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German president marks 'lonely' World War II 75th anniversary

Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted with sadness that due to the pandemic, commemorations are especially subdued this year. He also called on people to reject the temptations of "new nationalism" and isolationism.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday came together – 1.5 meters apart – to mark a somber and "lonely" commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

In his speech, Steinmeier noted with sadness that representatives of the Allied nations that defeated Nazi Germany, as well as thousands of young people that had been invited from all over the world, were unable to attend the ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Perhaps this being alone will take us back to May 8, 1945, because at that time the Germans were actually alone...defeated militarily, politically and economically…morally shattered. We had made ourselves the enemy of the whole world," Steinmeier said.

Read moreMay 8,1945 was 'zero hour' for Germany — in more ways than one

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