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Page last updated at 09:25 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 10:25 UK

Holocaust train in German capital

Visitors to the 'Train of Commemoration', 13 April 2008
The exhibition features photos and letters from those who died

A train exhibition commemorating the thousands of children murdered by the Nazis is spending a second day in the German capital Berlin.

Large queues formed hours before the exhibition arrived at Berlin's Ostbahnhof station on Sunday.

The display, which has been touring Germany since November, shows pictures and letters from Holocaust victims.

But the exhibition's organisers have accused German national railways of a lack of support.

State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn refused to allow the train to stop at Berlin's central station, instead offering the Ostbahnhof, the main station of the former East Berlin.

Deutsche Bahn says a stop at the city's central station would have caused major disruption to normal services.

Criticism

The company has also faced criticism over its demand for $110,000 (55,000) in fees for use of its network. The government urged it to drop the charge.

Deutsche Bahn took over responsibility for Germany's rail network from the Nazi-era Reichsbahn, which was used to transport millions of Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.

The exhibition organisers said they wanted to highlight what they saw as a failure of Deutsche Bahn to adequately acknowledge the issue of transporting concentration camp victims.

Visitors to the 'Train of Commemoration', 13 April 2008
Hundreds queued to meet the train in Berlin

However, supporters of the company point out that it has already organised exhibitions illustrating the role of the Reichsbahn.

About 160,000 people have visited the train - hauled by an old steam locomotive - since it began touring the country.

"Time and again, there are very painful moments on the train," said organiser Hans-Ruediger Minow.

"In particular, Germans born at the end of the war often start to cry, especially the men. That's when they see their parents hid the truth and covered up these crimes."

Holocaust survivor Herbert Schenkmann said: "I think it is very important because it shows, when I see the people who have come here, that there is a need to come to terms with the past."

The exhibition, called the Train of Commemoration, continues its journey through eastern Germany before arriving at the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on 8 May.




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