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Factbox: What They Said About Auschwitz Liberation (REUTERS) OSWIECIM, Poland 01/27/05 11:11 AM ET)Source: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7454254 Reuters News Service Reuters News Service Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) - World leaders, survivors and Russian liberators gathered in Poland on Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. Here is what they said: - - - -

FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC

"Evil is embodied in this place, tearing at our hearts and burning our consciences for eternity."

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WLADYSLAW BARTOSZEWSKI, AUSCHWITZ PRISONER NO. 4427 AND FORMER POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER

"The question we ask ourselves and of the world is how much of the truth about the horrible experiences of that totalitarian regime we managed to pass down to the younger generations. Much of it, I believe, but not enough."

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POPE JOHN PAUL IN A LETTER

"This anniversary calls us to ponder once again the drama which took place there, the final, tragic outcome of a program of hatred. In these days we must remember the millions of persons who, through no fault of their own, were forced to endure inhuman suffering and extermination in the gas chambers and ovens. I bow my head before all those who experienced this manifestation of the mysterium iniquitatis (mystery of evil)."

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ANATOLY SHAPIRO, JEWISH-BORN RED ARMY COMMANDER WHOSE TROOPS FIRST ENTERED AUSCHWITZ:

"I want to say to all people around the world -- this should not happen again. I saw the faces of the people we liberated -- they went through hell."

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MOSHE KATSAV, ISRAELI PRESIDENT:

"The Holocaust is not only a tragedy of the Jewish people, it is a failure of humanity as a whole. The Allies had concentrated a huge force in the fight against the Germans and we are very grateful to the Allies. We will carry that gratitude forever. But the allies did not do enough to stop the Holocaust."

"We fear anti-Semitism. We fear Holocaust denial, we fear a distorted approach by the youth of Europe. We call upon the European Union -- do not let Nazism dwell in the imaginations of the young generations as a ´horror show´, so to speak."

- - - -

DICK CHENEY, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT:

"This story of the camp reminds us that evil is real, must be called its name and must be confronted."

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VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT:

"We unfortunately still see signs of anti-Semitism and I´m also ashamed of that. Russia will struggle against them."

"We shall not only remember the past but also be aware of all the threats of the modern world. Terrorism is among them and it is no less dangerous and cunning than fascism. And it is equally cruel: it has already claimed thousands of lives."

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VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, WHOSE FATHER WAS IMPRISONED AT AUSCHWITZ AND SURVIVED:

"My father was a wounded soldier and he was in Auschwitz. He had a tattoo 11367 on his chest. I came here with my children and I hope I will come here with my grandchildren. This is a sacred place for me and my family."

"There will never again be a Jewish question in my country. The tragedy of the past will never be repeated on the soil of Ukraine."

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ELIE WIESEL, NAZI HUNTER AND AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR:

"I don´t believe in collective guilt, but the guilty should be remembered for their guilt. How can you go away with the knowledge you gathered here and remain the same? If you will be the same after this, we will be lost."

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AVNER SHALEV, CHAIRMAN OF ISRAEL´S YAD VASHEM HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL:

"This ceremony is needed now because a new wave of anti-Semitism is becoming more and more dangerous to Jews and to democracy and to democratic society."

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KAZIMIERZ ORLOWSKI, 84-YEAR-OLD FORMER PRISONER:

"The snow was falling like today, we were dressed in stripes and some of us had bare feet. These were horrible times."

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SIMONE WEIL, FRENCH INTELLECUTAL AND CAMP SURVIVOR

"And yet, the desire of all of us that this ´should never happen again´ has not come true. There have since occured other cases of genocide."

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JAN TOPOLEWSKI, A SURVIVOR WHOSE MOTHER PERSIHED IN THE CAMP

"I´m not here to talk about what happened. My only aim is to light a candle for my mother whose ashes are who knows where in this camp."

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GERMAN PRESIDENT HORST KOEHLER "This is the biggest cemetery for Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti. It must tell us that we have to come back here again and again. We must keep the memory of the worst crime in human history alive for those who were born later."

- - - -

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR

"We remember above all that the Holocaust did not start with a concentration camp. It started with a brick through the shopwindow of a Jewish business, the desecration of a Synagogue, the shout of racist abuse on the street." (© Reuters 2005 01/27/05)


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