OSWIECIM, Poland – Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has paid a visit to the memorial at the World War II Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi death camp.
Baird and Canadian ambassador to Poland, Alexandra Bugailiskis, walked Thursday through the ill-omened "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) gate though which inmates were brought into the camp to face death either in its gas chambers or from forced labor, starvation and disease.
From 1940-45, the Nazis killed over 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, in Auschwitz and in neighboring Birkenau.
Baird visited an exhibition that documents the atrocities and preserves the memory of the victims. He placed white and red roses at the Executions Wall, where inmates, chiefly Polish resistance fighters, were shot.
Baird is meeting later with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski in Warsaw.