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Germany remembers victims of neo-Nazis

BERLIN, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The victims of a neo-Nazi killing spree were remembered Thursday at a ceremony held in Berlin, officials said.

Three men killed nine immigrant small business owners -- one Greek and eight Turks -- as well as a police officer, between 2000 and 2006. About three months ago, it was revealed they called themselves the National Socialist Underground, after investigators had previously overlooked xenophobic motives, The Local reported.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel presided over the ceremony, flanked on either side by 10 burning candles, which represented the victims. "Ten burning candles, 10 lives extinguished -- extinguished by cold-blooded murder," she said.

Semiya Sismek's father was the first to be killed. Sismek, 25, born and raised in Germany, spoke to an audience of 1,200 guests at the Concert House on central Gendarmenmarkt Square about her frustrations.

"My father was killed by neo-Nazis. Is that supposed to comfort me?" she asked. "Am I at home in Germany? Of course I am. But how can I be sure of this when there are people who don't want me here."

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