Neo-Nazi rally casts shadow over VE Day celebrations (TELEGRAPH UK) By Sean Rayment and Tony Paterson in Berlin 05/08/05)
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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
"The courage and steadfastness, the unity of our country´s
multiethnic people became the main force that defeated fascism," Mr
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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