Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sept. 1, 1939: Commemoration

This September 1st marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland. This invasion and the subsequent invasion by their Soviet allies almost destroyed Poland. According to some historians, one out of six Poles died in the ensuing struggle.

The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lakes Schools, SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, and Michigan Polonia have organized a commemorative event for the first week of September. The event will allow those who witnessed World War II in Poland to share their memories with others. I'm honored to have been asked to be one of the speakers.

Further information about the commemoration is available at The Polish Mission site. You can also contact Ceil Wendt Jensen at ceil(at) [substitute @ for (at)].


Last year, I posted a blog about Sept. 1 and what it means to me. The blog also features 3 youtube videos about the Nazi invasion. You can see all of that by clicking here.

Scholar Jan Peczkis has compiled a list of books about the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland. The list and Mr. Peczkis' comments on the individual books are available at the Amazon site.


Krystyna said...

Hello John,

I can't help thinking that the phrase " one out of six Poles died in the invasion and the war that followed it " will lead many uninformed readers to assume that the Nazis are solely responsible for these deaths. Yet we know that the Soviets share this responsibility in a big way. When they subsequently invaded Poland on Sept. 17th, as allies of the Nazis, is when Poland's fate was permanently sealed. And remained so for the next 50 years.

Krystyna Szypowska

John Guzlowski said...

Hi, Krystyna, thank you so much for the comment. You're absolutely right. The Soviets did ally themselves with the Nazis. My mother and her family were from eastern Poland and suffered first under the Soviets and then under the Nazis.

I've posted several blogs about what happened in eastern Poland. You can read the story of one woman I met who was taken to Siberia.