An Auschwitz survivor described the horrors of life in the concentration camp as he met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin today.
Leon Schwarzbaum, 96, who spent two years Auschwitz from the age of 21, recalled how the 'terrible' smell of the crematorium would hang in the air, saying: 'You could smell the chimney throughout the whole camp.'
William and Kate, who yesterday visited Stutthof concentration camp, near Gdansk, told Mr Schwarzbaum he was 'brave' to talk about his own harrowing experiences.
The royal couple spoke to Mr Schwarzbaum inside the information centre at the memorial, also called the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, where they examined displays on the victims, the camps and the Nazi death marches.
They also spent time walking through the memorial itself, a huge sculpture made from some 2,700 concrete blocks that evokes a graveyard in the centre of the German capital.
It serves as a place of quiet place of reflection and remembrance for the roughly six million Jews who died under the Nazi regime.
William and Kate made their way to the memorial from nearby Brandenburg Gate, where they were met by thousands of screaming well-wishers desperate to catch a glimpse of the royal visitors.
But the mood was quite different at the memorial, with the couple taking time to explore the site.
Dressed in a bespoke Catherine Walker coat in violet blue, the shade of Germany's national bloom, the cornflower, Kate looked solemn as she and William navigated their way between the concrete blocks.
Designed by American architect Peter Eisenman, the memorial, which was officially opened in 2005, offers visitors the opportunity space to explore as they reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust.
In his notes on the project, Mr Eisenman explained the blocks, which are placed on an uneven floor, are designed to create an 'uneasy' and 'confusing' atmosphere.
William and Kate also toured the underground information centre, which documents the persecution and exterminations of Jews, and the concentration camps where millions were murdered.
The couple were given a personal tour of the centre, which uses personal memoirs and family stories to recount the tragedy and destruction of the Nazi regime.
They listened intently to their guide as they stepped into the first room of the centre, where six large scale portraits on the wall represent the six million Jewish victims.
They studied displays depicting families forced into ghettos, slave labour, concentration camps and death marches and met a German Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, where 1.1 million perished.
Earlier William and Kate, who have spent the last two days in Poland, arrived in Germany with their children, Prince George, three, and Princess Charlotte, two, as they continue their European tour.
Later in the day the Duke and Duchess will visit Strassenkinder in east Berlin, a charity which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including homeless children.
They will return to the west of the city and meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Bellevue Palace, and in the evening attend a Queen's birthday party held in the gardens of the British ambassador's residence.
Yesterday, the couple paid an emotional visit to the former Nazi concentration camp Stuthoff, describing the experience as 'shattering'
The couple toured the former camp in northern Poland where 65,000 people died during Germany's occupation in the Second World War from disease, malnutrition, physical exhaustion, exposure to the harsh climate and abuse from guards - as well as in the gas chamber used to murder those too sick to work, opposite a brick crematorium.
After a guided tour of the camp, 20 miles from Gdansk, they had an emotional meeting with two British survivors of Stuttoff, Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, both 87, who were both making their first return to the camp since moving to Britain after the war.
Sources : Dailymail
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