Thursday, September 1, 2022

September 1, 1939

When I was growing up everyone knew that references to "the war" meant World War II. The conflicts of the 1930s became a world war with Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. After "the war" I remember gradually becoming aware that I was surrounded by veterans, although often only by reading their obituaries.  When I started teaching in 1970 I had colleagues who had served, including one who, captured during the Bulge, had been liberated from a POW camp in Poland by the Soviets. Patrick Kurp:
Every year I privately observe certain public anniversaries, .... Chief among them, thanks mostly to my parents and others of their generation, is September 1:
“On average, twenty-seven thousand people perished on each day between the invasion of Poland (September 1, 1939) and the formal surrender of Japan (September 2, 1945)—bombed, shot, stabbed, blown apart, incinerated, gassed, starved, or infected. The Axis losers killed or starved to death about 80 percent of all those who died during the war. The Allied victors largely killed Axis soldiers; the defeated Axis, mostly civilians.”
Victor Davis Hanson adds that some 60 million people died in World War II, most of them now nameless and forgotten. .... (more)
Patrick Kurp, "Twenty-Seven Thousand People Perished Each Day," Anecdotal Evidence, Sept. 1, 2022.

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