French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing went to the infamous Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, in southern Poland, on Wednesday (18 June) as part of his four-day State visit to Poland.
GV & CU Concentration camp building with barbed wire surrounds (2 shots)
LV Monument with eternal flame in foreground
CU Plaque memorial to dead
SV PAN Giscard (left) and Gierek laying wreaths on monument base
SCU Giscard and Gierek
SV PAN Crowds watching ceremony
CU PAN Giscard and Gierek walk away towards camp
Initials BB/0110 EC/MR/BB/0125
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Background: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing went to the infamous Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, in southern Poland, on Wednesday (18 June) as part of his four-day State visit to Poland.
President Giscard d'Estaing and Polish Communist Party leader Edward Gierek laid wreathes at the monument honouring the millions who died in the largest of Europe's wartime concentration camps.
The French leader used the occasion to make an impassioned speech urging the replacement of the world's reigning policies of strength and military confrontation with a spirit of detente, negotiation and cooperation.
He said there was nowhere better than the "cursed but sacred" site at Auschwitz to inspire hope for understanding between East and West for it was in the camps they met for this first time -- a reference to the peoples of 28 nations of Western and Eastern Europe who died there.
The visit by President Giscard d'Estaing is his first to an eastern block country since ??? office and is aimed at restoring the special Franco-Polish relationship established by President de Gaulle. A mutual boost in trade between the two countries is also expected as a result of the visit.