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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

WWII outbreak commemorations to be held by Polish Army: minister

24.07.2020 13:10
This year’s World War II outbreak ceremonies will be held by the Polish Army, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

"This year, for the first time, and I hope it will stay that way, the Polish Army will organize the September 1 celebrations at Westerplatte," Błaszczak was quoted as saying on Friday by state news agency PAP.

The Westerplatte peninsula in Gdańsk, where the commemorations of the start of WWII have traditionally been held, was the site of a Polish military depot that was shelled by a German battleship at 4:45 am on 1 September 1939. It was the first battle between Polish and German soldiers in WWII.

The week-long defense of the site by Poles against overwhelmingly larger German forces became a symbol of the heroism of Polish soldiers.

"This was a German attack on Poland. This anniversary is, above all, meant to honor the courage and sacrifice of the Polish Army," Błaszczak said.

According to Błaszczak, Westerplatte "had been neglected for years".

"From now on, the site will be supervised by the State Treasury," he said and added that a museum will be built there in the future.

Błaszczak also said that invitations to the commemorations will be sent out to, among others, war veterans, scouts, and local authorities in Gdańsk.

(jh)

Source: PAP