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Memorial for Hitler army deserters

People surround the new memorial in Vienna, Austria (AP)
People surround the new memorial in Vienna, Austria (AP)

Austria's president has apologised for his country's treatment of soldiers who deserted Hitler's army during the Second World War.

President Heinz Fischer said that calling them traitors for decades after the conflict is "something for which one has to apologise".

He spoke while unveiling a memorial honouring those who had fled military duty rather than serve under the Nazi regime.

The ceremony in Vienna was attended by local dignitaries and some of those who had deserted.

The grey stone monument, just steps from the presidential offices, is the first of its kind in the Austrian capital.

A large X on its surface stands for the tens of thousands of deserters who were executed under Hitler.


From Belfast Telegraph