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Muslim leaders make 'historic' visit to Auschwitz

January 23, 2020

Muslim and Jewish leaders have together offered memorial prayers at the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz. Muslim leaders have described the visit as "both a sacred duty and a profound honor."

Sheikh Mohammed al-Eissa, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League walks inside former Nazi-German concentration and extermination camp KL Auschwitz II-Birkenau ahead of the 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/ZUMAPRESS/SOPA/O. Marques

Muslim and Jewish leaders on Thursday visited the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz in what they have dubbed a "historic" visit, days before the 75th anniversary of the site's liberation.

The visit was led by Muslim World League leader Mohammed bin Abdulkarim al-Issa and American Jewish Committee chief executive David Harris.

"To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor," said al-Issa.

"The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes again humanity, that is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God's children."

Read more: Opinion: Steinmeier's humble Auschwitz commemoration

Jewish life 75 years after Auschwitz

'Never forget'

Al-Issa led a delegation of 62 Muslims, including dozens of religious leaders from nearly 30 countries, according to the American Jewish Committee.

The Jewish advocacy organization shared a video of the Muslim and Jewish delegation praying together.

"Together, we remember," the tweet said. "Together, we will never forget."

Read more: World Holocaust Forum: Israelis want action on anti-Semitism, not words

Auschwitz survivor Dita Kraus

Systematic mass murder

On January 27, Holocaust survivors, relatives of those murdered and people across the globe will commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet forces.

More than 1 million people, the vast majority of them Jews, were killed at the death camp.

Nazi Germany systematically detained, deported and killed more than six millions Jews, along with millions of others, including Poles, Slavs, Romani and members of other ethnic and social groups.

Read more: The German company that enabled the Holocaust

Visiting Yad Vashem

ls/stb (AFP, dpa)

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