BERLIN — Holocaust survivors and officials gathered Sunday at the memorial sites of former concentration camps Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany and Sachsenhausen near Berlin to commemorate the liberation of the camps 72 years ago.
Bergen-Belsen was liberated on April 15, 1945 by British soldiers who found some 10,000 dead bodies when they entered the Nazi camp.
Germany’s Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said Sunday that, “by remembering, we want to give space in our lives for the dead and the survivors, who were disenfranchised, persecuted, tormented and murdered by the National Socialists.”
Around 200,000 people were deported to Bergen-Belsen. More than 52,000 camp inmates and 20,000 prisoners of war died there, among them the famous teenage diarist Anne Frank.
Ceremonies were also taking place at the former Sachsenhausen camp.
Sunday night in Israel marks the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the country pauses to remember the victims of the Holocaust.