Obama slams Holocaust deniers at concentration camp
Fri Jun 5, 2009
By David Alexander
BUCHENWALD, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama took aim at those who deny the Holocaust -- including Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- when he made an emotional visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp on Friday. After telling a U.S. television network that Ahmadinejad should visit Buchenwald himself, Obama accompanied two survivors of the Holocaust and Chancellor Angela Merkel on a tour of the camp, outside Weimar in eastern Germany.
"To this day we know there are those who insist the Holocaust never happened, a denial of a fact or truth that is baseless, ignorant and hateful," Obama said in a brief address. "This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts, a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history," he added. "I will not forget what I have seen here today. These sights have not lost their horror over time."
Buchenwald survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, 80, accompanied Obama to the camp set up by the Nazis in 1937. An estimated 56,000 people were killed there.
Obama and Merkel also visited the so-called Little Camp, where the conditions and treatment of prisoners were especially poor. Wiesel was kept there for some time. Little Camp was known as the Jewish Camp because nearly all of its about 2,000 prisoners were Jews -- Polish, French, Russian and Dutch. The camp's gatehouse is intact and the words "Jedem das Seine" ("To each his destiny") are carved into the iron gates.