France and Poland mark 68th Victory in Europe day in Paris | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 08.05.2013
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France and Poland mark 68th Victory in Europe day in Paris

French President Francois Hollande was joined by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski for the 68th annual Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrations in Paris. Hollande spoke about compromise with Germany.

After the ceremonies on Wednesday, Hollande spoke of the need to find a compromise between Paris and Berlin for the good of Europe. Standing with the Polish president, Hollande said: "In 1963, General de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, after experiencing the horrors of two world wars, were able to unite France and Germany in a treaty of friendship."

"In the last 50 years, many things have happened; there has been reconciliation. Today, what we have to do is to come together for a Europe of growth and employment."

"This is the sense of the discussion that we have and I continue to say: there is a debate and in the end, it's always with a compromise between France and Germany. This will be the case for the major issues we have to resolve," Hollande added.

Hollande said it was the wish of Paris and Warsaw to "revive the Weimar Triangle, that is the friendship between France, Germany and Poland together for Europe."

VE Day was first celebrated on May 8, 1945 to mark the date when the World War II allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Germany, thus ending the war in Europe. The day is celebrated in Russia on May 9.

The official Polish government report on war damages prepared in 1947 put Poland's World War II dead at just over six million; about half of them from Jewish communities. The Polish Army in France formed in late 1939, after the fall of Poland. About 85,000 troops were in the process of being organized when the battle of France started. The army was partially destroyed but over 20,000 soldiers were evacuated and formed a new Polish army in Britain.

jm/kms (AFP, Reuters)