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Polish American group asks US Congress to help Poland secure WWII damages from Germany

14.02.2023 11:30
A Polish American organisation has submitted a draft resolution to the US Congress calling on Germany to compensate Poland for the losses it suffered during World War II, according to a report. 

The document has been put forward by a group called the Polish-American Strategic Initiative (PASI), Poland's PAP news agency reported.

It cited a spokesman for the group as saying that the draft resolution had been submitted to the office of Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee. 

The document will be made available to both chambers of Congress, the spokesman, Gene Sokolowski, said in a statement, according to the Polish state news agency

A copy of the draft resolution was also sent to Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk and other Polish diaspora groups, the PAP news agency reported. 

In the document, the Polish-American Strategic Initiative argues that Poland suffered the biggest human and material losses as a result of German aggression more than eight decades ago and is therefore fully entitled to compensation, PAP said.   

Call for WWII damages

The  draft resolution calls on Germany to make a fair estimate of the losses inflicted on Poland and pay out reparations, according to PAP. 

The Polish-American Strategic Initiative also demands that Germany return hundreds of thousands of stolen works of art as well as cultural and religious goods.  

The group also appeals to Germany to comply with international law, under which it says there are no statutes of limitation on war crimes, crimes against humanity and compensation, the PAP news agency reported.

The diaspora group notes the need for Poland and Germany to maintain good-neighbourly relations based on historical truth and redress for German war crimes.

PASI says it is focused on protecting the interests of America’s Polish community and supporting Poland in its educational, political and economic initiatives, including internationally, according to the PAP news agency.

Polish deputy FM in talks across Europe on WWII damages from Germany 

Meanwhile, Poland's Mularczyk was set to hold a series of meetings in various countries this week as Warsaw seeks backing in its push for compensation from Berlin for World War II, the polskieradio 24.pl website reported. 

On Monday, the Polish deputy foreign minister met with the director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, officials said. 

Mularczyk and Christian Salazar Volkmann held talks in Geneva, Switzerland, according to polskieradio24.pl.

On Tuesday, Mularczyk was set to take part in Polish-Greek intergovernmental consultations in Athens, followed by a similar bilateral meeting in Rome, Italy on Wednesday, officials said. 

In addition, Mularczyk was set to meet with Greek lawmakers and organisations involved in the country’s drive to secure compensation from Germany, and with Italian politicians.

He said both Greece and Italy suffered losses at the hands of Germany during World War II and voiced hope that "Poland’s position will be met with understanding.” 

“I will be meeting with politicians and officials who are dealing with the issue of World War II damages, or have done so in the past,” Mularczyk told reporters ahead of the talks. 

One of his meetings in Greece will be with former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, polskieradio24.pl reported.        

Poland demands WWII damages from Germany

In September last year, 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.

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

According to the German government, "the issue of reparations and compensation for World War II losses remains closed” and Berlin "does not intend to enter into negotiations on the matter," officials have said.  


Source: PAP, polskieradio24.pl