German football association president Wolfgang Niersbach laid a wreath on Wednesday at the Westerplatte memorial, site of Nazi Germany's first attack on Poland which marked the start of World War Two in 1939.

The September 1 attack on the small peninsula at the coastal city of Gdansk was the beginning of Germany's invasion of neighboring Poland and the start of the six-year World War which claimed tens of millions of lives.

"This place tells the story of a terrible chapter of our history and is a warning that such a thing should never happen again," said Niersbach who was accompanied by his board.

The German soccer squad are based in Gdansk for the European Championship, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, and a group of players and officials visited the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz before the tournament started.

"We are thankful today that we have had a friendly welcome by Poland and we see it as our duty to forever and everywhere work towards a peaceful co-existence," Niersbach said.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann)