Pence praises Poles’ courage at cer­e­mony for start of WWII

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

SEAN GALLUP/GETTY

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.

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