Poland Demands 1.3 Trillion Euros in WWII Reparations From Germany

Poland is reinvigorating a dispute from the past at a period when the spotlight of the European Union is concentrated on attempting to prevent Russia from overcoming Ukraine. 

On Thursday, Poland’s ruler called for Germany to pay 6.2 trillion zloty (about €1.3 trillion) in restitution for its 1939-1945 invasion of Poland.

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Report

On Thursday, the major leader of Poland’s ruling party announced his country’s government would petition Germany for around €1.3 trillion in war reparations for the crimes of the Nazis throughout World War II. 

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the Law and Justice group, revealed this after the publication of research that evaluated the losses Polish people endured as a result of the German occupation. 

Kaczynski stated they had not only written the report, but they also decided on the next actions to take. They intend to approach Germany in order to initiate negotiations regarding the reparations. 

He stated the negotiating process would take a long time and would not be simple. 

The decision was made 83 years after the start of World War II. The damages are calculated based on a variety of factors, including destruction to buildings, commerce, agriculture, heritage, and expulsions, among other things.

According to Kaczynski, Germany has never provided a satisfactory explanation for the crimes it committed against Poland. It was highlighted that Germany is able to pay the debt, along with the fact that this genuine Polish-German reconciliation is founded on truth. 

Dispute

According to the report, the German stance is reparations were paid to the states that had previously been a part of the East Bloc after the war. 

As part of an agreement with its eastern bloc partner East Germany, Poland and Russia were given territory across the Oder-Neisse boundary in 1953. 

The German government claims Poland gave up its right to war reparations at that time. The current government in Poland claims the Soviet Union exerted undue pressure to get the waiver approved. 

A government official said on Friday that Poland welcomed beyond reservations the “two-plus-four” deal between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union that secured reunification in 1990.

This position has “not changed,” according to a statement released by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday. They also noted the issue of reparations had been resolved. 

It was stated Poland renounced additional reparations a very long time ago, back in 1953, and this waiver has been validated multiple times. They added this is an important part of the foundation for the current order in Europe. 

Politically and ethically, Germany acknowledges and accepts responsibility for its role in World War II.  According to the person in charge of compiling the study, about 5.2 million Polish civilians lost their lives while the country was occupied during World War II.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.

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