Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

World

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pays tribute to victims of Auschwitz death camp during visit

  • c4523b47e09d7626430f6a706700ee22.jpg

    United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon , walks along a barbed-wire fence as he visits the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Ban Ki-moon will attend the U.N. Climate Conference held in Warsaw. on Tuesday (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

  • 63b16aa7e09d7626430f6a706700a110.jpg

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon walks along a barbed-wire fence as he visits the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Ban Ki-moon will attend the U.N. Climate Conference held in Warsaw. on Tuesday (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

  • d9ca6ffce09d7626430f6a706700202d.jpg

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon walks along a barbed-wire fence as he visits the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Ban Ki-moon will attend the U.N. Climate Conference held in Warsaw. on Tuesday (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

  • 5d41e8cde0a27626430f6a706700257a.jpg

    Rabbi Israel Meir Lau from Israel, left, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, center, and former Auschwitz prisoner Marian Turski talk as they walk through the entrance gate of the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. On the first day of his visit to Poland, Ban Ki-moon came to Auschwitz-Birkenau and on Tuesday he will attend the U.N. Climate Conference held in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

  • b729d3d4e0a27626430f6a7067008d2a.jpg

    Rabbi Israel Meir Lau from Israel, left, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, center, and former Auschwitz prisoner Marian Turski talk as they walk in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. On the first day of his visit to Poland, Ban Ki-moon came to Auschwitz-Birkenau and on Tuesday will attend the U.N. Climate Conference held in Warsaw. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) (The Associated Press)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday visited the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz to pay tribute to Holocaust victims.

Ban walked through the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes You Free) gate to see exhibitions that document the inhuman conditions that the inmates suffered there.

Housed in red brick barracks, are the hair and belongings of the inmates, as well as an urn symbolically holding some of the victims' ashes.

Ban laid flowers at the executions wall, where thousands of inmates, mostly Polish resistance members, were shot. He then went to nearby Brzezinka, with its crematorium ruins and a monument to the victims. Ban was also to visit the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot synagogue, the only remaining building that testifies to the pre-war vibrant Jewish life in the town of Oswiecim.

Between 1940-1945, some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died in gas chambers or from starvation, disease and forced labor in Auschwitz and the adjacent Birkenau death camp that Nazi Germany built in occupied Poland.

Ban also visited Krakow, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Auschwitz memorial. On Tuesday he will join a U.N. climate conference in Warsaw.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the first U.N. secretary-general to visit Auschwitz in 1995.