German politicians commemorate Holocaust victims at Buchenwald camp

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the premier of the state of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, on Sunday led a ceremony commemorating the victims of the Holocaust at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

It was the task of democracy not to let the Nazi crimes be forgotten, Ramelow said during the ceremony commemorating 76 years since the camps of Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora were liberated.

“We will not be able to transfer this memory to a museum. [Remembrance] is a daily task,” said Steinmeier. The camps stood for racial fanaticism, murder and extermination, he added.

During the commemorative event, which was streamed online, there were speeches by survivors of the camp from the United States, Italy and France, though they could not be present in person due to the coronavirus pandemic, just like last year.

The concentration camp near Weimar, the largest on German territory by the end of the war, was liberated on April 11, 1945 with the help of US forces. It was built by the Nazis in 1937.

Some 56,000 people died there, either murdered or from hunger, illness and the consequences of forced labour.

In nearby Mittelbau-Dora, around 60,000 inmates were forced to build rockets in an underground shaft. At least 20,000 of them died.


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