Micaela Burrow on September 1, 2022
The Polish government revealed an intention to demand $1.32 trillion in compensation from Germany for damages incurred during World War II on Thursday.
In a presentation of the “report on losses suffered by Poland as a result of aggression and German occupation during World War II 1939-1945″ in Warsaw on Thursday, the Polish government argued that Germany had failed to fully make up for the loss in life and material resources Poland suffered at the hand of the Third Reich during World War II. Germany “degraded” Poland’s economic development and caused 5.2 million deaths, preventing it from attaining the economic growth it otherwise would have, the government said.
“The Second World War was not really judged in the right way. It was never presented in the right way from the point of view of losses and reparation of these losses,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the presentation.
“Today we are obliged to count these losses as accurately as possible. And, based on these calculations, present a bill to pay by those who are guilty of it,” Morawiecki added.
Germany responded to Poland’s determination, saying that all discussions around WWII reparations were “closed,” DW reported. The new sum is significantly higher than the $850 billion Warsaw has stated in the past and represents roughly one-third of Germany’s contemporary GDP.
Experts in a variety of disciplines assisted in preparing the report over the span from 2017 to 2022 for Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. It was presented on Sept. 1, the anniversary of Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland in 1939, DW reported.
“The sum that was presented was adopted using the most limited, conservative method, it would be possible to increase it,” Kaczynski said, according to DW.
Over 5 million Polish citizens lost their lives. Poland lost huge opportunities for development. Experts estimate the losses at over PLN 6.2 trillion. These losses have never been compensated. #unREDEEMed #bezprzedawNIEnia
➡️ Report 👉 https://t.co/zAUbLifjDE pic.twitter.com/9LgW46BjoJ
— Piotr Müller (@PiotrMuller) September 1, 2022
A commission judged in 2004 that Germany’s damages to Poland’s capital amounted to $45 billion. When the PiS came to power in 2016, it raised the possibility of demanding further reparations after the country’s former communist government waived its right to compensation in 1953, according to DW.
Warsaw claims the agreement was made with the East German Democratic Republic, and that it was forced to give up any claim to financial compensation by the former Soviet Union, DW reported.
Germany “has made significant reparations for general war damage, including to Poland, and is still paying significant compensation for Nazi wrongdoing,” Ulrike Demmer, deputy spokeswoman for the German government, told DW in 2017.
Poland has clashed with Germany and other governments, including Israel, over its evolving policy on World War II issues. Warsaw passed a law in 2018 outlawing any speech that suggested Polish culpability for the horrors of the Holocaust, angering Israeli Jews who called the bill an attempt to restructure history.
Roughly three million Polish Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and Germany built the most notorious concentration camp, Auschwitz–Birkenau, in German-occupied Poland. However, a majority of Poles participated in or stood by the pogroms and deportations that devastated the country’s Jewish population.
The German and Polish governments did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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