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Poland to launch info campaign for war damages from Germany: ruling party leader

07.11.2022 07:00
The Polish conservative leader has said his country will conduct an extensive international campaign to raise awareness about Warsaw's demand for compensation from Berlin for World War II losses.
Polands conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński meets with voters in the northern city of Olsztyn, on Sunday, November 6, 2022.
Poland's conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński meets with voters in the northern city of Olsztyn, on Sunday, November 6, 2022. PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk

Jarosław Kaczyński made the declaration at a meeting with voters in the northern city of Olsztyn on Sunday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He was asked during the meeting what steps the Polish government was planning to take to influence public attitudes in Germany and other countries about the issue of war damages, and to secure such compensation from Berlin. 

Kaczyński, who leads Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, said: “We are preparing a media campaign on an international scale.”

He added that the government was producing videos for the campaign designed “to make the international community aware of what the German occupation of Poland during World War II really looked like.”  

According to Kaczyński, the Western public has “a distorted view of what took place in Poland during World War II.”

He told his Olsztyn audience: “It will be a big, tough campaign, but we are determined to run it. Hopefully, we’ll find allies. Little by little does the trick, and this time it’ll be more than just a little effort.”

'Germany granted amnesty to Nazi war criminals'

Kaczyński said the drive would highlight war crimes committed by Nazi Germany in Poland, but also “the complete lack of measures to ensure accountability for those crimes.”

He said that “after 1945, Germany essentially granted an amnesty to Nazi war criminals.”    

According to the Polish conservative leader, “Germany has built up a reputation as a moral superpower, which is of huge value to Berlin.”

He added: “They must realise they will lose this reputation if they don’t start talks with us.”

“We need to expose what kind of country Germany really is, one based on terrible hypocrisy,” Kaczyński stated.

He said Berlin had indicated that its response to a recent Polish diplomatic note demanding war damages “will contain no surprises, meaning it will be negative.”   

Poland demands compensation from Germany for WWII losses

The Polish foreign ministry disclosed in late October that, in its 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.

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a senior politician with the Law and Justice party, told Polish Radio last month that statements by German officials that the issue of war reparations for Poland was “closed,” were “premature.”

Mularczyk, who led an effort to compile an extensive report on war reparations, said the government in Berlin “needs to be given time to carefully examine the diplomatic note on compensation for Poland.”

He added: “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 Warsaw expected Berlin 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 Zbigniew 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: PAP, wpolityce.pl