German President Gives Commemoration Speech on the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of WWII

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On September 1st, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a speech expressing great remorse to Europe and warning of the dangers of nationalism in the country where the second Great War started 80 years ago.

 

During the gathering, Angela Merkel and Mike Pence, gathered in Warsaw, Poland to commemorate the atrocities committed and people lost in World War II. President Steinmeier expressed his remorse for Adolf Hitler’s mass killings in Poland and gratitude for Poland’s gestures of forgiveness in return. 

 

“I ask for forgiveness for Germany’s historical guilt. I profess to our lasting responsibility,” President Steinmeier said.

 

Donald Trump was unable to attend the ceremony due to the incoming Hurricane Dorian. Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited due to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support of separatist fighters in Eastern Ukraine. 

 

Several Polish war veterans were in attendance, as well as a Nazi death camp survivor. The Polish were described as heroes and highly regarded for risking their lives to save the entire European continent. They paid the highest price in the war against the Germans; cities were destroyed and they lost three million of their people. 

 

The Jews, the greatest sufferers of the war, were almost entirely unmentioned in any of the ceremonies, speeches, assemblies, and marches. It is possible that because there are so many Holocaust memorials already, the event organizers felt that it was a day to focus on Poland, on whose soil the Holocaust took place (haaretz.com).

 

World War II will continue to serve as a warning of nationalism to future generations. These unspeakable horrors need to be remembered to prevent them from recurring.