View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

76 years ago today

Today in 1939, Nazi German forces invaded Poland. An ultimatum by the British government for them to withdraw by midday (11.00 GMT) on 3 September was ignored, prompting the declaration of war.

Five years, eight months and five days later, World War II had come to an end in Europe. It left behind massive devastation, tens of millions of dead and a political landscape altered beyond recognition. Six million people were murdered just for professing the Jewish faith, being of Jewish parents or having the merest connection with Judaism - murder conducted on an industrial scale.

The impact of WW2 continues today, unabated. The crisis in the Middle East is one of the worst results of the last World War, as is the burgeoning confrontation between Russia and NATO / the West. Similarly, the current migrant crisis is also an offshoot of the 1939-1945 conflict.