More than two dozen presidents, prime ministers, members of royalty and other leaders sat in the bitterly cold open air into the night to remember the 6 million victims of the Holocaust, most of them Jews. Among those attending were Vice President Cheney, German President Horst Koehler, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac, Britain's Prince Edward and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, whose father was held at the camp as a Soviet prisoner of war.
In Germany, where denying the genocide against Jews is a crime, a political party that sympathizes with neo-Nazis walked out of a Holocaust memorial service in Saxony last week to protest what its leaders called lack of recognition of the large numbers of German civilians killed by Allied bombers during World War II
. In Russia, two dozen members of the parliament recently signed a letter blaming Jews for "provoking" anti-Semitism and asking the government to ban Jewish groups on grounds of extremism.
In France, nationalist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen -- who won 18 percent of the vote in the presidential election three years ago -- said in a magazine interview published this month that the severity of the Nazi occupation of his country had been exaggerated, calling it "not especially inhumane."
Around the same time, Britain's Prince Harry showed up at a party dressed as a Nazi, dealing a huge public embarrassment to the House of Windsor. It dispatched Harry's uncle, Prince Edward, to Auschwitz as its representative for the ceremonies.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"