Chirac inaugurates concentration camp memorial
French President Jacques Chirac inaugurated on Thursday a center commemorating World War II resistance fighters who were deported from across Europe and killed at the concentration camp. Some 52,000 people were deported to the Struthof camp in eastern France or to its annexes between May 1941 and September 1944. Close to 22,000 of them were killed. "Always remember," Chirac said. "Fight relentlessly against those who in France or in the world promote hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance." He also said the "rigor of the law" should always be applied to those "who try to deny the horror of what happened." Aside from members of the French Resistance, prisoners from more than 30 countries were deported to the camp, many of them Poles, Dutch, Belgians and from Luxembourg, as well as Germans, Austrians, Czechs, Russians, Norwegians and Italians. More than 130 Jews sent from Auschwitz also were killed in a gas chamber built near the camp. The Nazis evacuated the main camp and forced prisoners to march to Dachau as Allied soldiers approached in September 1944.