King Charles commemorates German victims of WWII during Hamburg visit
British king lays wreath at St. Nikolai Memorial as a sign of UK-German reconciliation 80 years after allied bombings
Britain's King Charles III commemorated German victims of World War II during a historic visit to Hamburg on Friday.
King Charles laid a wreath at St. Nikolai Memorial, a landmark church destroyed in the allied bombings of Hamburg in July 1943. More than 34,000 people died during the air raids and the resulting firestorm in the city.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender accompanied King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla during the ceremony of remembrance.
Hamburg’s Bishop Kirsten Fehrs said the joint commemoration for the victims is “a sign of reconciliation” between the two former wartime enemies, and “an important message in today’s world.”
British and American air raids against Nazi Germany in the summer of 1943 destroyed large parts of Hamburg, causing huge civilian casualties.
During his address to the German parliament on Thursday, King Charles underlined that he’s paying his first state visit as king to Germany “to renew the pledge of friendship” between the two nations.
He praised the efforts of the late Queen Elizabeth II for post-war reconciliation between the two countries, adding that today the UK and Germany have become close partners, sharing democratic values.