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Heiko Maas in Auschwitz / Oswiecim: survivors are hoping for increased efforts by the German Government to counter anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism

Heiko Maas © Boris Buchholz

Heiko Maas © Boris Buchholz




Auschwitz survivors are very disturbed by recent studies reporting a growing hardening of anti-Semitic prejudices and a massive increase in anti-Semitism in many different facets. For this reason, they are welcoming tomorrow’s journey to Oswiecim/Auschwitz by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Mass, where he will be visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and the International Youth Meeting Center.

The Auschwitz survivors regard the foreign minister’s journey not only as a sign of his personal interest. They are also hoping for greater efforts by the German Government to counter growing anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism and populist hatred in Europe, in today’s increasingly volatile situation.

Commenting on the visit, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice-President of the International Auschwitz Committee said:

"Nowadays, a journey to Auschwitz is not merely a journey into the past. When neo-Nazis or right-wing extremists take to the streets or become active on the Internet today, they always see Auschwitz as a stimulus. The murderous anti-Semitism and the hatred that Auschwitz emanates to this day, fires their fanaticism and their propensity to violence worldwide. It is for this reason in particular, that the Auschwitz survivors consider it especially important that Foreign Minister Maas will be making a point of talking with young people during his visit to Auschwitz: young diplomats will be accompanying him on his journey, and he will be meeting with young people from Germany and Poland at the International Youth Meeting Center."