German barbarism in Auschwitz hard to endure says German ambassador

German barbarism in Auschwitz hard to endure says German ambassador Omer Messinger/PAP/EPA

The inhuman barbarism committed here by the Germans is difficult to endure, the new German ambassador to Poland Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven said after visiting the site of the former Auschwitz Nazi-German death camp in south-eastern Poland and its museum.

"I was in Auschwitz-Birkenau today. It was a difficult step, but necessary for every German. The inhuman barbarism that the Germans committed here is difficult to endure. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum is doing an extremely important job in preserving the memory of the victims. Thank you for that!" the German ambassador tweeted on Friday.

Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven started his diplomatic mission in Poland in September. He is a former ambassador to the Czech Republic (2014-16), a former deputy head of Germany's BND intelligence service (2007-10) and the first head of NATO intelligence (from 2016).

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Its Auschwitz II-Birkenau section was established two years later. It became the main site for the mass extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the complex. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. In 1947, the camp site was declared a national memorial site.