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Angela Merkel finds the right words during Auschwitz visit

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06.12.2019

For several years now, calls have been getting louder for Germany to let the past become history and for the country finally to stop being preoccupied with the historical guilt the country has been saddled with by the Nazis.

At the same time, hate crimes against Jews have been on the rise. The two, of course, are closely linked. Two months ago, two people were killed in the eastern German city of Halle by a rightwing extremist who tried to storm into a synagogue filled with worshippers on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Ultimately, only luck kept the terrible attack from becoming a bloodbath. Jews in Germany once again must fear for their lives. That is the awful truth.

Keep retelling the story

The fact that the chancellor’s first visit to the German death camp came in response to an invitation from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation fits her pragmatic and sober personality. The foundation is dedicated to the maintenance of the memorial site. Therefore, Merkel's words at Auschwitz focused on remembrance and the fact that Germany's special responsibility for the crimes committed there can never end. The story must be repeated — "Auschwitz was a German death camp." That responsibility will always be a........

© Deutsche Welle