A holocaust survivor hugged a former Auschwitz guard at his trial for alleged complicity in the murder of 300,000 people, in a historic gesture of reconciliation.
Eva Kor, an 81-year-old Jew who lost her parents and older sisters to gas chambers at the Nazi death camp in 1944, embraced former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening, 93, after testifying against him before a German court.
The woman, who told judges how she and her twin sister were used as human guinea pigs for notorious camp doctor Josef Mengele's cruel medical experiments, approached Groening at the end of a day of hearings in Lueneburg, northern Germany.
Kor, who flew from Indiana to give evidence, said she wanted to urge the former Nazi officer to follow up on his pledge to commit the rest of his life to denouncing the appalling crimes he witnessed at Auschwitz.
The two spoke briefly and the meeting ended with Groening landing a kiss on her chick.
"He likes me, how about that? I am going back to the US with a kiss on my cheek from a former Nazi," she told The Times afterwards.
"This shows that former enemies can get along as human beings. What on earth do we want to tell the world? Killing each other has never created anything good. I want to teach young people that even former Nazis and survivors can get along."
The emotional moment was captured on a mobile phone camera by Kor's lawyer who passed the picture to the British newspaper.
The pair have stood out for their similarly open approach to the tragic events they were part of in such different ways.
Kor earlier told the court she has forgiven "all the Nazis", including Groening, for the suffering that was inflicted upon her.
Groening, a SS non-commissioned officer deployed at Auschwitz as a guard from 1942 to 1944, is one of the few Nazis who have confessed to "moral guilt" over the Holocaust.
He has openly acknowledged he was aware of atrocities committee at Auschwitz during his time there and claims he feels a moral obligation to tell what he saw.
"I want to tell those deniers that I have seen the crematoria, I have seen the burning pits, and I want to assure you that these atrocities happened," he told the BBC in 2005. "I was there."
However he denies charges of being accessory to the murder of 300,000 mainly Hungarian Jews, who were killed at Auschwitz between 16 May and 11 July 1944.
Groening was tasked with collecting and tallying money and valuable plundered from Jews and other victims, a job that made him infamously known as "the Auschwitz bookkeeper".
Prosecutors claim that, as a camp guard in that period, he should be held responsible for murders committed there, even without evidence that he was directly involved in any killing.
They also allege he helped the Nazis benefit economically by dealing with the belongings stolen from the victims.