Poland Remembering the Start of the European War

1 Sep 2009

On the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a day of commemorations was scheduled to take place throughout Poland. The first ceremony took place at 0445 hours on Westerplatte peninsula near Gdansk (then the Free City of Danzig), the exact time when German troops poured across the German-Polish border. Foreign leaders, including the German leader, were present. Polish President Lech Kaczynski made mention of the fact that, on 17 Sep 1939, Russia joined Germany in the invasion of Poland; "a stab in the back", as Kaczynski described. The statement added to the current political tension between Poland and Russia.

The location of Westerplatte was important because it was the site where less than 200 men held off a 3,000-strong German force for seven days. Ignacy Skowron, a Polish Army corporal at the time of the invasion, remained one of the very few who witnessed had fighting there. "I took the telescope and looked out at the channel, first right, then left and then at the cruiser which was moored in the bay," he remembered. "At that moment I saw a flash of red and the first shell hit the gate.... The cruiser then sailed into the channel and started to fire shell after shell at us. I saw huge trees being snapped in two."

In proportion to its size, Poland suffered more damage and casualties than any other country.

For more information:
WW2DB: The Invasion of Poland
BBC: Poland remembers World War start
BBC: Watching the start of World War II

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1. XxkillerjopxX says:
29 Sep 2009 10:39:52 PM

ahmmm no comment

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