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Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios visits Dachau on last day of Germany visit

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, on Monday became the second church leader to visit a Nazi concentration camp and hold a prayer for the millions of people who perished in World War II after Pope Benedict visited Auschwitz in 2006.

Vartholomaios was on a nine-day official visit to Germany to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany. He met with senior clerics, as well as with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

His visit ended on Monday with a tour of the World War II concentration camp at Dachau, north of Munich, built by the Nazis for political prisoners and responsible for at least 32,000 deaths.

Vartholomaios, together with a group of Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish and Muslim clerics held a special service in honor of the victims who were killed at the camp and toured the area, making a stop for prayer at the camp's torture chamber, where photographs of victims are on display, including that of former Greek Communist Party General Secretary Nikos Zachariadis.

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