When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, it propelled the world into the most widespread conflict in history. World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. This page collates DW material on World War II.
World War II started with Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended in Europe with the Western Allies' invasion of Germany, the capture of Berlin by the Soviet Union and the unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945. In Asia, the war ended on August 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the United States following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. DW looks at various aspects of the war, including the issues that led up to the conflict, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the Holocaust and the peace-building process following Germany's defeat and the division of the country. Several articles also look at the impact the war had on other regions in Europe, Russia and Asia.
By the time Wladyslaw Bielinski's remains were discovered in a mass grave, one of the perpetrators, Jakob Lölgen, was returning to Germany as a respected citizen. He was never punished for his actions in Poland.
September 1 marked the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Here in Germany, the picturesque town of Bad Arolsen is home to the country's largest archive on the victims of the Nazi regime. Through a campaign called "Stolen Memory," the archive seeks to return these items to the families of victims. Emmanuelle Chaze visited the Archive as one case was successfully closed.