WWII anniversary: Europe marks anniversary of WWII beginning (video)
Society18:59 Sep. 1, 2016

Europe marks anniversary of WWII beginning (video)

Memorable ceremonies take place in Polish city of Gdansk, first to be attacked by Nazis  

Europe marks the anniversary of WWII, the bloodiest war in the history of mankind. 77 years ago, on September 1st, 1939, armed forces of Nazi Germany attacked Polish op con near the city of Gdansk and downed the first Polish plane. Several hours later, a German battleship "Schleswig-Goldstein", having allegedly arrived on peace purposes, shelled Polish fortifications in Westerplatte. The resistance lasted for seven days until German army invaded the military post.

Read also Ukraine marks 75th anniversary of Nazi German invasion in WWII (photos)

Nowadays the relatives of the soldiers killed near the Westerplatte visit the site to commemorate the dead. Renata Krestoszek says Nazis sent her father to the concentration camp immediately after the victory at Wester Platte.

Renata Krestoszek, daughter of Polish general: My father was on the duty when the attack started. He witnessed the German battleship starting to shell the Poles and informed the commandment of the explosions. He was kept in the concentration camp for a year but managed to survive the war.

Poland has undergone not only the Nazi occupation. After the end of WWII Poland was ruled by the Communist party and largely controlled by the Soviet Union. Polish president Andrzej Duda says this is why it is crucial to remember the historical tragedy and keep an eye on contemporary aggressors.

Andrzej Duda, Polish president: We must not let an emperors ambitions be revived in Europe. No one has the right to violate the norms of international law or infringe other country's sovereignty and state borders. 

Read also Ukraine marks 71st anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany in WWII (photos)

Germany also commemorated the victims of the WWII. In a German city of Halbe, the remains of 70 German soldiers were re-buried. They where previously found by volunteers who are busy with searching for relics of WWII all over the globe. Numerous veterans along with German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen were present at the ceremony. 

Watch also Human remains found in courtyard of Lviv museum

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