World marks Auschwitz liberation

The heads of state of both Israel and Germany will join those of Russia and other countries to remember the arrival of Soviet troops in 1945.

More than a million people, the vast majority of them Jews, were murdered in the Auschwitz “death factory”.

Former inmates and Red Army veterans will lead a candle-lighting ceremony.

Events to mark the anniversary began in the German capital, Berlin, where parliament held a special ceremony including an address by a German-Jewish camp survivor, Arno Lustiger.

At a forum in Krakow attended by members of the Soviet unit which captured the camp, Israeli President Moshe Katsav said the history of the Holocaust should never be distorted.

At the same forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against anti-Semitism and admitted that it was a problem in his country.

French President Jacques Chirac, inaugurating an exhibit in honour of French nationals interned in Auschwitz, said his country must bear its responsibility for the deportation of Jews from Nazi-occupied France.