German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has apologised to Poland for the “tyranny” of Nazi rule on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two.
Mr Steinmeier asked the country to forgive Germany, as he and other world leaders are in Poland to commemorate the beginning of the six-year conflict.
He further condemned the “desire to annihilate” that led to the violent outbreak in the country.
“I bow my head before the Polish victims of Germany’s tyranny. And I ask forgiveness,” Mr Steinmeier said, speaking in German and Polish at a ceremony in Wielun, where the first German bombs fell, on Sunday.
Meanwhile Andrzej Duda, Mr Steinmeier’s Polish counterpart, branded the German attack on Poland “an act of barbarity”.
“Wielun was to show what kind of war it would be, that it would be a total war, a war without rules, a destructive war,” he said.