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Germany pleads forgiveness for Greek Nazi massacre

Published on Mar 8, 2014 4:56 AM

LIGIADES (AFP) - German President Joachim Gauck on Friday solemnly asked Greece to forgive Germany for a heinous Nazi crime committed at the height of World War II, while carefully dismissing calls for reparations.

Mr Gauck visited the scene of the tragedy in the hills of northern Greece, accompanied by his counterpart Karolos Papoulias, the 84-year-old veteran of the Greek resistance and a native of the region.

"With shame and suffering, I ask for forgiveness on behalf of Germany from the families of victims," Mr Gauck said during the visit to the village of Ligiades, near the border with Albania.

A monument at the site immortalises the October 1943 massacre, where machine-gun toting Nazis mowed down 80 civilians, including dozens of children, in reprisal for attacks by the Greek resistance on German targets.

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