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Polish gov’t adopts resolution to seek WWII damages from Germany

18.04.2023 22:00
Poland’s government has adopted a resolution “on the need to regulate in Polish-German relations the issue of reparations, compensation and redress” for the losses caused by the German invasion and subsequent occupation of Poland during World War II.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The Cabinet endorsed the document at a meeting on Tuesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The resolution states “the need to regulate in Polish-German relations the issue of reparations, compensation and redress for the losses suffered by Poland and the Polish people as a result of Germany’s illegal attack on Poland in 1939 and the subsequent German occupation,” according to officials.

The document had been submitted by Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk, who is the government’s commissioner "for issues related to obtaining compensation for World War II from Germany," the PAP news agency reported.

The issue of WWII damages from Germany “not closed’ and ‘must be settled’: Polish gov’t

The Office of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a statement: “The resolution adopted by the government confirms in formal manner that the issue of reparations, compensation, redress and other forms of righting the wrongs inflicted on Poland and the Polish people during World War II, has not been closed in any way.”

It added: “The document constitutes a legislative act that is binding for other institutions and confirms that the issue of compensation for the damage and harm caused by Germany during World War II has not been settled in the form of an international agreement between the Republic of Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany, and that such an agreement must be entered into.”

Warsaw demands WWII damages from Berlin

The Polish prime minister’s office noted that on September 1, 2022, the Polish government, “responding to popular sentiment and the sense of there being unrighted wrongs in relations with Germany … published a ‘Report on the Losses Sustained by Poland as a Result of German Aggression and Occupation During the Second World War, 1939-1945.’”

The report estimated that Poland’s wartime losses at the hands of Germany, “including the human, financial and material losses, as well as losses in cultural property and the destruction of war” totalled PLN 6.22 trillion (EUR 1.3 trillion, USD 1.5 trillion), according to officials. 

The Polish prime minister's office wrote on Tuesday: “This sum does not reflect the enormity of the destruction, but is merely a conservative economic calculation of demographic and material losses.”

It added: “The government resolution will help put an end to allegations that Poland had renounced reparations/compensation from Germany."

Poland to send another formal note to Germany demanding WWII damages: deputy FM  

After the Cabinet adopted the new resolution, Mularczyk told reporters that the document was “a response to Germany’s diplomatic note to Poland on the issue of compensation for World War II." 

He added that the new resolution would “form the basis” for another Polish diplomatic note to Germany demanding damages for World War II. 

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.

Mularczyk said at a news conference on Tuesday: “The German side had replied in very laconic form that the issue of reparations is closed.”

The Polish deputy foreign minister argued that, according to the Polish government, “both under communism, and since Poland regained freedom and sovereignty, the issue of reparations, compensation and redress has never been opened in relations between our countries, and so the two countries have never closed the issue of reparations.”

Mularczyk added that Tuesday’s resolution by the government “is binding for all authorities of the Polish state and all public, state and local-government institutions must comply with this resolution.”

He stated: “This resolution represents the formal response of our government to Germany’s diplomatic note. It will form the basis for drafting another diplomatic note to the German government,” the PAP news agency reported. 


Source: IAR, PAP, polsatnews.pl, gov.pl