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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 12:51 GMT
World press digests Auschwitz lessons
World press graphic

Newspapers across the world draw their own conclusions, often coloured by historical experience, from the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

While there is no lack of sympathy with the millions who died, dailies on both sides of the Middle East divide use the occasion to reflect on the lot of the Palestinians. Comment in China complains of Japan's perceived lack of remorse over its own World War II record, in contrast with German "contrition".

In Africa and India, papers argue that the slogan "never again" has proved hollow, as attempts to wipe out ethnic or religious minorities have continued worldwide.

The recent appearance of Britain's Prince Harry at a party in a Nazi uniform also gets a mention.


Sixty years have passed since I left this death camp... The human brain is incapable of perceiving the magnitude of the atrocity... Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz, but like many of my colleagues who survived this hell... I have not been liberated from Auschwitz. Only death will free us from Auschwitz.

Noah Kaliger in Israel's Yediot Aharonot


A country where so many of its citizens survived the Holocaust is supposed to be strict in its observance of human rights... But in the 10 years that have elapsed since the world marked the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the weight of humanitarian values of which Israel was so proud has declined... The hatred of Arabs has become legitimate... even deportations have become an idea within the realm of supposedly legitimate debate... The oppression in the [Palestinian] territories goes far beyond what is needed to fight terror.

Commentary in Israel's Ha'aretz


If we sympathise with those who were arrested by Nazi forces and tortured, let us also remember the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli cells... as well as the thousands of Iraqis in occupation cells... and the prisoners from various nationalities who are in Guantanamo Bay.

Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah


The problem is that the Holocaust has been transformed from an issue of humanity into a Zionist issue... If there is any enmity, it is against Israel and its policies.

UAE's Al-Bayan


As German governments have faced history bravely with contrite determination, Germany has won forgiveness and respect from the victimised countries in Europe... While people are remembering Auschwitz, it is natural to think of the Nanjing massacre and the policy of "burn all, kill all, loot all" once pursued by the Japanese invaders in China... The sharp contrast is that the eastern country that victimized others has never faced history and acknowledged its moral obligation. On the contrary, it has tried every means to cover up.

Commentary in China's Renmin Ribao


The cultural gene from which Nazism springs still hides somewhere... The recent news that Prince Harry of the UK wore a Nazi uniform once again reminded people how terrible the loss of memory is. In 60 years, this tragedy has become a game for some people.

Commentary in China's Renmin Ribao


"Never again" was the slogan the global community raised against the horror of the gas chambers. But the memory of the Holocaust has failed to be the moral compass of the world... We are reminded of the Holocaust when we count bodies in Darfur, in the Balkans, in Rwanda, in Gujarat... It is indeed Auschwitz that comes alive when Sharon orders his tanks to roll over Palestinian villages... For Auschwitz isn't just a Jewish memory. It is about a body that has lost its soul; of nations that dispossess people of land, identity, the right to live and dissent.

India's The Times of India


Today, the silence of the kind that characterized Auschwitz still marks the world's approach to crisis points; in Darfur, in Rwanda, in the Democratic Republic of Congo etc... The words that are often used in relation to the Holocaust are "never again". But these words ring hollow in the face of the many small holocausts happening in the world today and about which the world community chooses to turn a blind eye to until it is too late.

Kenya's Standard


All Germans who seriously think about themselves and their country will continue to be haunted by this.

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung


We Poles hear that one occupation was replaced by another, which was no better. This is a falsification of history... Even those with the most vivid imagination would be unable to convince the visitors to Auschwitz-Birkenau that Soviet soldiers were no different from the SS butchers.

Poland's Trybuna


It took much too long for a Spain which, through Franco, supported Hitler, to commit itself formally [to marking the Auschwitz anniversary]... A country that lost 6,000 of its citizens in the concentration camps - and sent another 45,000 to fight on the criminals' side - should be more sensitive in such matters.

Spain's El Periodico


BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




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