THE Germany today rejected Poland’s request for reparations due to the losses suffered by the country during the Second World War, considering that the issue is “closed”.
Warsaw estimates that these losses amount to 1.3 trillion. euro.
“The position of the federal government has not changed, the question of reparations has been closed,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “Poland renounced its right to new reparations a long time ago, in 1953, and has confirmed this renunciation many times,” he added.
The assessment of Warsaw
THE Poland estimates that the losses suffered during World War II due to Germany amount to 6.2 trillion. zlotys (1.32 trillion US dollars, 1.3 trillion euros), the leader of the ruling nationalist party said today and said Warsaw would formally seek reparations.
Poland’s biggest trading partner and also a member of the European Union and NATO, Germany has said in the past that all economic claims linked to World War II have been settled.
The new assessment of reparations owed is higher than the US$850 billion that a ruling party lawmaker had made in 2019. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has repeatedly demanded reparations since taking power in 2015, but Poland has not has formally requested reparations.
“The amount presented was adopted using the most limited, conservative method, it would be possible to increase it“, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of PiS, said at a press conference.
The militant stance towards Germany, often used by PiS to mobilize its electoral audience, has strained relations with Berlin. It has intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid criticism of Berlin’s reliance on Russian gas and its slowness to help Kyiv.
About six million Poles, including three million Polish Jews, were killed during the war, and Warsaw was leveled after an uprising in 1944 in which about 200,000 civilians died.
The German government and foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In 1953 Poland’s then-communist government had given up all claims to war reparations under pressure from the Soviet Union, which wanted to release East Germany, also a Soviet satellite, from any debts. PiS says the deal is invalid because Poland could not negotiate a fair compensation.
Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition Citizens Platform party, said today that Kaczynski’s announcement had “nothing to do with reparations”.
“It has to do with internal political campaigning to rebuild support for the ruling party“, he said.
PiS still leads in most opinion polls, but its gap with Citizens’ Platform has narrowed in recent months amid criticism over its handling of soaring inflation and the economic slowdown.