Austria solemnly marks 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's takeover

March 12, 2008 11:07


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Austria is solemnly marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany's takeover with a joint session of parliament and the lighting of candles in memory of Holocaust victims. Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and President Heinz Fischer were presiding over a special parliamentary session Wednesday for speeches marking Hitler's annexation of Austria on March 12, 1938. Outside parliament, on the sprawling Heldenplatz or Heroes' Square, people planned to gather later in the day to light 80,000 candles - one in memory of each of the Austrian Jews and others who perished. Exactly seven decades ago, nearly 1 million Austrians packed that same square to cheer Hitler's arrival. Wednesday's mood was somber, with the commemorations all geared to reminding the alpine nation of the horrors of the regime.

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