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Polish deputy FM heads to Germany to push for WWII damages

27.03.2023 11:30
A Polish deputy foreign minister headed to Berlin on Monday for talks with senior German lawmakers on Warsaw's demand for compensation for World War II and on support for war-torn Ukraine, officials have said.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk
Arkadiusz MularczykWojciech Kusiński/PR

Ahead of his two-day trip, Arkadiusz Mularczyk told reporters he hoped the talks “will bring the Polish and German stances on war reparations closer together."

Outlining the aims of his visit, Mularczyk said: “We’ll discuss current topics, including support for Ukraine, but also bilateral problems to do with a lack of balance when it comes to the teaching of the Polish language in Germany, and with the functioning of the Association of Poles in Germany.”

Mularczyk told a news conference that the association’s assets were nationalised and its officials "killed by the Nazi German government" in 1940.

He said: “We’ll be demanding a return to talks about these assets, the cancelling of the Nazi German government’s nationalisation decree and a rehabilitation of the activists of the Association of Poles in Germany.”

Mularczyk is set to meet with parliamentarians from Germany’s main parties, the conservative CDU, the social democratic SPD and the liberal FDP, when he visits Berlin on Monday and Tuesday, officials said. 

He plans to speak with officials including the SPD’s Dietmar Nietan, who serves as the German foreign ministry’s Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Looking ahead to his trip, Mularczyk said on Friday he was convinced that “there are people and circles in Germany that are willing to talk, to cooperate, but they have been intimidated.”

He added, as quoted by Polish state news agency PAP: “They don’t want to attract criticism. They don’t want to be ostracised or attacked, but I believe this will pass if we keep pursuing our aim in a consistent way."

Mularczyk, who previously visited Germany in December to discuss Poland’s claim for compensation for World War II, among other issues, will also speak to German media, according to officials. 

'I sent letters to all US Congressmen and senators' about Polish WWII losses

Mularczyk has announced that "on March 20" he "sent letters to all US Congressmen and senators providing them with information on Polish war losses.”

He argued that “US legislators should be aware that the issue of World War II and Polish compensation for war losses is not a closed matter.”

Mularczyk told reporters that “the issue of securing compensation from Germany for World War II must be promoted on the international stage” as “a means of putting pressure on Germany to regulate this matter.” 

He said that "bringing the issue to the attention of the US Congress" was “very important,” due to its “great outward influence.” 

Mularczyk added that Poland "has already highlighted the issue with most of the major international organisations” and would soon publish its report on war losses in foreign languages, including German, French, Italian and Ukrainian, and circulate it to the European Parliament and national parliaments.

He told the media that the Polish government had also launched an English-language website with detailed information about Poland’s wartime losses and claim for compensation from Germany. 

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.

A German edition of the Polish government’s report on Poland’s wartime losses will be unveiled in Germany in May, the IAR news agency reported.

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: IAR, PAP, polskieradio24.pl, reparations-for-poland.com