There is a dispute in court about whether Russian and Ukrainian symbols may be shown in the context of commemorating the end of the World War and the liberation of Germany. That’s what it’s about.
This year’s commemoration of Germany’s liberation from National Socialism and the end of the Second World War 78 years ago is accompanied in Berlin by a legal wrangling over the ban on several symbols.
The background is a general decree by the Berlin police on Friday. On May 8 and 9, she had banned the display of various symbols in the vicinity of the Soviet memorials in the districts of Treptow-Köpenick, Mitte and Pankow in order to prevent the commemoration from being misused for war propaganda. The justification stated that the “dignified commemoration of the fallen soldiers of the former Soviet Army” should be guaranteed. The ban included, among other things:
- Russian or Ukrainian related flags and flags
- playing and singing Russian/Ukrainian marching or military songs
- Displaying symbolism and indicia suitable to glorify the Russia-Ukraine War, including the letter “V” or “Z”
- approving the war of aggression currently being waged by Russia against Ukraine
- showing St. George’s ribbons, a Russian military insignia also worn as a sign of support for aggressive war
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In the ban on both Russian and Ukrainian symbolism, critics saw an implicit equation of Russia’s aggression with the right of self-defense of the invaded Ukraine.
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In two summary proceedings, which were conducted independently of one another, the Berlin administrative court overturned the ban on both the Ukrainian and the Russian symbolism.
The Berlin police announced that they would not take any further legal action against the permission of Ukrainian symbols, but against those of Russian ones. “We lodged a complaint with the Higher Administrative Court this morning,” the authority said on Sunday. The decision was still pending as of Monday afternoon. The police are on duty around the commemoration ceremonies with more than 1,500 officers. Incidents were initially not reported.
Sources: , DPA news agency
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