• Germany's news in English

Merkel in Moscow to mark VE Day

DDP/The Local · 9 May 2010, 11:50

Published: 09 May 2010 11:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Merkel attended the victory parade on Red Square to mark the 65th anniversary of VE Day. The German government described her invitation as a sign of "how important reconciliation is for the Russian hosts."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin caused some consternation last week by vetoing the invitations of US Vice-President Joe Biden and the British Prince Charles – after President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown made their excuses for not being able to attend.

Both French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi also pulled out of the event, making Merkel the only major leader representing the West. There was a certain irony to this, as this was the first time that NATO troops were invited to take part in the annual Red Square parade.

Merkel made clear that she would be travelling to Moscow throughout last week, despite having a number pressing concerns – most notably decisions being made in the eurozone on how best to stabilise the struggling euro.

But the chancellor did not attend the lunch that followed the ceremony, and was expected back in Berlin by midday. The German delegation in Moscow said she was closely involved in preparations for the special meeting of European Union finance ministers.

Merkel also met acting Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski early in the morning in Moscow, and followed the parade along with Medvedev, Putin and Chinese president Hu Jintao. She also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Story continues below…

The Red Square parade takes place on May 9 every year. Gerhard Schröder became the first German chancellor to be invited five years ago.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

22:54 May 9, 2010 by wenddiver
1. The Nazi had already surrendered.

2. This is just the day that the Communists made up as a seperate surrender to Russia.

3. There is no such thing as VE day, because the US has not freed the half of Europe called Russia from the KGB thugs. We will celebrate when that happens.

4. The Soviets were not Allies or liberators they were aggressors who attacked Poland and were just as guilty and murderous as the Nazis.

5. The Soviet massacre of the Polish Army prisioners was just as horrible as anything the Nazis ever did.

6. Nothing in the annals of modern warfare is as low and disgusting as the RAPE of the women of Berlin by the Russians, truely pigs.

Germany has no obligation to pose with these Dictators and advocates of murder and rape. The difference between Germany and Russia is it has rejected totalitarianism and Russia is still a dictatorship.

Love the current Communist Chinese thug in the photo. While the Nationalist tried to stop the genocide of the Chinese people by the Japanese the Communists fought them. Mao is the greatest mass murder in history.

Stay home Merkel, don't be stupid.
08:24 May 10, 2010 by Zobirdie
This is such a shame. I don't want to get into the nazis v. communists debate and who was worse... but...

For Merkel to go to Moscow to celebrate VE day spits on the memory of the two million German women gang raped by the red army.
09:09 May 10, 2010 by tech71
And what about the 20 million + Soviet citizens that died in WWII? Do you truely believe that the Natzi's committed no similar atrocities in Russia and elsewhere? At the height of the siege of Stalingrad thousands of Russians were dying of starvation daily. Is'nt there enough blame to go around to all? When does it end?
10:51 May 10, 2010 by wenddiver
@tech71- National Socialism and Communism were criminal ideologies. Germany has rejected National Socialism, but Russia still glorifies the Soviet era and is teaching Stalin as a heroe to Children. The ideologies were guilty as hell. Ruusia's mass murders in the Katynn forrest, and rapes of German civilians can never be justified by German atrocities. That would be like Merkel celebrating the founding of the SS, because of the Russian atrocities.
12:02 May 10, 2010 by tech71
Thats simplistic and not really relavent to why Merkel is there. She is there to sit up and beg for Russian oil and gas for the EU. Bend over Germany.
19:12 May 10, 2010 by Talonx
@ Wenddiver

What about the well documented and reported extrajudicial murders by U.S. armed servicemen, at for instance Dachau? Was this absence of justice, in contrast to the Russian violence, justified?
16:34 May 11, 2010 by Dinaricman
What about the German's that died for doing their duty. How many simply went to fight for their country and because they were ordered to. How many did not committ atrocities? How many stood in the field to keep the soviets from overunning their people and killing and raping them? You know my grandmother told me about the Germans who came into her village. They were professional and respectful. They even gave my father candy when he was a little boy. The Italians however not so good. Can we honor them and their European allies just for being men and doing their duty to protect their countries and people?
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd