On September 1, 1939, the German war against Poland began. The raid was announced in the Kroll Opera. The German invasion marked the beginning of six years in which Poland was divided, plundered and destroyed. Millions of Polish children, women and men were victims of murder, robbery, deportation and forced labour. Concentration and extermination camps were set up in occupied Poland. Here, German perpetrators murdered three million Jews.
The commemorative meeting on 1 September 2023, on the occasion of the 84th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, at the former site of the Kroll Opera House commemorated the suffering, the victims of this war and the subsequent occupation.
Speakers included Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth and the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland H.E. Dariusz Pawłoś. Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda, who was born in Warsaw in 1930 and took part in the Warsaw Uprising in the summer of 1944 as a paramedic and reporter, addressed her words to the guests in the form of a video message.
Uwe Neumärker, Stiftung Denkmal, and Prof. Dr. Peter Oliver Loew, Deutsches Polen-Institut, welcomed the participating guests at the beginning. Poems by Anna Świrszczyńska and music by Ignacy Waghalter framed the memorial meeting. The event was moderated by Dr. Agnieszka Wierzcholska and Robert Parzer, Staff Unit »German-Polish House Commemoration – Encounter – Understanding«.
At present, a staff unit based at the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in close cooperation with the German Poland Institute, is working on a proposal for implementation in accordance with the requirements of the Bundestag resolution of 30 October 2020: »To do justice to the character of german-Polish history with a place of remembrance and encounter and to contribute to the deepening of special bilateral relations.«
The implementation proposal should be available in spring 2024, which will then be decided by the Bundestag.
More information on the work of the unit: www.deutschpolnischeshaus.de