Gdańsk mayor snubs army for WWII anniversary, claims defence minister
PR dla Zagranicy
Snubbing the army is “unthinkable” and “a scandal”, Poland’s defence minister has said, claiming that the mayor of Gdańsk has decided not to invite soldiers to an event marking the anniversary of the start of WWII on September 1.
Ruins of Polish barracks at Westerplatte. Photo: M.Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak demanded that the mayor of the northern city of Gdańsk reconsider his decision. But mayor Paweł Adamowicz said later on Thursday that soldiers would take part in the anniversary commemorations.
Błaszczak, meanwhile, said that the request of an army commander from Gdańsk to talk to Adamowicz had been rejected.
“This is a scandal, the situation is unthinkable,” Błaszczak said.
“I remind the mayor of Gdańsk that Gdańsk is part of Poland and Westerplatte is a place which symbolises the courage of the Polish soldier, Westerplatte is a symbolic place, Westerplatte was the site of the start of WWII,” Błaszczak added.
Commemorations of the start of WWII have traditionally been held at the Westerplatte peninsula in Gdańsk, which was the site of a Polish military depot that was shelled by a German battleship at 4:45 am on 1 September 1939. It was the first battle between Polish and German soldiers in WWII.
The week-long defence of the site by Poles against overwhelmingly larger German forces became a symbol of the heroism of Polish soldiers.
Source: PAP, IAR