Survivor recalls WWII ghetto in German Parliament

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Holocaust survivor Marcel Reich-Ranicki speaks during a Holocaust hour of remembrance at the German Federal Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — A survivor has recalled the beginning of the end of the Warsaw ghetto as Germany's Parliament met to remember the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

The 91-year-old Marcel Reich-Ranicki, a prominent German literary critic, remembered the Nazi SS in July 1942 informing members of the ghetto's Jewish council of plans for the inhabitants' "resettlement" to the east.

Reich-Ranicki told lawmakers Friday that a "deathly silence" was followed by uproar. He said those present "seemed to sense what had happened: that the sentence had been pronounced for the biggest Jewish city in Europe. The death sentence."

The Germans set up the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940, cramming hundreds of thousands of Jews in inhuman conditions. Most who survived were transported to death camps and the Nazis burned the ghetto in April 1943.