Why Poles and Jews should stand together to mark the start of World War II

By MACIEJ GOLUBIEWSKI and SHMULEY BOTEACH

It is difficult to avoid pathos on the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which sent to the grave some 70 million people. Poland is where the horrors of WWII in Europe began. But for many Poles, the war wasn’t over until the last Russian soldier left their homeland in 1993. Poland proportionally lost more citizens than any other country.

Six million Poles perished, mostly at the hands of the German Nazis. Among them were three million Polish Jews, half of all victims of the Holocaust, targeted for annihilation for no other reason than that they were Jewish. Before the war, Poland was where 20% of all Jews in the world lived. By war’s end 90% of its Jewish population had been exterminated.