Angela Merkel has come under fire over a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau during an election campaign.
The German Chancellor said the visit to the camp where more than 200,000 people from across Europe were imprisoned would be conducted with a sense of "shame and dismay," in her weekly podcast ahead of the trip.
"I know that this will not be an easy visit," she said.
The visit, during which she will warn Europeans about the dangers of right-wing extremism, will make Merkel the first incumbent German chancellor to visit the site.
However, she drew criticism for planning the trip just hours before an evening election rally in a beer tent in the nearby Bavarian city of Munich.
Opposition politicians slammed Merkel's visit to the camp, which comes less than a week after she officially launched her election campaign for a third term as chancellor, as "tasteless".
"If you are serious about the commemoration at such a site of horror, you surely do not make such a visit during an election campaign," Renate Kuenast from Germany's Greens party told Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper.
However the leader of Munich's Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, defended Merkel, calling it "admirable" that she was taking time out of a planned trip to the region to go to Dachau.Suggest a correction