For the first time, Queen Elizabeth II will travel to a former Nazi concentration camp on her trip to Germany this month, the Associated Press reported Monday. In addition to Bergen-Belsen, where Anne Frank and her older sister, Margot, died, the queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Berlin and Frankfurt during the June 23-26 trip.
The visit to Bergen-Belsen will occur two months after the 70th anniversary of its liberation by British troops on April 15, 1945. The AP reports that the queen will visit a memorial to Anne, the famous teenage diarist, and Margot Frank and meet with survivors and liberators of the camp. Queen Elizabeth was born the same year (1926) as Margot Frank, and three years before Anne, and she worked in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II.
The trip will also include meetings with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the AP, and will also feature public appearances at Berlin's Pariser Platz, beside the Brandenburg Gate, and the central square in Frankfurt.
According to the Express, there were roughly 60,000 starving inmates left at Bergen-Belsen by the time Britain had liberated the concentration camp. Another 14,000 died shortly after liberation due to starvation and sickness.
The queen's uncle, King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 in favor of her father, George VI, was suspected of Nazi sympathies, having visited Hitler and Nazi Germany up until 1937. Her grandson, Prince Harry, was criticized in 2005 for wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party.
While this trip will be Elizabeth's fifth official state visit to Germany -- she had previously traveled there with Prince Philip in May 1965, May 1978, October 1992 and November 2004, according to the AP -- this trip will mark her first visit to a former concentration camp.