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Germany´s shame over evil of the Holocaust (LONDON TIMES) By Charles Bremner 01/26/05)Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1456346,00.html LONDON TIMES LONDON TIMES Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
GERHARD SCHRÖDER, the German Chancellor, expressed his country’s shame for the Holocaust yesterday.

He urged his nation never to forget the crime of Auschwitz, saying that Germans bore a special responsibility for the Nazi genocide of Jews and other minorities.

“I express my shame over those who were murdered, and before those of you who have survived the hell of the concentration camps,” he said in an emotional address to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz tomorrow.

The Chancellor’s speech to former Auschwitz inmates and Jewish leaders was echoed in Paris by President Chirac of France. Opening a new memorial to victims of the Holocaust, he told France not to forget that its wartime State had been an accomplice to the Nazis.

Both leaders called for effort to fight resurgent anti-Semitism and to teach the reality of the Holocaust to younger generations. Some Jewish leaders cited Prince Harry’s recent use of a Nazi costume as an example of ignorance of history.

Herr Schröder said: “The vast majority of Germans alive today are not to blame for the Holocaust, but they do bear a special responsibility. The evil of Nazi ideology did not occur without preconditions. The brutalisation of thought and the loss of moral inhibitions had a history. Above all, Nazi ideology was desired by people and man-made.”

The memory of the genocide was part of German national identity. “Remembering the era of National Socialism and its crimes is a moral obligation . . . it is true that the temptation to forget and suppress it is great, but we will not succumb to it.”

Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, told the Berlin gathering that lessons were being forgotten. “While apologists clamour Holocaust fatigue, the deny- ers receive open forums to spread their lies and instructors teaching the Holocaust this week are shouted down by their students in various European countries,” he said. Referring to Prince Harry, he said: “We experience insensitivity towards the Holocaust by Europe’s younger generation, sometimes from the highest and most important families.”

In Paris, M Chirac stood in front of a wall carrying the names of the 76,000 death camp deportees from France. “Bowing with respect before the victims of the Shoah, I have come to renew our country’s promise never to forget what it proved unable to avoid,” he said. In Hebrew, he repeated: “Remember, do not forget.”

In 1995 M Chirac became the first president to acknowledge that France was responsible for persecuting Jews during the war. Yesterday he said: “I want to say again that anti-Semitism has no place in France. Anti-Semitism is not a point of view, it is a perversion, a perversion that kills. It is a hatred whose roots go to the very depths of evil.”

Moscow: Twenty Russian nationalist MPs led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky have proproposed banning all Jewish organisations in Russia because of their “extremist” views. “The whole democratic world today is under the financial and political control of the Jews,” they said in a statement issued ahead of the Auschwitz anniversary. (AFP) (Copyright 2005 Times Newspapers Ltd. 01/26/05)

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