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Polish deputy FM says war damages from Germany 'a top priority' for Warsaw

31.10.2022 16:00
A new Polish deputy foreign minister said on Monday that the issue of compensation from Germany for World War II losses was a top priority for the government in Warsaw and one of its biggest challenges since the fall of communism in 1989.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk
Arkadiusz MularczykPR24

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a conservative lawmaker who was appointed a deputy foreign minister on Friday, said he would be in charge of "European affairs and relations with Poland's partners in Europe" in his new government role.

Mularczyk told public broadcaster Polish Radio in an interview on Monday that he would combine his new job with his role as the government's pointman on WWII damages from Germany.

"These are extremely important, top-priority tasks from my perspective," Mularczyk said, adding that his responsibilities as a deputy foreign minister would be "closely related" to those in his other government role.

"I want to do everything over the next year or so in order to carry out both these tasks very well and very effectively," he told Polish Radio.

The Polish foreign ministry disclosed last Friday that, in its recent 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.

Mularczyk, who is a senior politician with Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, told Polish Radio last week that recent 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 that 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 last Thursday 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 Zbgniew 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: IAR, polskieradio24.pl