English Section

Poland inspired by Greece to seek WWII damages from Germany: deputy FM

16.02.2023 11:30
A Polish deputy foreign minister has said that Poland’s drive to seek compensation from Germany for World War II was inspired by a similar initiative by Greece.
Polands Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk.
Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk. PAP/Albert Zawada

Arkadiusz Mularczyk made the remark in an interview published on Thursday by Polish state news agency PAP. 

Mularczyk was speaking in Greece, where he held a series of meetings with senior Greek politicians on Wednesday, the PAP news agency reported.

Greece 'inspired us to demand compensation for WWII from Germany'

He told PAP: “In a sense, it was Greece that inspired us to demand compensation for World War II from Germany.”

Mularczyk said the aim of his trip to Greece was “to outline the basis of Poland’s claim for compensation from Germany.” 

He added: “Greece is aware that Poland is seeking World War II damages. All the politicians I spoke to, and they are experienced politicians, listened with interest to information about our efforts.”

The deputy foreign minister said that "Greece’s experiences had a big impact" on how Poland prepared for the process of seeking compensation from Germany. 

He revealed: “Some five years ago, as an MP, I came to Greece for consultations. I met with the head of Greece’s parliamentary committee for World War II damages.”

Mularczyk added: “I was given a report about Greece’s wartime losses and we decided that Poland should prepare a similar report.”

'Potential for future cooperation in this respect'

Mularczyk also said that many Greek politicians and citizens believe Germany should pay compensation to their country, adding that “there is potential for future cooperation in this respect" between Poland and Greece "both in the field of diplomacy and in terms of education.”

He added: “It’s not just about involving countries that were harmed by Germany during World War II, but also about building awareness among the countries that have no knowledge of the effects and consequences of war.”

He told PAP that “a large majority” of people he had spoken to so far about the issue of World War II damages, “weren’t aware that Poland hadn't received compensation for the war.”   

Mularczyk said that efforts to persuade Germany to pay out World War II damages “may bring results within a few years.”

His talks in Athens on Wednesday included meetings with former Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, former President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Deputy Foreign Minister Militiadis Varvitsiotis, reporters were told.

The Greek government in 2019 demanded compensation for World War I and World War II from Germany, having estimated its World War II losses at EUR 289 billion, but the government in Berlin has rejected these demands, the PAP news agency reported. 

Poland demands WWII damages from Germany

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, forsal.pl