Poland could ask Germany for WWII reparations

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An analysis of whether Poland can make a claim is being prepared by the research office at the country’s parliament, according to an MP with the ruling Law and Justice party.

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, the politician who requested the report, said he expects it to be ready by 11 August.

Last week, the leader of the Law and Justice party said conversations were being held about the amount Germany could owe.

The ruins of Warsaw after a sustained WWII attack
Image:Much of Warsaw was destroyed in the Second World War

Jaroslaw Kaczynski told a radio station: “We are talking here about huge sums, and also about the fact that Germany for many years refused to take responsibility for World War II.”

On Tuesday, Poland marked the anniversary of the start of 1944’s Warsaw Uprising, which led to the deaths of 200,000 Poles and the near destruction of the capital.

In one of the speeches made by those attending the commemorations, defence minister Antoni Macierewicz said Germans need to “pay back the terrible debt they owe to the Polish people”.

Nearly six million Polish citizens are estimated to have died during the conflict, with a huge amount of damage being caused across the country.

Polish refugees at the end of WWII
Image:Polish refugees at the end of WWII

Many churches and other cultural treasures were destroyed as entire cities were laid to waste.

When Mr Kaczynski last called for reparations from Germany more than a decade ago during a previous spell as prime minister, it created tensions between the two nations.

The two countries are important trade partners and allies in NATO and the European Union.

Germany has paid billions over the years in compensation for Nazi war crimes, primarily to Jewish survivors.

Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz said Germany needs to pay its debts
Image:Defence minister Antoni Macierewicz says Germany needs to pay its debts

In the 1950s, under pressure from the Soviet Union, Poland’s former communist government said it would not be making any claims on Germany.

Mr Macierewicz said that communist-era Poland was a “Soviet puppet state” whose decision was not legally valid today.

There has been no official comment from Germany so far.

The move comes as the EU Commission launched proceedings against Poland for infringing EU rules on the separation of powers between the judiciary and the legislature.

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