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:
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.
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: Berlin police on Twitter, general decree, DPA news agency