Austria marks 65 years since Mauthausen liberation

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Austria’s parliament yesterday commemorated the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi death camp of Mauthausen, with strong calls to fight indifference and remember history.

In a moving speech, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Poland’s current state secretary for international affairs and a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, called for people “to deal with the past - especially its tragic aspects - responsibly.”

“Indifference to evil is the biggest sin,” he told the audience, including Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Werner Faymann and top members of the government. “Twenty-first century man... needs one thing above all else: a clear conscience. And there is no clear conscience without fundamental truth.”

Bartoszewski, 88, a former resistant and foreign minister who was named “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel for helping rescue Jews from the Warsaw ghetto and is upheld in Poland as a moral authority, put the onus on younger generations to continue remembering Nazi crimes and honour their victims....

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