(EurActiv) — Eight years after the end of the Second World War, Poland renounced its claim to reparations from Germany. But its parliament is ignoring that and is once again calling on Berlin to pay up.
More than 72 years after the end of WW2, Germany is facing calls to make reparations. The scientific commission of Poland’s lower house is examining ways to get it done, with analysis set to be completed by 11 August.
Under the then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński, the twin brother of the current leader of the ruling party, Jarosław Kaczyński, the cost of the war was estimated to have been $45.3bn for the capital alone.
“It is not true that Poland has renounced reparations from Germany,” Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz told Polish television.
But in August 1953, Poland did give up trying to secure reparations, in order “to further contribute to the German issue of spirit of democracy and peace”, said the German government’s deputy spokesperson, Ulrike Demmer.
She added that Germany was indeed morally, politically and financially responsible for what it had done in the past, but insisted that the issue of reparations was already regulated by law and policy.
However, Macierewicz claimed that the former Polish People’s Republic was just like the East German state, the DDR, in that it was just a puppet nation controlled by the Soviet Union right up until 1989.
“Without any discussion, Poles are due war reparations from the Germans,” the defence minister warned, potentially damaging already-strained relations between Berlin and Warsaw.
Poland still refuses to take part in the EU’s refugee redistribution scheme and the European Commission has launched an infringement procedure based on Poland’s controversial reforms of the judiciary system.