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German Chancellor takes part in ceremonies marking 70th anniversary of Dachau liberation

May 03, 2015, 17:48 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, May 3. /TASS/. Ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in Germany were held on Sunday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who took part in the ceremonies along with survivors and liberators, vowed to keep alive the memory of Nazi crimes.

"It is a great fortune that people like you are prepared to tell us your life stories, the unending suffering that Germany inflicted on you during the Nazi period," Merkel said addressing Dachau survivors. She said Germany must never forget about the horrible things that had happened at Nazi concentration camps. Memorial complexes set up at the sites of the former concentration camps, she said, were meant to keep alive the memory of people’s sufferings.

Dachau, 17 kilometres away from Munich, was the first concentration camp built by the Nazis. It was opened on March 22, 1933, just more than a month after Adolf Hitler took power. At first, it held Jews, Gypsies and opponents of the Nazi regime. Before it was liberated on April 29, 1945, more than 200,000 people from 24 European countries, including the former Soviet Union, were held there. Some 40,000-45,000 prisoners died, although the exact number is not yet established.

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