THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have described their visit to a former Nazi concentration camp as ‘shattering’, saying the site is a ‘terrible reminder of the cost of war’.
William and Kate heard first hand about the horrors of Stutthof camp, now a museum, from survivors and also toured the crematorium, where the bodies of thousands of prisoners were burned.
The couple, who are on a five-day tour of Poland and Germany, saw other evidence of the Nazis’ attempts to exterminate Jews, from a display of hundreds of pairs of victims’ shoes to the tiny wooden huts where prisoners slept three to a bunk.
A sombre William and Kate left a message in the visitors’ book which said: ‘We were intensely moved by our visit to Stutthof, which has been the scene of so much terrible pain, suffering and death. This shattering visit has reminded us of the horrendous murder of six million Jews. All of us have an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that we learn the lessons and that the horror is never forgotten and never repeated.’
British survivors of the camp, Manfred Goldberg and Zigi Shipper, both 87, from London, made a trip to the camp — the first time they had returned — to meet William and Kate.
Mr Goldberg said: ‘I agonised before I agreed to come here, because I felt I’d put it all behind me.
‘In 1946 when I was admitted to England, I didn’t dream I would ever have the privilege of shaking the hand of a future king of this country.’
Later the royal couple visited the port city of Gdansk, where large crowds turned out to see them.