On An Apologetic Note…
Germany tendered an Apology to Poland, for starting the Second World War, 80 years after committing the heinous offence!
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in the Polish city of Wielun on September 1 to seek pardon. On September 1, 1939, the German Air Force dropped the first bomb in Weilun that had claimed thousands of lives. Before the WWII, Wielun had no strategic importance. The Germans decided to attack the comparatively unimportant city only to create panic among the common people.
Wielun was the first Polish city bombed by Germany during WWII
Last Sunday, the visiting German President condemned the act of the Nazis, saying: “I stand before you, those who have survived, before the descendants of the victims, the old and the young residents of Wielun, I am humble and grateful.” Speaking at a ceremony held at the site of one of the first Nazi bombings in Poland, Steinmeier stated: “I bow to the victims of the attack in Wielun, I pay tribute to the Polish victims of the German tyranny and I ask for forgiveness.”
The visiting German leader admitted that his country had committed a crime against humanity, stressing that the era of Nationalist-Socialist terror in Europe was not a minor issue. The History of Germany will help people understand its importance, added Steinmeier.
A view of rubble and ruined buildings covering the streets after the German bombing of Warsaw
Poland had suffered a lot during the WWII. The war claimed nearly 500 million lives across the globe and among them, six million were Polish nationals. Another six million Jews were killed in Holocaust and 50% of them were Polish citizens. Earlier, Poland had slammed Germany for not offering financial help to the victims eight decades after triggering the war. Berlin claimed that a German Parliamentary Committee was calculating the damage done by the Nazis. When Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s Law and Justice Party asked Berlin to make a final decision in this regard as soon as possible, Germany strongly criticised the Polish ruling party for triggering the Nationalist Sentiment against the neighbouring country!
President Steinmeier, in such a prevailing atmosphere, visited Wielun. In the presence of the German President and other world leaders, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that his countrymen still carry the trauma of the WWII. Later, they visited the Wielun Museum where an exhibition on the destruction was organised by the Museum Authorities on the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the war.
Presidents Steinmeier (L) and Duda (R) lit candles at a commemorative memorial
It is to be noted that Britain had warned Germany immediately after the attack on Wielun. However, Adolf Hitler refused to stop the Military Aggression, thus, prompting Britain and France to declare a war against Germany. No one could imagine that it would continue for six years, and claim millions of lives across the globe!
People held candles to mark the occasion at the ceremony in Wielun
Although 40 of the World Leaders visited Poland on September 1, the absence of US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed rather conspicuous to the International Community. According to some, (perhaps) these leaders are yet to learn a lesson from the history of WWII. It seems that the world may have to experience more bloody days… in future!
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