Poland observes 70th anniversary of beginning of WWII

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Warsaw (Poland), Sep.1 (ANI): Commemorations have begun in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

The first ceremony took place at dawn on Westerplatte peninsula near Gdansk, where a German battleship fired the first shots on a Polish fort in 1939.

Poland's president and prime minister led a sombre ceremony at the fort.

President Kaczynski and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk joined war veterans beside a monument to the heroes of Westerplatte at 4:45 a.m. local time.

The ceremony marked the exact time on September 1, 1939 when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire at point-blank range on the fort, reports the BBC.

At the same time, the German Wehrmacht invaded Poland from east, west and south. The attacks triggered Britain and France's declaration of war against Germany two days later.

Foreign leaders from 20 countries including Germany and Russia are expected in Gdansk later in the day as ceremonies continue.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will speak later. (ANI)

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