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    81 years ago Poland was invaded by Germany

    81 years ago today, the Second World War began with the attack by Nazi Germany on Poland. The images of artillery shells fired from the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein at the Polish Military Depot at Westerplatte are embedded in the national memory. This part of Poland was defended with extraordinary heroism for 7 days by a handful of soldiers. Today, in the early morning, exactly 81 years later to the minute, the anniversary commemorations organized by the Polish Army, with the participation of President Andrzej Duda, took place at Westerplatte.

    “With great emotion I sang with you a moment ago, all gathered together, and in particular with the soldiers present here, our national anthem with the words “Poland has not perished as long as we are alive”. How deeply profound are those words, here in the context of recently genetically recognized identities of the Westerplatte soldiers’ remains, while those words are sung by the Polish soldiers of a free, independent and sovereign Poland paying homage to their predecessors who died for our homeland. Poland exists. Poland has historical continuity. And that is also thanks to the bravery of those soldiers here, who were defending Poland, defending the Fatherland. They were defending this piece of Poland for 7 days, continuously responding to the barrage of the enemy fire. Those were great moments of Polish military history in the making. Those are events which are written not only in the Polish historical annals, but in military history as well. This place is a great and magnificent symbol, the symbol of Polish soldiers’ heroism and also a great warning for the world of what imperialism can bring upon our earth. It also shows what is the meaning of brutal politics which can bring war. A warning, so this situation and those events would never be repeated”, said President Duda in his speech.

    “When the war began on September 1st 1939, I lived in Lviv. I could see Luftwaffe planes dropping bombs on strategic targets in the city. I also heard these secret radio communications and I never knew what they meant, this military code. My father was arrested in 1940 and sent to Siberia. There, after being pardoned, he joined the army of general Anders and went to Europe with him. He died in 1965. To honour his name, I am passing on the traditions of the Second Polish Corps and the Third Carpathian Rifle Division to the youth, to scouts, to military cadets”, stated Tadeusz Kurcyk, the president of the “Carpathians” association.

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