German Parliament Calls on Bonn to Pay to Preserve Former Camps

The German parliament this week unanimously called on the government to fund preservation of sites commemorating victims of the Nazis.

The decision mentions no specific sum, but experts say many millions of dollars are needed for urgent restoration work.

The Bundestag specifically cited the need to maintain the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, where millions of Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis.

The Warsaw government has said that at least $6 million is needed for urgent restoration work.

The legislative body also cited the need to maintain memorial sites commemorating victims of Communist dictatorship in the former East Germany. Some Nazi facilities, including the Buchenwald concentration camp, were used by the Communists to persecute their opponents.

Analysts believe the recent wave of neo-Nazi violence prompted an alarmed political leadership to put forward the Bundestag resolution.

Backing up calls to demonstrate opposition to neo-Nazi violence, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets in Bonn this Sunday to protest attacks against refugees.

A similar demonstration in Berlin last Sunday attracted 350,000 people but was marred by anarchists who threw eggs and heckled government speakers, such as Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

These demonstrations are in line with a call by the Bundestag to manifest the will of a large majority of Germans to live in peace with the non-German population.

Meanwhile, the Interior Committee of the legislature heard testimony Wednesday on the involvement of soldiers in the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, in neo-Nazi violence.

The Defense Ministry knows of 24 such cases, a spokesman said. One soldier is serving a five-year sentence for manslaughter in a special facility for youth offenders. Two other soldiers were arrested on manslaughter charges.

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