Concentration camp memorials seeing rise in far-right visitors: foundation head

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Two former Nazi concentration camps are increasingly seeing visitors who disrupt memorial tours by voicing far-right sentiments and nostalgia for the camps’ previous genocidal purposes.

“We even see anti-Semitic slogans or statements such as ‘if the camps were still in operation, we would have no problem with foreigners,’ ” Volkhard Knigge, head of the memorial foundation for Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps, told the German Neue Westfälische newspaper, according to The Telegraph’s translation.

“There are increasing entries in our visitor books that describe National Socialism and the concentration camps as useful and good for Germany,” Knigge said, according to the Telegraph.

Knigge also said that neo-Nazis have disrupted tours of the memorials by raising questions about whether the Holocaust happened.

Knigge blamed the increasingly disruptive visitors on the rise of Germany’s right-wing Alternative for Germany party. Leaders of the party, which is known for anti-migrant rhetoric, have previously condemned extremism.

The warning about disruptions at memorials comes days before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

World leaders are in Europe and Jerusalem to mark the anniversary. Vice President Pence spoke about remembering the Holocaust at Israel’s Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center on Thursday. Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is leading a congressional delegation to the Auschwitz memorial site in Poland.

Buchenwald, one of the first and largest concentration camps, and Mittelbau-Dora, originally a sub-camp of Buchenwald, were both in Germany. They were liberated in 1945. Both held thousands of prisoners. It is estimated that millions died in dozens of concentration camps under Nazi control.

Tags Auschwitz concentration camp Buchenwald concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp Nancy Pelosi Nazi concentration camps The Holocaust

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