Auschwitz-Birkenau not simply a register of atrocities but also a repository of courage and hope: SG

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“I am truly overwhelmed and humbled. No words can adequately express my feelings”, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in remarks at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

He asked: How can a state and individuals be so cruel and use systematic brutality against humanity?

He pointed out that over the years, he has seen many images of the Nazi concentration camps and has also heard anguished accounts from many survivors.

” Yet nothing can truly prepare one for this epicentre of evil, where systematic murder unique in human history reached its atrocious climax. I stare at the piles of glasses, hair, shoes, prayer shawls and dolls, and try to imagine the individual Jews and others to whom they belonged. I stand in disbelief before the gas chambers and crematorium — and shudder at the cruelty of those who designed this death factory.”

Secretary-General Ban said that Auschwitz-Birkenau is simply not a register of atrocities. It is also a repository of courage and hope. He said nothing can truly prepare a person for a visit to the epicentre of evil, where systematic murder unique in human history reached its atrocious climax.

The Secretary-General said that for all the victims, we need to reaffirm that we will never forget. For our shared future, we need to embrace our common duty as members of the human family to build a world of peace, justice and human dignity for all.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″

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