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Neo-Nazi rally casts shadow over VE Day celebrations (TELEGRAPH UK) By Sean Rayment and Tony Paterson in Berlin 05/08/05)Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;sessionid=GXSEQDDBMCQGHQFIQMGSM5OAVCBQWJVC?xml=/news/2005/05/08/nve208.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/05/08/ixnewstop.html DAILY TELEGRAPH DAILY TELEGRAPH Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
A neo-nazi rally is expected to overshadow official ceremonies in Berlin today to mark the defeat of Hitler, as celebrations for the 60th anniversary of VE Day take place across Europe.

More than 6,000 riot police are on standby for the march by the far- Right National Democratic Party through the centre of the city.

The party will protest against what it claims is "the lie" that Germany was liberated by the Allies in 1945. The NPD said that it expected thousands of supporters to march under a banner declaring: "Sixty years of lies about liberation - Down with Germany´s guilt culture."

Ceremonies in some European countries began yesterday, the anniversary of the signing of surrender documents by German leaders.

In the French city of Reims, ambassadors from Britain, Russia, Germany and the United States gathered in the former war room of the Supreme Allied Commander Gen Dwight D Eisenhower, where the capitulation documents were signed a week after Hitler committed suicide. The room is part of the city´s Surrender Museum.

A Briton, Susan Hibbert, who served as a secretary for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force was among those present after being honoured for her role in the surrender of the Nazis.

She became one of the first people in the world to learn that the conflict in Europe was over after spending 20 hours typing the surrender documents - which had to be rewritten 50 times because information kept arriving at the headquarters.

On Friday, Mrs Hibbert, now 80, was awarded a medal by the local mayor and celebrated the event at a cocktail party.

In Russia yesterday, President Vladimir Putin praised the heroism of Soviet citizens as he unveiled a vast memorial on a hill in southwest Moscow, saying that the Soviet war effort had liberated Europe from Nazi Germany.

"The courage and steadfastness, the unity of our country´s multiethnic people became the main force that defeated fascism," Mr Putin said.

In Britain today the Prince of Wales will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph at 10.15am, beginning a series of events to mark the victory which was proclaimed on May 8, 1945.

Later in the day, at 8pm, a Dakota DC3, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, will fly 1,500ft over Big Ben, Whitehall and Trafalgar Square to signal the start of a VE Day BBC concert.

Tomorrow more than 50 world leaders will arrive in Moscow for further commemorations, in an event designed to pay tribute to the enormous human sacrifice paid by the Soviet Union. Almost 27 million Soviet citizens, soldiers and civilians, died in the war. (© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004. 05/08/05)


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