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Poland demands Germany pay $1.3 trillion in ‘war reparations’

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Poland demands Germany pay .3 trillion in ‘war reparations’

“Germany has never really accounted for its crimes against Poland,” says top politician Jaroslaw Kaczynski, claiming many Germans who committed crimes lived in impunity in Germany after World War 2.

“We will turn to Germany to open negotiations on the reparations,” says Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
(AP)

Poland’s top politician has said that the government will seek the equivalent of some $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for the Nazis’ World War 2 invasion and occupation of his country.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party, announced on Thursday the huge claim at the release of a long-awaited report on the cost to the country of years of Nazi German occupation as it marks 83 years since the start of World War II.

“We not only prepared the report but we have also taken the decision as to the further steps,” Kaczynski said during the report’s presentation.

“We will turn to Germany to open negotiations on the reparations,” Kaczynski said, adding it will be a “long and not an easy path” but “one day will bring success.”

He insisted the move would serve “true Polish-German reconciliation” that would be based on “truth.”

Poland’s right-wing government argues that the country which was the war’s first victim has not been fully compensated by neighbouring Germany, which is now one of its major partners within the European Union.

“Germany has never really accounted for its crimes against Poland,” Kaczynski said, claiming that many Germans who committed war crimes lived in impunity in Germany after the war.

He claimed the German economy is capable of paying the bill.

READ MORE:
Poland lambasts Germany, France for their ‘imperialist’ behaviour in EU

Berlin says compensations already paid

Germany argues compensation was paid to Eastern Bloc nations in the years after the war while territories that Poland lost in the East as borders were redrawn were compensated with some of Germany’s pre-war lands.

Berlin calls the matter closed.

“Poland long ago, in 1953, waived further reparations and has repeatedly confirmed this waiver,” the Foreign Ministry said in an emailed response to an Associated Press query about the new Polish report.

Top leaders including Kaczynski, who is Poland’s chief policy maker, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki attended the ceremonial release of the report at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, rebuilt from wartime ruins.

The release of the three-volume report was the focus of national observances of the anniversary of the war that began on September 1, 1939, with Nazi Germany’s bombing and invasion of Poland that was followed by more than five years of brutal occupation.

A team of more than 30 economists, historians and other experts worked on the report since 2017. The issue has created bilateral tensions.

Some six million of Poland’s citizens, including three million Jews, were killed in the war. Some of them were victims of the Soviet Red Army that invaded from the east.
Source: AP




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