King Charles receives festive farewell at the end of his visit to Germany
King Charles laid a wreath in memory of victims of Allied bombing in World War II during a visit to Hamburg’s St Nikolai Memorial, the remains of a badly damaged church in the northern German port city by air raids.
The gesture comes on the final day of Charles’ three-day tour of Germany, his first state trip abroad since he acceded to the British throne last year, intended to boost bilateral and European ties.
It comes shortly before the 80th anniversary of the Allied bombing of Hamburg in July known as “Operation Gomorrah” which killed some 40,000 people and destroyed swaths of the city.
In response to Nazi air raids on civilian targets in Poland and later London, the Allies dropped approximately 1.9 million tons of bombs on Germany in an attempt to cripple German industry. Allied raids killed some 500,000 people.
Earlier, Charles also paid homage at the memorial to the Kindertransporte, a rescue mission that saw some 10,000 Jewish children flee Nazi-occupied Europe in the late 1930s, mostly to Britain.
“Heeding the lessons of the past is our sacred responsibility, but it can only be fully discharged by a commitment to our common future,” Charles said in a bilingual speech to the lower house of the Bundestag parliament on Thursday.
“Together, we must be vigilant in the face of threats to our values and freedoms, and resolute in our determination to confront them.”
Later Friday, Charles, who succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth when she died in September, is expected to learn more about the Port of Hamburg’s embrace of green technology and meet with representatives of some of the companies involved.
“Our countries are both accelerating the expansion of our economies with hydrogen, the fuel that could transform our future,” he told the Bundestag. “I look forward to seeing Hamburg’s plans to use hydrogen in its efforts to become a fully sustainable port.”
Throughout his visit, German officials praised his interest in environmental causes and sustainability that showed in the engagements he chose to undertake.
“I have great respect for his decades-long commitment to environmental and climate protection,” tweeted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, designated “climate chancellor” during his election campaign in 2021.