US vice president visits former Nazi concentration camp

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen go through the gate with the writing "Works sets you free" as they a visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, southern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, one day after he attended the Munich Security Conference. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

DACHAU, Germany (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence paid a somber visit to the site of the Dachau concentration camp on Sunday, walking along the grounds where tens of thousands of people were killed during World War II.

Pence was joined by his wife, Karen, and the couple’s 23-year-old daughter, Charlotte, as they toured the exhibits at the former concentration camp that was established by the Nazis in 1933 near Munich.

The vice president was accompanied by Abba Naor, a survivor of the camp, and other dignitaries as he passed through the wrought iron gate bearing the inscription, “Arbeit macht frei,” or “Work sets you free.” The Pences placed a wreath beneath the International Memorial at the center of the camp, toured the barracks and viewed the ovens inside the crematorium.

The Pences also stopped at religious memorials at the site and later attended a church service on the camp’s grounds.

More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held at Dachau, and more than 40,000 prisoners died there. The camp was liberated by U.S. forces in April 1945.

Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Dachau during a trip to Germany in 2015.

Making his first overseas trip as vice president, Pence spoke to foreign diplomats and defense officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders.

Shortly after his arrival in Brussels later Sunday, Pence said the American people appreciate the nation’s alliance with Belgium and he’s looking forward to his meetings with European Union and NATO leaders on Monday.