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Traditional ‘toast to peace’ raised in Berlin on occasion of VE-Day

May 09, 2014, 7:08 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, May 09. /ITAR-TASS/. A traditional ‘toast to peace’ was raised at the German-Russian Berlin-Karlshorst museum in Berlin at night hours of Thursday, May 8, when European countries traditionally mark Victory Day. It was in precisely in the building of today’s museum that the act on Germany’s full and unconditional capitulation was signed on the night from May 8 to May 9, 1945.

The official function was attended by heads of diplomatic missions of the countries that had won the war, a delegation of Russian war veterans, representatives of a number of German public organizations, Berlin public quarters, and youth movements activists.

Russian ambassador Vladimir Grinin, who took the floor at the meeting, said that it is important to draw correct lessons from history for the current period of history and for the future.

“Like in previous epochs, the world continues shooting and killing, as if humankind did not look twice in the 20th century - during World War I and World War II - into a bottomless abyss of contempt and self-annihilation,” he said.

“But the victorious powers, which had an experience of allied fighting against a common enemy, failed to overcome mutual mistrust and plunged into the insane arms race just several years after the defeat of National Socialism,” Grinin said. “It looked like mutual fears and apprehensions were done away with after the fall of the Berlin wall but this supposition proved to be a wide cry from reality.”

The Russian ambassador pointed out the lingering mentality of the Cold War, to say nothing of extremism, anti-Semitism, and radicalism, which show up in different parts of the world including Europe.

“Lessons of the 20th century are quite meaningful a century after and they warn us that dialogue still remains the most powerful weapon, which we can and should keep at our disposal,” he said.

“We should stay adamant today, too, when it comes to a timely identification and curbing of the threat of National Socialism and extremism,” the ambassador said. “Today mutual trust and respect are the building blocks of the foundation on which we can build a durable pan-European house.

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