Pence praises Poles’ courage at ceremony for start of WWII
WARSAW — Vice President Mike Pence saluted the Polish people on Sunday as they commemorated the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, praising their courage during the “five decades of untold suffering and death that followed.”
“It is difficult for any of us who are not Poles to fathom the horrors that began here 80 years ago, on this day, the first of September 1939,” Pence said solemnly in Pilsudski Square.
He added, “While the hearts of every American are with our fellow citizens in the path of a massive storm, today we remember how the gathering storm of the 20th century broke into warfare and invasion followed by the unspeakable hardship and heroism shown by the Polish people.”
It has been 80 years since Nazi Germany invaded Poland, sparking a conflict that wreaked devastation across Europe.
Germany’s president expressed deep remorse for the suffering his nation inflicted on Poland and the rest of Europe during the war, warning of the dangers of nationalism as world leaders gathered Sunday in the country where the war started.
“This war was a German crime,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Poland’s top leaders, Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders at the ceremony marking the war’s outbreak.
Also in attendance were Polish war veterans wearing military uniforms and a Holocaust survivor wearing a yellow Star of David and the striped clothes prisoners wore.
“I bow in mourning to the suffering of the victims,” Steinmeier said.
A Polish military veteran and a concentration camp survivor attend an international ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II on Sunday in Warsaw. Germany’s invasion of Poland started a war that ravaged Europe.