Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel was among European leaders to gather in Warsaw on Sunday to mark the eightieth anniversary of the outbreak of WWII.
Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) hugs Poland president Andrzej Duda, 1 September 2019. Two are pictured next to Duda's wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda. Photo: SIP/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
Bettel attended a commemorative ceremony in Piłsudski square, where the tomb of the unknown soldier is located. The monument commemorates the sacrifice of all Polish soldiers.
The war began with the bombing of the Polish city of Wielun by Nazi troops on 1 September 1939. After the Polish army’s defeat, the occupiers established massive forced labour programmes, through which they murdered thousands of civilians. Up to 60 million people worldwide died in the conflict, of which an estimated six million were Poles.
“The Second World War must be a lesson to us and remind us of our responsibilities today. We must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of the past. Maintaining the peace we have so carefully built over the past 75 years with our friends and allies in Europe and around the world is the best way to honour their memory. Let us together ensure that such a human tragedy never happens again,” Bettel said on arriving in the Polish capital.