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Poland demands EUR 1.3 trillion in compensation from Germany for WWII losses: foreign ministry

28.10.2022 12:30
The Polish foreign ministry disclosed on Friday that, in its recent diplomatic note to the government in Berlin, it demanded that Germany pay Poland PLN 6.22 trillion (EUR 1.3 trillion) in compensation for World War II losses.
The Polish foreign ministrys building in Warsaw.
The Polish foreign ministry's building in Warsaw.Photo: gov.pl

"In its diplomatic note sent to the Federal Republic of Germany on the compensation for damage caused by Germany as a result of its aggression and occupation in 1939-1945, the Republic of Poland demands compensation for material and non-material losses amounting to 6 trillion 220 billion 609 million Polish zlotys," the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that Poland also demanded that Germany compensate "victims of German aggression and occupation, as well as their families, for the losses and harm suffered" and that it take "systemic measures" to "return cultural property seized from Poland and currently located on German territory."

Poland also wants Germany to return the "assets and liabilities of Polish state banks and credit institutions seized by the German state in 1939-1945," among other demands, according to the statement.

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a senior lawmaker with Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, told public broadcaster Polish Radio on Thursday that recent statements by German officials that the issue of war reparations for Poland was “closed,” were “premature.”

Mularczyk, who leads a Polish parliamentary team on war damages, said the government in Berlin “needs to be given time to carefully examine the diplomatic note on compensation for Poland.”

He told Polish Radio: “These are thorny, complex issues of a political, diplomatic, economic and analytical nature. I believe the German government needs at least a few weeks to conclude that they simply should sit down for talks with Poland soon.”

Mularczyk told Polish Radio that Poland expected Germany to reply to the diplomatic note "within two to three months."

Push for WWII damages from Germany

On September 1, Poland's government announced that the losses suffered by the country at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II totalled PLN 6.22 trillion (EUR 1.3 trillion) and that it would demand compensation from Berlin. 

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last month: “I am convinced that we will receive reparations from Germany, although it won’t happen quickly.”

He added: “Even the most difficult journey begins with the first step.” 

On October 3, Polish Foreign Minister Zbgniew Rau signed a formal note to the government in Berlin, demanding compensation for losses Poland sustained during the war.

On October 4, Germany's top diplomat Annalena Baerbock said during a visit to Warsaw that the question of WWII reparations for Poland was closed, according to media reports at the time.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was quoted as saying in a media interview in September that the issue of WWII reparations for Poland "has been settled conclusively" under international law. 


Source: IAR, PAP, gov.pl