Pope Francis has visited the site of the Auschwitz death camp and prayed in silent tribute for more than a million people, most of them Jews, who died there at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The Vatican had indicated that Francis would not speak during his visit on July 29, to stress that no words can describe the horror of the scenes that took place there during the war.
After the silent prayers at the site, which, Francis met with several Holocaust survivors, before heading to Auschwitz's Death Wall, the site where people were executed with rifles. There, he lit a candle.
Francis wrote in Auschwitz's commemorative book: "Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty," according to an image posted on Twitter by the Auschwitz museum.
Between 1940 and 1945, German occupation forces in Poland developed Auschwitz into a vast complex of barracks, workshops, gas chambers, and crematoriums.
Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP