Donnerstag, 1. September 2016
Sixty-nine years ago today, the Second World War
began. During the night of August 31, German troops attacked Poland. No declaration of war
had been made.Hitler
had been planning the war for a long time. He had in fact signed a non-aggression pact with Poland in 1934 stipulating that all conflicts over the next ten years should be resolved by peaceful means. But by so doing, he only wanted to deceive the international community. And at first, the other powers let themselves be lulled into a false sense of security. The "Anschluss”, or annexation, of Austria in March 1938, the incorporation of the Sudetenland in September 1938 and the destruction of the remaining Czechoslovak state in March 1939 had however already shown that Hitler was not pursuing a policy of peace
. The termination of the German-Polish non-aggression pact and the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin on 23 August 1939, in which the division of Poland was agreed upon in an additional secret protocol, underlined Germany’s aggressive objectives.
Large parts of the city of Breslau (now called Wrocław) were destroyed in the Second World War.
When the attack on Poland did come, it was clear to France and Great Britain that Hitler wanted a war. They gave Germany an ultimatum to end its hostile actions at once. When Hitler did not accede to this demand, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3.
The Second World War had broken out.