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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Dachau survivors mark liberation
Camp survivors sit where the barracks used to stand in Dachau, Germany
The Dachau camp was liberated by US troops in 1945
Hundreds of people who survived the Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany have gathered to mark the day they were liberated by US troops.

Some 30,000 people died in the camp before it was liberated by US soldiers on 29 April 1945.

Dachau, near Munich, was the first camp to be built by the Nazis in March 1933 and lasted 12 years.

The Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, said "human dignity had been trampled underfoot" there.

Deep emotions

During the ceremony he said that it was not enough to remember but urged people to also take active part in society to prevent such things from ever happening again.

The camp, which opened two months after Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, served as a prototype for other labour camps.

"This ceremony inevitably stirs up deep emotions in the former prisoners," General Andre Delpech, a French survivor said.

A day after the camp was liberated, on 30 April 1945, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin.

The day chosen to mark the events has sparked controversy among a German Jewish group as it falls on the same day as Passover.

During the Jewish holiday, the faithful are not allowed to leave their home towns meaning that many could not attend the ceremony.




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