French press sees Schroeder presenceas ultimate D-Day triumph

7th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

CAEN, France, June 7 (AFP) - The reconciliation of Germany with its World War II enemies at weekend ceremonies to commemorate the D-Day landings of 1944 gives the world hope for the future, French newspapers said Monday.

CAEN, France, June 7 (AFP) - The reconciliation of Germany with its World War II enemies at weekend ceremonies to commemorate the D-Day landings of 1944 gives the world hope for the future, French newspapers said Monday.

Quoting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, photographed embracing French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday, the left-wing daily Liberation said: "June 6, 2004 was the last day of World War II."

Schroeder was the first German leader to attend the D-Day ceremonies, where he joined in tributes to the 156,000 Allied soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy 60 years ago to launch the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation.

"Nations need myths, rituals and images to create their history," Liberation said.

The ceremonies had not celebrated "the victory of one group of countries over another, but the triumph of a vision of the world and of mankind based on freedom, human rights and a state of law to which all democratic nations aspire," it said.

The conservative France Soir also published a photo of Schroeder and Chirac in each other's arms and noted that the German leader had been warmly applauded by French locals when he arrived at the city hall here.

It quoted him as acknowledging Germany's responsibility for the most murderous war in history, in a speech at the Caen peace museum, where he also paid tribute to the Allied dead, saying "they paid the ultimate price for liberty."

The conservative daily Le Figaro said Schroeder's presence celebrated the reunification of Europe.

"When yesterday's enemies are reconciled in this manner, it provides a lesson of hope which resonates well beyond the frontiers of Europe," it said.

There was no more fitting place to celebrate that reconciliation than the beaches of Normandy where so much blood was shed, it went on.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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