Europe marks 80th anniversary of start of WWII
02 September 2019

Europe on Sunday (1 September) marked the 80th anniversary of the start of the second world war (WWII) in a moving ceremony in Warsaw.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recalled Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland asking for forgiveness for "Germany's historical guilt."

"My country unleashed a horrific war that would cost more than 50 million people - among them millions of Polish citizens - their lives. This war was a German crime," the president said in a speech before Polish President Andrzej Duda, US Vice President Mike Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, as well as representatives of 30 other countries.

"I, along with [Merkel], want to tell all Poles today that we will not forget," the president continued. "We will not forget the wounds that Germans inflicted on Poland. We will not forget the suffering of Polish families and nor will we forget the courage of their resistance."

In his speech, Polish President Andrzej Duda remembered not only the German invasion, but also the Soviet massacre of Polish officers at Katyn in 1940, as well as the mass murders at Auschwitz and other death camps built by the Nazis in occupied Poland. "One can say that the Germans humiliated Poles, because they left that machinery of annihilation on Polish soil," Duda said.

source: with Deutche Welle, Cologne.

photo: European leaders joined the presidents of Poland and Germany at a ceremony in Warsaw to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of WWII (picture courtesy of Deutche Welle, Cologne.)