The ceremonies kicked off in the Polish port city of Gdansk, known as Danzig in German, where the first shots of the deadliest
conflict in history were fired on September 1, 1939.
The sky over the Baltic Sea was lit up by a salute fired from 21 guns at the Westerplatte peninsula in Gdansk late on Thursday
Poland initially organized the event as an alternative for Western European leaders, who decided to boycott Moscow’s Victory
Day Parade due to the dispute with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
However, most of European leaders opted to attend WWII commemoration events in their home countries.