Angela Merkel’s visit to Dachau
Angela Merkel became the first German Chancellor to visit Germany’s original concentration camp located in Dachau, where more than 41,000 people died during World War II. Merkel gave a short speech, met with survivors of the camp and expressed her sadness of the events that took place there saying the events that took place there between 1933 and 1945, “fills me with deep sorrow and shame.”
Mrs. Merkel placed a wreath at the site and toured the grounds of the infamous prison camp saying it stood for, “a horrible and unprecedented chapter of our history”.
Among the survivors Merkel met with was Max Mannheimer, a 93 year old who was imprisoned at Dachau when he was only 24 and who is now the president of the Dachau committee, who had long implored Merkel to visit the camp. He welcomed her decision to visit as “historical” and a “signal of respect for the former detainees”.
Merkel made the trip to Dachau Tuesday after a last minute change in plans during her re-election campaign. She has since faced some criticism from political opponents for the visit, Ranete Kuenast of the Greens was quoted saying her visit wasin “bad taste” and “anyone who was serious about commemorating such a place of horror wouldn’t pay such a visit during an election campaign”.