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    HUNDREDS OF BERLINERS TOOK PART IN LAYING WREATHS TO SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL

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    BERLIN, May 8 (RIA Novosti's Alexander Polotsky) - Several hundred Berliners took part Saturday in the traditional rally and solemn ceremony of laying wreaths and flowers in honor of the Victory Day and the 59th anniversary of liberation of the German people from fascism on the Soviet war memorial in the Treptow park.

    "We will never forget the feat of Soviet warriors who liberated not only their Motherland but the German nation too, as well as many European countries from the 'brown plague'," the chairwoman of the antifascist union of Treptow district, Ellen Hendler told a RIA Novosti correspondent.

    She emphasized that both old and young people who gathered on Saturday near the memorial "The Bewailing Motherland" on the Soviet war memorial in the Treptow park keep in memory the words said 55 years ago on the day of this memorial's unveiling on May 8, 1949, by Berlin's military commandant, Maj.-Gen. Alexander Kotikov: "Ages will pass, but the feat of the Soviet army in the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad, Leningrad and Kursk, on Dnieper and Vistula, Danube and Oder, in Budapest and Berlin will remain in the memory of peoples." "May 8 is the day that constantly reminds us of the necessity to fight against any wars - whether 'cold' or 'hot', counter extremism and neo-nazism, always remember the millions of peoples of different nationalities tortured in fascist concentration camps," the chairman of the antifascist union of the Koepenick district, prof. Horst Bednarek told RIA Novosti.

    He noted that by consent of local authorities, the rightist extremist National Democratic Party of Germany built an expensive new building for its headquarters and training center in that district. "But we need the Anti-fascist center here more," believes the source.

    A group of young neonazis made an attempt Saturday to prevent the anti-fascist rally in the Treptow park, but the Berlin police managed to calm down the hooligans fast and professionally.

    The participants of the Treptow park rally voiced their readiness to support the inititative of the Democratic socialism party, which suggested pressing the FRG Bundestag to make May 8 next year - the 60th anniversary of the Victory over fascism - a national holiday in Germany.

    In their opinion, May 8 should, like in the GDR, be the official Day of liberation of the German people from fascism.

    The antifascist unions of the Koepenick and Treptow districts of Berlin, "the Berlin association of persons persecuted under fascism" and "the Berlin friends of the peoples of the former USSR" organization are the initiators of the traditional May 8 rally and wreath laying in Berlin on the Soviet war memorial in the Treptow park.

    The rally was attended by representatives of the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian embassies, and Soviet veterans of the Great Patriotic War (the war with Hitlerites of 1941-1945 is called in this way in Russia).

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