Austria's chancellor invokes country's role in Holocaust

Austria's chancellor is reminding citizens of their country's role in the Holocaust and urging them to ensure its horrors are never repeated, ahead of an international day of observance for Jewish and other Nazi victims.

In a statement, Christian Kern says that Austria's history "breeds the eternal duty ... to be alert against all racist and anti-Semitic tendencies."

Kern spoke Thursday, a day ahead of the liberation 72 years ago of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland — an event now internationally commemorated annually as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Austrians overwhelmingly welcomed the country's annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938. Proportionately, more Austrians than Germans were members of Hitler's National Socialist party, and many of his henchmen were Austrian.