Two world wars and tyranny

The First World War – the "great seminal catastrophe of the 20th century" – broke out in 1914 and ended more than hundred years ago. The Second World War began in 1939, provoked by the Nazi regime under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Millions of people – soldiers as well as civilians – lost their lives in the two world wars. And millions fell victim to Hitler’s master race delusion in the Nazi extermination camps.

The consequences were devastating, especially for people in Central and Eastern Europe, who were directly affected for decades – and whose liberation from the Nazis led them straight into new dictatorships. It was not until 1989/90 that the age of dictatorships ended in Europe. Now, in 2020, we commemorate thirty years of freedom and eighty years of peace after the end of World War Two.

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