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Poland seeks support from allies in push for WWII damages from Germany: deputy FM

15.09.2023 07:30
A Polish deputy foreign minister has opened an exhibition in the UK parliament about Poland’s losses at the hands of Germany during World War II, and said that such initiatives could help persuade Poland’s allies to urge Germany to discuss the payment of war reparations.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk. PAP/Rafał Guz

Arkadiusz Mularczyk attended the launch of the exhibition at the Palace of Westminster in London on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The deputy foreign minister told reporters: “Today’s meeting and exhibition in the British parliament represent important steps forward as they help raise awareness and understanding … that the history of World War II remains unfinished at the European level.”

He added: “The fact that Poland is the only country that hasn’t received compensation, because of the Cold War, but also due to the negligence of allies, keeps creating tensions in Polish-German relations.”

Mularczyk said the Polish government was seeking to "remind the international community that Poland incurred proportionally the biggest losses” at the hands of Nazi Germany, “yet has never received any compensation.”

He stated: “This should represent a certain obligation for the democratic world, for the European Union, for Britain, to urge Germany to engage in dialogue with Poland. That’s what we’re aiming to accomplish.”

Mularczyk told reporters that the government was employing various measures, including media interviews and write-ups and face-to-face talks with foreign politicians, notably from Britain and the United States, the PAP news agency reported.

He said: “We intend to familiarise the English-speaking world with the issue, so that they are aware of Polish claims and call on Germany to engage in dialogue. This is our aim and our mission.”

During a visit to London in April, Mularczyk presented the library of the UK parliament with copies of the Polish government’s report on the damage wrought on Poland by Nazi Germany during World War II, the PAP news agency reported.

He also discussed the issue of war reparations from Germany with British MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and met with the UK’s Polish community, stressing that it was important for Poles around the world to help publicise the issue of war reparations, according to officials. 

On September 1, Mularczyk wrote in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that Poland incurred the biggest losses at the hands of Germany during World War II and deserved compensation.

He added that Germany could not plausibly claim that “the matter is settled,” the PAP news agency reported. 

Warsaw demands WWII damages from Berlin

In April, Poland’s government 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.

The Polish government said the document “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.”

In September last year, the Polish government announced that the losses suffered by Poland 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, Daily Mail