UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Visit Auschwitz Death Camp

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A spokesman said Tuesday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to visit the infamous former Auschwitz death camp in Poland. The camp remains the most vivid symbol of the cruelty of Nazi Germany's genocide of World War II.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky announced that Ban will visit the camp on Monday "to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to stress the importance of the UN's work for genocide prevention, tolerance and peace."

Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died in Auschwitz and the adjacent Birkenau death camp in gas chambers or from starvation, disease and forced labor.

Ban will fly to Krakow, Poland, following visits to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania and will then go on to Warsaw to attend the high-level session of a UN conference on climate change.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the first UN secretary-general to visit Auschwitz in November 1995.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon making a press statement about the investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, March 21, 2013.Credit: AFP

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