World War II, a global conflict involving more than thirty countries and resulting in more than fifty million deaths, officially began on September 1, 1939, when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. The war would continue for six years until Germany and Japan surrendered in 1945.

Seventy-six years later, as we remember the most widespread and deadliest war in history, we revisit W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939,” in which he famously wrote the line “We must love one another or die.”

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