain. We have to remember about crimes and call them by their names, because what was happening here is really hard for us to grasp. Crimes of people, experiments on people… Auschwitz symbolizes the pain of Poles and many others”- says Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.

    The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki warned us about historical amnesia.

     ”Wires, walls, sidewalks – they are all witnesses of these crimes against prisoners, Jews, Poles, Russian captives. People who witnessed all of that – they will be gone someday. We heard a testimony of the former prisoner today. That’s why we’re obliged to care for these memories. We cannot forget it, because if we do forget, then it’ll seem like permission to do it all over again”- says Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland.


    Germany will give 60 million euro to support the Auschwitz-Birkenau foundation. As they claim, it is their obligation to take ‘historic responsibility’ and take care of this place. Although, the matter of war reparations is still an open case.

    Angela Merkel is the third Chancellor who visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visited the former Nazi concentration camp in 1977 and Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the years 1989 and 1955.


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