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11 Apr, 2008 01:59

Europe remembers Nazi camp victims

Europe is remembering the estimated 18 million people who passed through Nazi concentration camps. April 11 marks the liberation of Buchenwald, one of the most notorious camps in Nazi Germany. For many the day is a chance to highlight anti-semitism.

There were more than 14,000 Nazi concentration camps in Germany and on the occupied territories.

Ida Specter was eight when she and her family were sent to a Nazi concentration camp in Western Ukraine.

“There were a lot of children but I don’t remember anybody running around or playing. We were so hungry – we couldn’t think of anything else. All the grass in the yard was eaten,” Ida recalls.

It was there that she became aware of her ethnicity.

“It was only in the camp that I found out that I was a Jew. Before the war I didn’t even suspect such thing as a nationality existed,” Ida says.

On average, a prisoner lasted for less than year, many dying from starvation or torture. Millions were systematically murdered.

The process of death was perfected to the smallest detail. Before being killed, people were exploited until their last breath. And even after their death, the prisoners’ hair, ashes and bones were used in manufacturing.

Now the fascist ideology is officially banned in Russia but some of its variations like racism and nationalism still attract supporters among the country’s youth.

In Germany, the number of neo-Nazis is also on the increase. Last year, more than one in twenty young men voted for a far-right party.