'Never again' vow on Hitler anniversary

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The Independent Online
BERLIN - Hundreds of thousands of Germans took part in ceremonies at the weekend marking the 60th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power and vowed that it could never happen again, writes Adrian Bridge.

The largest rally was in Berlin on Saturday, where 100,000 people carrying candles formed a chain through the Brandenburg Gate and lined the route where Nazis held a torch-lit victory parade on 30 January 1933. The march ended with scuffles between militant left-wingers and police, but no arrests were made.

President Richard von Weizsacker marked the anniversary in the north-eastern city of Rostock, the flash-point of some of the worst neo-Nazi attacks last year. Although the attacks have abated, Mr von Weizsacker urged Germans to stand up and be counted as defenders of democracy: 'We must never let hate and violence rule our streets, our thoughts or our actions.'

The Jewish community urged the country's leaders to unite against a neo-Nazi resurgence. 'After the events of the past year, all of us must take heed that xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance are not given another chance in Germany,' said a statement from the community.

(Photograph omitted)