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Poland urges German MPs to start dialogue on WWII damages: deputy FM

02.06.2023 07:30
The Polish government is beginning to distribute its report on the country's wartime losses among German parliamentarians to “spark debate about the need for Germany to compensate Poland for World War II,” a deputy foreign minister has said. 
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk.PAP/Piotr Nowak

Arkadiusz Mularczyk announced the move on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish deputy foreign minister said in a tweet: “Copies of the report are already in Berlin. The Polish embassy in Berlin will now conduct a robust information campaign in the Bundestag about reparations for Poland.”

Mularczyk, who is the Polish government’s commissioner for seeking compensation for World War II from Germany, told PAP that the report about Poland’s wartime losses would now be circulated among “all of Germany’s MPs.”

He added: “Afterwards, we are planning further steps, such as distributing the report to Germany’s Federal Council, the Bundesrat, and to the main German media outlets.”

Mularczyk said: “We are in the middle of a big information campaign in Germany.”

He stated: “We must give our partners in the European Union time to look into the report and then we’ll make another attempt at dialogue.”

Letter to German MPs 

Together with a copy of the report on Poland’s wartime losses, each German lawmaker will receive a letter from Mularczyk, officials said.

In the document, the Polish deputy foreign minister urges Germany’s MPs “to recognise a highly important problem from the past that unfortunately has not been solved in a just and honest manner to this day, casting a shadow on good Polish-German relations.”

Mularczyk’s letter outlines Poland’s losses during World War II, noting that after a five-year study, Polish experts estimated these losses at PLN 6.22 trillion (EUR 1.3 trillion), the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish deputy foreign minister further wrote that Germany had paid out war damages to 70 countries, while “Poland, despite having suffered enormous human and material losses, has been ignored.”

Mularczyk stated in the letter: “Polish citizens who remember the atrocities of World War II and their families can’t accept the fact that there has been no redress for the harm caused by Germany during World War II.”

He voiced his “disappointment” with the German government’s statement from December that it “has no intention to hold talks with the Polish government about compensation for World War II.”

Mularczyk noted that on May 16, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was among the signatories of the Council of Europe’s Reykjavík Declaration, which said that “no statutes of limitation apply to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the PAP news agency reported.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation that brings together 46 countries aiming to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

In his letter to German MPs, Mularczyk said he hoped there would be "dialogue on compensation for World War II."

He wrote: “It is our hope that the report will serve as a starting point for talks and discussions in the relevant committees and groups of the German parliament.”

Mularczyk declared that, as the Polish government’s commissioner for seeking compensation for World War II, he was ready to hold talks on the issue "in various formats," the Polish state news agency reported.

Poland demands WWII damages from Germany

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 government said that 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, tvp.info