World War damage: Poland wants 1.3 trillion euros in World War reparations from Germany

In a report, Poland put the damage caused by Nazi Germany in World War II at the equivalent of more than 1.

World War damage: Poland wants 1.3 trillion euros in World War reparations from Germany

In a report, Poland put the damage caused by Nazi Germany in World War II at the equivalent of more than 1.3 trillion euros. The chairman of the national-conservative governing party PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, spoke on Thursday in Warsaw of the "enormous damage" to date. The report was presented at the Royal Castle in the Polish capital on the 83rd anniversary of the start of the Second World War. It is intended to underpin the demands for reparations from Poland's national-conservative government to the Federal Republic. The federal government no longer sees a basis for this.

"The Germans invaded Poland and caused us tremendous damage. The occupation was incredibly criminal, incredibly cruel and had repercussions that in many cases continue to this day," said Kaczynski, who is considered a strongman in Polish politics. Warsaw will therefore demand reparations from Berlin. "We cannot go back to business as usual just because it seems to someone that Poland is in a special, radically lower position than other countries." It is a sum that the German economy can “perfectly cope with” without being “overwhelmed”. He was aware that the reparations would be a "long and difficult road".

The national conservative PiS government, which has led the neighboring country since 2015, has repeatedly raised the issue of compensation payments. In 2017, the PiS set up a parliamentary commission for the report. Poland also founded a research institute for war damage. The report that has been announced several times has now been presented on a symbolic day: On September 1, 1939, the German invasion of Poland began.

This was also the beginning of the Second World War with at least 55 million dead - other estimates even go up to 80 million. There are no exact figures. It is estimated that up to six million people lost their lives in Poland alone. According to Arkadiusz Mularczyk, head of the parliamentary commission, 30 experts, including historians, economists and real estate appraisers, were involved in the report.

The first volume is more than 500 pages and is divided into nine chapters - calculations of Polish war losses in the areas of demography, economic assessment of human losses and material losses. It is also about the loss of cultural and artistic assets as well as various types of funds, bank accounts and securities.

The federal government reacted to the demand from Warsaw as it has always done before. "The position of the federal government is unchanged. The reparations issue is closed," said a spokesman for the Foreign Office on Thursday in Berlin. Poland already waived further reparations in 1953 and confirmed this waiver several times. "This is an essential basis for the current order in Europe. Germany is politically and morally responsible for the Second World War," said the spokesman.

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