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A few days away from the 70th anniversary of the official beginning of World War II, the Tagesspiegel reports that there is still no consensus on the exact date the conflict broke out. “For Germans the answer is simple: 1 September 1939, with the Polish campaign,” writes the German daily. But that is not exactly how Poland and Russia see it: “70 years after the fact, the Polish are aghast at reinterpretations of the past that are now going around in Germany and Russia,” says the paper. “For them, the war started 23 August 1939 with the signing of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact.”

And there is even more disagreement on when it ended: “1945, with Germany’s capitulation,” the Germans say. “1989, with the collapse of the Communist empire,” the Poles riposte. The debate is not merely over dates, remarks *D**er Tagesspiegel*. Whilst readily admitting that many Germans suffered from the Allied bombings and postwar forced expulsions, the Poles categorically refuse to let the Germans absolve themselves of their guilt and pose as “victims” of the war. And they insist that Russia played a decisive role in triggering the war in the first place.

So Polish prime minister Donald Tusk is bent on defending the “Polish point of view” at the commemoration of the outbreak of the war, which will indeed be held on 1 September in Poland, where “there will be no doubt who were the victims and who the executioners,” forewarns Tusk in no uncertain terms.