President Andrzej Duda in Wieluń, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Westerplatte – the 82nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War II began at 4.30 am. At. Alarm sirens sounded at 4.40 in Wieluń. In his speech, the president emphasized that this city is a symbol of “war terror, cruelty, breaking the rules”. The Prime Minister emphasized that “82 years after the beginning of this terrible war, there is a process of displacing from memory and consciousness who was the actual perpetrator, who was responsible for those crimes”.
Today is the 82nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. At 4.30 am, the anniversary celebrations with the participation of President Duda began in Wieluń.
Wieluń was one of the first cities to be hit by German bombs on 1 September. From 4.40. to the 14th, 380 bombs with a total weight of 46 tons fell on the city. According to various sources, from 1,200 to more than 2,000 died then. people. 75 percent were left in ruins. urban development. According to historians, the city was bombed to test equipment and intimidate the civilian population.
President: Wieluń is a symbol of cruelty, a symbol of breaking the rules
During his speech, President Duda said that 82 years ago hell opened over the inhabitants of Wieluń. – People gathered here, life began to go on, there was a market, there were a lot of people. German pilots recalled throwing bombs at the mass of people. A mass of people, not in the army, not in military installations, not in soldiers, in people gathered in the market square and in the streets, who were preparing to trade and buy – said the president.
He added that the hospital was bombed in the first place, and it had a huge sign of the red cross on it. As he emphasized, the German pilots could not be wrong. – It was an act of terror, it was not an ordinary war. From the very beginning, it was a breach of all military rules that are in force then and until today – he said.
The president stated that that dawn, which rose 82 years ago, was “a day that welcomed the inhabitants of Wieluń and Poles in a completely different reality”. – The reality of the loss of freedom, but most of all the reality of occupation, horror, suffering, loss of life – he pointed out.
– Wieluń is a symbol of cruelty, Wieluń is a symbol of breaking the rules, Wieluń is a symbol of that war for Poles. Six million of us died, and less than 250,000 of them were former soldiers, said the president.
– A small fraction of the six million Polish victims of the war were those who actually fought with weapons. The rest are civilians. People who were mostly murdered in a brutal way, bombs were dropped, tortured and killed – said the president.
Celebrations in Wieluń: we were victims from the very first moment
Duda emphasized that the attack on Wieluń “determined our situation in World War II”. “Here, in Wieluń, we were the first victim of World War II,” he said.
The president added that “we have suffered losses for which we have never received any compensation.” – Nobody decent can agree that after decades, Poles should be vilely accused of any, especially institutional, involvement in the crimes of World War II. Poles were a victim, a depressed nation, this is the truth about those years and those bloody days – he stressed.
– Yes, we also fought – on all fronts of World War II. In the defensive war in September 1939, later in the underground state, in partisan units, in the Warsaw Uprising. We fought on the Western Front, on the Eastern Front, but here the blood of the victims was soaked all the time – he said. – We paid a terrible price for that assault. There is no Polish family that has not lost someone during World War II. We are proud that we did not give in, that we never stopped and gave up until the end – he added.
In his speech, Duda stated that “we will not allow our borders to be violated, we will fulfill our obligations”. – I will not tolerate irresponsible behavior and words, attempts to destabilize, intimidating people who serve the state – he said.
Before 6 o’clock, President Andrzej Duda laid a wreath in front of the monument to the victims of the bombing of Wieluń.
Celebrations on Westerplatte. Prime Minister: He confuses the executioners with the victims
Before At 4.45, the anniversary celebrations on Westerplatte also began with the participation of the highest state authorities: Marshal of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek, Marshal of the Senate Tomasz Grodzki, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak.
During his speech, Prime Minister Morawiecki emphasized that “every year there are fewer people who remember those days, that September”. – From year to year, there are fewer and fewer eyewitnesses to the war that began earlier with the pact between Hitler and Stalin on August 23, 1939. War, which was the greatest hecatomb of the twentieth century, one of the bloodiest conflicts in the history of mankind – he said.
– Today, 82 years after the start of this terrible war, we must be aware that the process of displacing from memory and consciousness who was the actual perpetrator, who was responsible for those crimes, for the destruction, for death – he said. – He confuses the executioners with the victims, assigning different roles to those who, in dramatic circumstances, defended humanity, freedom and independence against those who brutally murdered, destroyed the entire nation, and destroyed entire countries from the very beginning, he stressed.
– Behind us is the inscription “No more war”, but this war was started by the German invaders. From the very first days of the war, Wermacht committed brutal crimes against Polish civilians, Morawiecki reminded.
Prime Minister: Poles were fighting for a better world, a free homeland and Europe
The prime minister pointed out that “Poles fought for freedom, a better world, a free homeland and Europe, for a world without war”. – It was the Poles who suffered the greatest sacrifice – he added.
– In the first days of the war, women, children and old people were murdered, entire villages were burned. It is enough to mention the village of Złoczew. Let the atmosphere and shoe of the Germans in those days reflect the fact that in the first weeks of the war the burning Złoczew was shown as the background of a film chronicle and screened in cinemas – emphasized Morawiecki.
– These operations were performed by ordinary soldiers, not only by sadistic Gestapo officers, not only by officers of such formations as the SS or SA, but also by members of the formation theoretically, as it might seem, not having much in common with the conduct of the war, with the occupation. These were formations and civil services. These are all zealous executioners of Hitler who did his will, said the Prime Minister. – It is the German nation that bears full and absolute responsibility for what happened then – he emphasized.
As he explained, it was “an operation to destroy the Polish nation, which was to complete the extermination, precisely calculated at 85 percent of Polish citizens”.
– The remaining 15 percent were to be turned into Germanized slaves. It was also an economic operation, a gigantic robbery, the seizure of property and deposits in Poles’ bank accounts, the seizure of goods, theft of factories – he added.
– It was mass robbery, robbery and destruction that were never even significantly compensated. We must remember this, because the Germans, together with the Soviets, deprived us of freedom, independence, and opportunities for normal development for many decades – he pointed out. – Soldiers and civilians fought on all fronts of World War II, they had deep faith and the will to fight to the last drop of blood – said Morawiecki.
Błaszczak: we pay tribute and glory to the soldiers because they bravely stood up for the motherland
– The Second World War began with the German attack on Poland. This attack was a consequence of the alliance between Hitler and Stalin. On September 17, 1939, Bolshevik Russia stabbed the defending Poland in the back by attacking our homeland, Minister Blaszczak told Westerplatte.
– These events were followed by a time of cruel occupation, a time of using terror, both by the German and Russian occupiers. An example of an act of terror is the execution in Palmiry carried out on the Polish elite by the German occupier, or Katyn – the murder of 21,000 Polish officers, soldiers and policemen with a shot in the back of the head by the Russian invader – added the head of the Ministry of Defense.
– We are in a holy place, sanctified with the blood of the Polish Army soldiers who defended Westerplatte against the German invasion. We pay tribute and glory to them because they bravely stood up for our homeland. Because they are a model for today’s soldiers of the Polish Army – added Błaszczak.
Celebrations on the 82nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War II
In Gdańsk at 9. the ceremony will be held at the plaque on the building of the Railway Directorate commemorating the scoutmaster Jan Ożdżyński. The next point of the celebration will be the laying of wreaths and lighting candles at the plaque on the Victoriaschule building.
At noon, at Obroncow Poczty Polskiej Square, a solemn mass for the intention of the fallen postmen will be celebrated, combined with an interfaith prayer. The president of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, and the president of the Institute of National Remembrance, Karol Nawrocki, will take part in it.
In the afternoon, a mass will be celebrated on the reconstructed foundations of the parish church in Wieluń, led by Archbishop Wacław Depo. The main part of the state ceremonies organized by the Polish Army will start in front of the Monument to the Coastal Defenders. Speeches by the Marshal of the Sejm, the head of the government and the minister of defense are scheduled. On the other hand, flowers will be laid at the Cemetery of the Victims of Hitlerism in Gdańsk Zaspa – prayers and speeches will also be provided during the ceremony.
Main photo source: PAP / Roman Zawistowski