German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has expressed his country’s shame for the atrocities committed in Nazi death camps during the Second World War.

His speech in Berlin is part of a worldwide week of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

‘Sixty years after the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army I stand before you as the representative of a democratic Germany. I express my shame over those who were murdered, and before those of you who have survived the hell of the concentration camps,’ said Mr Schroeder.

‘With you, I bow before the victims of the extermination camps. And if one day the names of the victims should fade from the memory of mankind, their fate will remain unforgotten. They rest in the heart of history’, added the Chancellor.

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has said the evil that led to the murder of six million Jews and others during the Holocaust is one that still threatens the world today.

Mr Annan made his comments in an address to a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York.