BERLIN (AP) — The speaker of Germany's parliament has paid tribute to the Polish soldiers who managed to fend off a massive Nazi onslaught for days at the start of World War II.

Speaking Tuesday on the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Wizna, Wolfgang Schaeuble recalled the "heroic defense by a few hundred against a superior force of tens of thousands of German soldiers."

Schaeuble, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats, said that "in 1939 Poland became the first victim of a historically unparalleled campaign of destruction (driven by) racial ideology."

He noted that subsequently, Poland endured widespread murder, the devastation of large parts of the country and its capital, and the eradication of Jewish life in Poland.

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