A little perspective for our information “war” is provided here by Chuck DeVore through a history lesson about one Nazi parade.
The horror these Polish children saw and hopelessness they felt are unfathomable to most Americans. Yet they emerged from the crucible.
An old photo on my Twitter stream captured my attention. It was of a German military parade in occupied Warsaw in 1940. My interest in history led me to think about the scene and how it represented a reality far removed from the average American’s experience.
The Germans were marking the one-year anniversary of an independent Poland’s defeat by Adolf Hitler’s war machine on September 28, 1939. In addition to the soldiers lining the road and marching down it, two dozen German aircraft fly overhead.
The year before, during the 20-day Siege of Warsaw and the week leading up to it, the Luftwaffe pounded the city, killing up to 7,000, mostly civilians. Perhaps some of the same aircraft that flew over the parade that day participated in destroying the city. The appearance of those warplanes must have been unnerving.
On the left side of the road numerous civilians can be seen, mostly boys and girls wearing shorts and dresses. These children are likely Polish. Imagine what they and their parents were thinking at the time. Just a year earlier, their nation was attacked from the west by Germany and from the east by the Soviet Union, and erased from the map. Their longtime historical ally, France, was overrun by Germany a few months before in the summer of 1940.
At that very moment, the undefeated German air force was locked in deadly aerial combat in the Battle of Britain. It would take another month before the Royal Air Force handed the Luftwaffe its first major loss. America and its immense productive capacity was on the sidelines. Joseph Stalin was allied with Hitler. Things looked grim for the people of Warsaw.
Read more: The Federalist