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Brandt Says He Kneeled Before Warsaw Ghetto Monument to Ask Pardon for Crimes

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Chancellor Willy Brandt said in a magazine interview published today that when he kneeled and laid a wreath on the Warsaw Ghetto memorial monument last week he “wanted to ask for pardon in the name of our people for a million-fold crime which was committed in the misused name of the Germans.” Brandt’s gesture, which was pictured on television and in the press, has aroused controversy in West Germany, according to the Hamburg weekly, Die Welt, which published the interview. Die Welt also published the results of a public opinion poll that showed Germans to be sharply divided over the appropriateness of the gesture. The poll, conducted by the Allensbach Demoscopic Institute, reported that of the 500 persons who responded, 41 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved.

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