Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiaboa visits Auschwitz
Wen place a floral wreath in China's national colours of red and yellow at the foot of the infamous "wall of death" at the World War II-era camp, an enduring symbol of the genocide of European Jews.
Leading a Chinese delegation, Wen walked through the camp's notorious "Arbeit macht frei" (Work will set you free) gate before visiting the remainder of the site including its gas chambers and crematoria.
"The tragedy of Auschwitz, is the tragedy of the entire human race," Wen said following the visit.
"This history teaches us that we must oppose war, discrimination and crimes, to protect liberty, security, happiness and human dignity," Wen added.
More than one million people, mostly European Jews, perished at the Auschwitz-Birkenau twin camps, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland from 1940 until it was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on January 27, 1945.
The site was one of six German death camps set up in occupied Poland, home to pre-war Europe's largest Jewish community.
Many Auschwitz victims were sent to its gas chambers immediately after being shipped in by train. Others worked to their death as slave labourers.
Among the camp's other victims were tens of thousands of non-Jewish Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, gypsies, anti-Nazi resistance fighters from across Europe and one Chinese person, according to the Auschwitz museum website.
The final "private" day of his landmark three-day visit to Poland, focused mainly on developing Chinese trade and investment in Central and Eastern Europe, also saw Wen visit Poland's southern royal city of Krakow.