70 years since the outbreak of WWII


This day, 70 years ago, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. 1 september marks the outbreak of the war which was about to tear Europe and the world apart, causing millions of people’s death and an undescribable suffering. This day also reminds us of the terrible crimes we must never forget: the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of Jews, but also of homosexuals, Roma and others who were not part of the Nazi ideology.

Today, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will represent the Swedish Presidency of the European Union at a ceremony to commemorate the outbreak of the Second World War in Gdansk in Poland. Participants at the memorial ceremony will include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Poland’s President Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. At the same time, many of us will stop in our daily work to remember, reflect and honour all of them who suffered and died.

But this day, we may also rejoice in that young people today are growing up in a Europe characterized by cooperation and understanding. I myself grew up in France, and many were the classmates whose grandparents had fallen victim of the war and were buried in Germany, side by side with an uncountable number of others: brothers and sisters, children and parents.

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