Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II met with survivors and liberators in a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.
The visit to the camp in northern Germany was the concluding event in the queen’s three-day state visit to Germany that ended Friday. It was her first visit to a Nazi concentration camp.
Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, met with survivors of the camp and British soldiers who liberated it, the BBC reported.
“The memory of the Holocaust remains such a fundamental aspect of modern Jewish identity that the queen’s journey to memorialize the victims will be viewed as tremendously significant by Jewish communities across the world,” Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth in Britain, who met with the queen at the Bergen-Belsen ceremony, told The Associated Press.
When news of the visit was announced, Britain’s Holocaust Education Trust Chief Executive Karen Pollock told London’s Jewish News, “Having recently marked 70 years since British armed forces liberated Bergen Belsen, it is fitting that Her Majesty will pay her respects at this site in this significant year.”
“Her Majesty’s visit will mean a huge amount to those survivors and liberators still with us, and of course to all of us dedicated to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive.”
Elizabeth and Philip will also travel to Frankfurt with Germany’s federal president, Joachim Gauck, during the four-day trip to Germany.