September 1, 1939
The BBC reports on the ceremony as Poland remembers World War start
A day of commemorations is taking place in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
Leaders from 20 countries laid candles during a ceremony near Gdansk, on Westerplatte peninsula.
The ceremony marked the exact time on 1 September 1939 when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire at point-blank range on the fort.
At the same time, the German Wehrmacht invaded Poland from east, west and south. The attacks triggered Britain and France’s declaration of war against Germany two days later.
The justification for the attack on Gdansk was The Gleiwitz incident, “a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany (since 1945: Gliwice, Poland) on the eve of World War II in Europe.”
Because they have such “warm relations” with Russia, the Polish President reminded everyone of the Soviet-Nazi pact, and the resulting occupation of parts of Poland by the Soviet Union.