by PROF. WOJCIECH ROSZKOWSKI
Why is it so difficult for the west to understand how big a catastrophe September 1939 was for Poles and how far-reaching its consequences were? The history of twentieth-century Poland is not only difficult, but it is also an uncomfortable topic for the leading countries in the world.
On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, not only fighting against the Polish army, but also bombing civilian targets and murdering prisoners of war. Despite earlier agreements on mutual assistance with France (1921) and the United Kingdom (1939), and formal declaration of war on Germany (September 3, 1939), Poland’s allies decided not to take action against the aggressor under the Abbeville agreement (September 12, 1939). Fifteen days after the declaration of war, France did not attack Germany, as required under a military agreement with Poland. Thus, on September 17, 1939, Poland was invaded by the Soviet army from the east. In line with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, the Third Reich and the USSR divided the territory of Poland among themselves.Read More