The sum is equal to about a third of Germany’s annual GDP, but according to Berlin, Poland gave up war reparations from East Germany in 1953, something Polish conservatives dispute.
The leader of the ruling party in Poland announced on Thursday that the Polish government will claim 1.35 billion euros from Germany for damages inflicted on his country during World War II.
Warsaw will require Germany to “negotiate these reparations”, the president of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczinski, told a news conference, admitting that the path to achieve it will be “long and difficult”.
The leader of the PiS, a conservative nationalist formation, made these statements during a conference dedicated to the presentation of a report on Poland’s losses during World War II (1939-1945). Since coming to power in 2015, the PiS has often highlighted the issue of reparations. Work on the report began in 2017.
Berlin: Poland renounced reparations
“The Germans invaded Poland and did us enormous damage. The occupation was incredibly criminal, incredibly cruel, and caused effects that in many cases continue to this day,” he added.
However, according to Germany, Poland renounced war reparations from East Germany in 1953, something that Polish conservatives dispute. East Germany remained under the Soviet orbit (as did Poland) after the world conflict, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany the following year.
“Germany has not paid for war crimes”
Kaczinski pointed out that many countries in the world have received compensation, even small, while Poland has received nothing. Germany, according to the leader, has not paid for its war crimes against Poland, nor did it actively seek to punish Nazi war criminals.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk, responsible for preparing the report, said that the result of Nazi Germany’s activities during World War II halved Poland’s ability to create wealth.
“All the partial values of the demographic and material losses of Poland add up to the sum of 6,220,609 billion zloty (approximately 1.35 billion euros). Calculated in dollars, with the exchange rate of the end of 2021, it is equivalent to $1,532,170 million,” said Mularczyk.
Warsaw: “A realistic sum”
According to Kaczinski, the amount indicated in the report is conservative and could be much higher. “It is a large sum, but considering that war reparations are paid for decades, the German economy will be able to handle it. It will not be a great burden, and we can say that it is realistic, ”said the leader of the nationalist Law and Justice.
The current report consists of 3 volumes. The first contains an estimate of Poland’s material and non-material losses during the war, the second contains photographic documentation of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and the third volume lists all the crimes committed by the Nazis in Poland during World War II.