VATICAN CITY - The Holocaust must serve as a "constant warning" to prevent any recurrence of such crimes, Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"The memory of this tragedy, which hit the Jewish people especially hard, must represent for everyone a constant warning so that the horrors of the past are not repeated," the pope said during his traditional Sunday prayer at St Peter's Square.
He also expressed the wish that "one overcomes all forms of racism and hatred" and that "the respect and dignity of human beings be encouraged."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that Germany has "an everlasting responsibility" for the crimes committed by the Nazis.
"Naturally, we have an everlasting responsibility for the crimes of national-socialism, for the victims of World War II, and above all, for the Holocaust," Merkel said in a podcast on her website.
Wednesday will mark the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's rise to power on January 30, 1933.