Merkel at Dachau ceremony condemns anti-Semitism


(JTA) — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany condemned anti-Semitism at a ceremony marking 70 years since the liberation of Dachau.

“We are all forever called upon to never close our eyes and ears to those who today accost, threaten and attack people when they identify themselves somehow as Jews or also when they side with the State of Israel,” Merkel said Sunday at the former concentration camp during a ceremony attended by Holocaust survivors.

Merkel first visited Dachau in 2013, the first German chancellor to do so.

“There were unfathomable horrors everywhere,” she said Sunday. “They all admonish us to never forget. No, we will never forget. We’ll not forget for the sake of the victims, for our own sake, and for the sake of future generations.”

Dachau, which is about 10 miles from Munich, was the first Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany.

The ceremony was one of several at Nazi camps throughout Europe during this 70th year since the end of World War II.

The main gate of the camp, bearing the sign “Arbeit macht frei,” or “work sets you free,” was stolen last year and was re-created by a German blacksmith.

More than 200,000 people were imprisoned in the camp and its satellite locations between 1933 and 1945. Some 28,000 prisoners died in Dachau, and another 13,000 died at the external sites.

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