Heiko Maas: Our responsibility never ends

During a visit to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recalled the Nazi crimes. The atrocities should never be forgotten.

Heiko Maas:   Our responsibility never ends

During a visit to memorial site of former Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) called for use of humanity. The memory of atrocities of Nazis should also be kept awake for subsequent generations, Maas said. He laid a wreath on so-called Todeswand of Nazi tribe camp.

Thousands of people were shot on wall in Auschwitz during Second World War. He had seen in gas chambers of camp "thousands of children's shoes" and "tons of human Hair", which was taken away from people before gasification, said Maas. That is "hard to grasp in words". Auschwitz is " most horrible place in world".

Foreign Minister Maas, toger with deputy director of Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial (right), and Marian Turski (with crutches), a former inmate of Auschwitz, during his visit to former extermination camp © Michael Kappeler/DPA

"Here you have to decide: eir you lose faith in humanity, or you gain hope and power to advocate that human dignity be preserved and do something for it," said foreign minister. Auschwitz remind Germans of "what we have done to ors millions of times". "We need this place because our responsibility never ends."

Before his departure, Maas had asked to never forget deeds. "For me, Auschwitz is an everlasting reminder to stand up for inviolable Dignity of man worldwide – personally and politically," said Maas. At same time, he emphasized importance of German-Polish relations. "For us today Poland is not only a neighbour but an esteemed friend and an important partner in Europe."

Following visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, a meeting with Polish foreign minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, was planned in nearby village of Harmęże. In Warsaw, Maas was already a guest in March shortly after taking office.

Updated Date: 21 August 2018, 12:00

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