VE Day

In Pictures: The UK, France and Germany mark Victory in Europe Day

Millions across Europe paused at 11am today to remember those who served in the Second World War.

COMMEMORATIONS HAVE TAKEN plae across Europe to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. 

Millions across Europe paused at 11am today to remember those who served in the Second World War.

In the UK, the moment was led by the Prince Charles, who laid a wreath at a memorial near Balmoral.

ve-day-75th-anniversary World War Two veteran Len Gibbon, 96, stands to watch a Spitfire fly over the Care for Veterans site in Worthing to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. PA PA

Charles’ handwritten message with his floral tribute read: “In everlasting remembrance”, while Camilla left a note with her bouquet in memory of her father Major Bruce Shand, who served with the 12th Lancers during the war.

ve-day-75th-anniversary The Royal Air Force Red Arrows pass over the London Eye on the bank of the River Thames during a flypast in central London to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. PA PA

ve-day-75th-anniversary Care assistant Cat Buckley looks after 95 year old Second World War veteran Signalman Eric Bradshaw, who is in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19. Peter Byrne Peter Byrne

Russian president Vladimir Putin sent a message to the UK’s Prime Minister on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

In his message to Boris Johnson, Mr Putin said: “The Great Victory was a pivotal event of the 20th century with enduring significance for the fate of all humankind. It was achieved thanks to the joint efforts of the Soviet Union and the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. That invaluable experience is no less needed today.”

ve-day-75th-anniversary Aircraft over Henstridge airfield in Somerset write a VE Day 75th anniversary message in the sky using skytyping. Andrew Matthews Andrew Matthews

The Kremlin said he also expressed confidence that the memory of the two nations’ “brotherhood-in-arms” would lead to “constructive” Russian-British dialogue and co-operation.

In Berlin, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel kept their distance as they paused in front of wreaths at Neue Wache — the country’s main memorial to the victims of war and dictatorship.

75-years-end-of-war-berlin German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier DPA / PA Images DPA / PA Images / PA Images

Steinmeier then delivered an outdoor speech urging nations to remember how they joined forces to fight the tyranny of Nazism and said the same unity was needed now to defeat a virus that has killed 270,000 people globally.

“For us Germans, ‘never again’ means ‘never again alone’,” he said.

Germany does not usually mark the anniversary of the Nazis’ unconditional surrender to the Allies with much fanfare.

This year, however, the city of Berlin declared a one-off public holiday.

President Steinmeier urged Germans to see 8 May as “a day of gratitude” because it freed Germany from the terror of the Nazis and brought peace to Europe.

In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron attended a small ceremony at the Arc of Triumph on a near-deserted Champs-Elysees.

ve-day-ceremonies-paris Lemouton Stephane / Pool/ABACA Lemouton Stephane / Pool/ABACA / Pool/ABACA

ve-day-ceremonies-paris French President Emmanuel Macron at the statue of General Charles de Gaulle during the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of World War II victory in Europe. Lemouton Stephane / Pool/ABACA Lemouton Stephane / Pool/ABACA / Pool/ABACA

In the US, President Donald Trump and his wife Melania will join a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II memorial in Washington, DC.

With reporting by PA.

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