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'Keep alive memory' of WWII victims, urges Germany's Merkel

Polish Jews are led away for deportation by German SS soldiers during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943

Polish Jews are led away for deportation by German SS soldiers during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it remained an "everlasting responsibility to keep alive the memory" of people who lost their lives during the Nazi period.

She made the comment in a statement released on Saturday, on the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

"May 8, 1945, was a day of liberation. It meant the end of the Nazi dictatorship and the breach of civilization that was the Shoah," government spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter, citing Merkel.

The Shoah is the Hebrew term for The Holocaust.

Who else spoke up?

A day earlier, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also warned against the forgetting of Nazi crimes.

"Confronting National Socialism and the memories of injustice and guilt do not weaken our democracy. On the contrary, it strengthens its resistance and resilience," he said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas thanked those who risked their lives and who "gave a million sacrifices to free the world from fascism."

He called on people to continually advocate for freedom and democracy.

Germany's Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth used the anniversary to call for a central remembrance space in Berlin, for all victims of National Socialism.

World War II in Europe ended on May 8, 1945, when Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces.

kmm/mm (dpa, AFP)


Updated : 2021-06-19 06:24 GMT+08:00