Lawmakers in Poland are considering making a formal demand for reparations from Germany for the actions of the Nazi government during WWII.
The reparations, likely to be in the form of millions of Euros, are being researched and the specifics will be presented in a report at the request of Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a conservative Polish politician.
“We are talking here about huge sums, and also about the fact that Germany for many years refused to take responsibility for WWII,” said Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a prominent politician who is leading the calls for reparations from Germany.
Campaigning for reparations is nothing new in Europe, and has been an on-again, off-again affair in politics for decades. Germany has already paid out millions to a number of nations who demanded they do so in the aftermath of WWII. While the primary recipient of German reparations has been Jews affected by the Holocaust, Germany has also paid millions to Greece, Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands.
Of course Germany stands by its responsibility in World War II, politically, morally and financially,”
“It has made significant reparations for general war damage, including to Poland, and is still paying significant compensation for Nazi wrongdoing,” said a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany has responded to Poland’s new claim for reparations by saying the issue was settled in 1953, when Poland officially stopped its pursuit of reparations from Germany at the request of the Soviet Union. Poland contends that its previous efforts were irrelevant, as they were a Soviet puppet state at the time.
The calls for reparations have coincided with the 73rd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the disastrous partisan rebellion lead by Polish resistance fighters in 1944 to liberate Warsaw from its Nazi occupiers. Over a hundred thousand people were killed. Poland arguably suffered the most out of any nation during WWII, where it was subjected to genocidal conditions from both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Six million Polish citizens died, approximately one fifth of their entire population.
It would appear, people don’t forget.
Image courtesy of Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-2005-0034