WARSAW (Reuters) - Thousands took to the streets across Poland on Wednesday for the seventh day of protests against a co
WARSAW (Reuters) - Leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday mark 80 years since the start of World War Two in Poland, with the conflict still a live political issue in the country. Few places suffered the level of death and destruction seen in Poland. It lost about a fifth of its population, including the vast majority of its three million Jewish citizens. After the war, shattered Warsaw had to rise again from ruins and Poland remained under Soviet domination until 1989. Ceremonies begin shortly after 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) in the small town of Wielun, site of one of the first bombings of the war on Sept. 1, 1939, with speeches by Polish President Andrzej Duda and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Merkel, and Pence who is arriving after President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a planned trip due to a hurricane, will take part in events later in the day in Warsaw. For Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party, the memory of World War Two is a central plank of its “historical politics”, aiming to counteract what it says is a lack of appreciation in the West of the extent of the nation’s suffering and bravery under Nazi German occupation. Critics say the party’s ambition is to fan nationalism among voters at a time when populists around the world are tapping into historical revisionism. PiS says the country’s standing on the global stage and national security are at stake. “The experience of Poland in the Second World War greatly differed from western European countries. The occupation of France and Poland was incomparable,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a paid article published by German newspaper Die Welt on Friday. Paid for by a foundation financed by state companies in Poland, similar articles were due to appear in major newspapers across Europe and in the United States over the weekend. As part of its campaign, the Polish National Foundation also paid for supplements in some newspapers consisting of a copy of their front pages from Sept. 2, 1939, that highlighted the Nazi German army’s attack on Poland.