Thoughts to the 1st of September 1939

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

One would have to be pretty old to remember that day in the summer of 1939.

I’m this old and remember this particular day and what made it important. My dad told us, that there was a war on and the government ordered all windows to be blacked out so an incoming enemy air plane was not able to see and recognise anything.

Dad wanted to put some old wall paper over the glass of the windows and used some drawing pins to stick the paper to the window frames. He soon ran out of them. He sent me, his four year old son, to the shop to buy some more drawing pins, I was not surprised for I had done some errands before. I sort of remember buying ice creams and toffee lollies on my own.

On the way back the air raid siren started howling. Dad told the family there was nothing to worry about, it was only a  drill. Long after the war I learnt that the air defence made a mistake and mistook a German plane for a Polish one.

On the day we children did not take the news of war in any way seriously. I have no idea how my parents felt. Much later I learnt that dad was a communist who hated Hitler intensely.  Still, in January 1940, he joined the Army. He returned after the war in May 1946 after having been a POW.

For me exciting times were ahead. But as a little child I would not have known anything about the reasons for that war. During the next five and a half years, slowly the excitement turned into horror and it all ended in May 1945 with the unconditional surrender of the military forces of the German Reich.

Where are we now seventy five years later? The world is in turmoil. Historians tell us, it is the most peaceful time in all of history. What we are doing is concentrating on one or two events and we think it is the big one.  Well, I know history too and I can see what the Western powers are up to.  We, the public, see only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We know nothing of what the big powers are really  playing at. What we hear and read is only propaganda. Lies upon lies are heaped onto a mountain of misinformation and before we know it, we have a big war in which young men are being  sacrificed and the women of the world are crying.

In Eastern Europe, at the  border between the Ukraine and Russia, storm clouds are forming. The enlargement of the EU and the encroachment of NATO towards the Russian borders is seen by the Russians as an attack on their national and cultural identity. The interest of the Russians in the affairs of Ukraine is not territorial but cultural and deeply emotional. Their feelings about “Mother Russia” is bordering on the religious. In Czarist times they called it “Holy Mother Russia”. I dare say, no other people on Earth feel so deeply about their country.

“The modern peoples of Belarus,Ukraine, and Russia all claim Kievan Rus’ as their cultural inheritance.” this is a quote from the Wikipedia about the country, Kievan Rus’. Now Russia, feeling stronger than at any time since 1990, feels it has to resist the encroachment by the West. The proposed association of the Ukraine with the European Union was the last straw.  If the West does not grasp this fact it is sliding into a confrontation of unimaginable consequences.

Today, at this important anniversary, we are closer to WW III than at any time since the end of the Cold War and we should be mindful of what Albert Einstein said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”


Let that be a warning to us all.




7 thoughts on “Thoughts to the 1st of September 1939

  1. that is quite an ironic comment from a man who plays quite some role in the mass life destruction in world war 2- einstein I mean.

    you are right, the world should not give in to provocative tongues that are pitting them against each other.

    I am glad that you were too young to grasp the horrors of WW II

    take care.

  2. Your summing up is very concise and accurate.

    It seems the US and EU political leaders and business elites do not understand the mentality of Eastern Europe and Russia. There are historical enmities that go far further back than WW2.

    The idea Europe should be led into conflict with Russia by Poland and the Baltic States is just as dangerous as the US telling Ukraine it can join the EU and NATO. Such actions remove the basic democratic rights of a huge number of Russians, who have lived in Ukraine for generations.

    But not only them, it also removes the democratic rights of over half a billion EU citizens in favour of the rights of various small groups of violent and corrupt, right-wing Ukrainians, who have been jostling for power ever since the USSR fell, and probably before.

    I can even see the disintegration of the EU occurring if Ukraine is admitted, and perhaps even war breaking out between individual states as the marriage begins increasingly to sour. Ukraine is far too corrupt and politically unstable for EU membership.

    If polled, I have little doubt a large majority of citizens, in current EU member states, would vote against Ukraine integration into the EU and NATO.

    • Thank you for your comment. The situation in the Ukraine is very similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, but in reverse.

      The US did not want to have the weapons of the SU so close to its territory. Obama says the Ukraine must be able to choose freely with whom it associates. This option was not given to Cuba in 1962.

      • I well remember the Cuban crisis. I was 13 and still at school. My sisters, friends and I all feared nuclear war. It took me a while to get to sleep during that time.

      • Kennedy did the right thing, opposing the SU. Whether there were real rockets on the ships or not, we will never know. But in the end, as part of the deal, the Americans had to withdraw their ICM from Italy and Turkey.

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