Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Poljski predsjednik Andrzej Duda.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Ured predsjednice/ mm

Mankind must do everything in its power to eradicate evil which makes people commit crimes such as those committed here, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Wednesday in Auschwitz, the largest mass murder site in human history.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the duty of all politicians was to see that horrors such those that happened in Auschwitz must never happen again.

Addressing today's commemoration marking the 71st anniversary of the liberation of that Nazi camp and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Polish president said that Auschwitz would always be a symbol and a warning against recurrence of such crimes. 

The Croatian president told the press after the commemoration that "we are here to recall the evil that happened here, horrendous crimes, all those people murdered, tortured, starved to death, but also all Holocaust victims as well."

At places like this we have to wonder how much had mankind failed when it did not stop this, Grabar-Kitarovic said. Unfortunately,evil still happens, the president said. "It happened in Vukovar, Srebrenica, Omarska, Rwanda ...  and once again we failed to prevent it, as people, as Europeans," Grabar-Kitarovic said.

"Evil continues to happen in Syria," Grabar Kitarovic said "this is the question of our responsibility as people, our humanity and mankind, that we must not relax, that we always must talk about what happened, about the historical truth, that we must educate the youth about tolerance, values of freedom and human rights"

It is necessary to do everything in our power to prevent something like this from happening again and eradicate all evils that make people do things like those that happened in Auschwitz, the Croatian president said.

On 27 January 1945 Soviet soldiers entered the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex in south-west Poland. The site had been evacuated by the Nazis just days earlier.

Precise numbers are still debated, but according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German SS systematically killed at least 960,000 of the 1.1-1.3 million Jews deported to the camp. Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and at least 10,000 from other nationalities. More people died at Auschwitz than at any other Nazi concentration camp and probably than at any death camp in history.

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