OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird paid a visit on Thursday to the memorial museum at the World War II Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi death camp.
Baird and Canadian ambassador to Poland, Alexandra Bugailiskis, walked through the "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) gate though which inmates were brought into the camp from across Europe to face death either in its gas chambers or from forced labor, starvation and disease.
From 1940-45, the Nazis killed over 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, in Auschwitz and in neighboring Birkenau.
Baird visited an exhibition that documents the atrocities and preserves the memory of the victims. He placed roses in Poland's national colors of white and red at the Executions Wall, where inmates, chiefly Polish resistance fighters, were shot. Baird made an entry in the museum's book of visitors.
Baird is meeting later in the day with Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski in Warsaw for talks concerning Europe's security and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.