September 17 1939 – 70 years ago – is a fateful day to remember. Because this was the September day in 1939 when the beginning of the Second World War was finalised. The two totalitarian allies, who were responsible for the start of the war, Hitler's Nazis and Stalin's Communists, now joined forces on the battlefield, as previously agreed in their Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Poland, already buckling under heavy attack from the West by Nazi Germany, was now additionally invaded by a huge Soviet Russian army from the East.
Not long after, Russian and German troops were able to hold a joint and joyous victory parade. Poland was partitioned between two gangster regimes. Innocent blood was soon to flow in torrents, on both sides of the demarcation line. And the two totalitarian gangsters continued fighting on the same side in WWII for two years, pitted against the democratic West.
All of this would of course just be old history, not much to worry about, were it not for Vladimir Putin's re-writing of Stalin-era history. Unfortunately, Putin's extreme make-over of WWII history is a current fact. That's why remembering what happened on September 17 – 7 decades ago – is still essential today.