Poland has set up a parliamentary committee to calculate the amount of World War II reparations owed to it by Germany in lieu of the German Invasion and occupation during the World War II.
East Germany and the People’s Republic of Poland reconciled the reparations issue in 1953. The Polish government waived their compensation to “contribute to solving the Germany question in the spirit of democracy and peace,” while the East Germans surrendered parts of former Prussia – the heartland of German militarism – to Poland and the Soviet Union. However, the new committee claims that reparations are still due. They have argued that reparation claims have no expiration dates.
According to the committee, headed by Law and Justice MP Mularczyk, the 1969 UN document which they have dug up, proves that Poland is still entitled to reparation payments from Germany as Poland did not relinquish its right to war compensation from Germany.
“The Polish government in its response stated that the issue of liability for war crimes and crimes against humanity was not limited to criminal liability to the perpetrators of such crimes, but that the UN document should also include the principles of material liability of the aggressor for war damage,” Menes and Mularczyk said in a statement.
“The disclosed 1969 UN document on the issue of war reparations from Germany violates the narrative of the circles that claimed that the case was closed because Poland renounced the reparation in 1953,” Mularczyk told Polish media outlets.
Berlin rejected the reparation demands, saying the issue was fully resolved in 1953 and Germany already paid “considerable reparations for overall war damages” to Poland.
“Poland made a binding decision in August 1953… to relinquish demands for further war reparations… this issue was therefore settled both legally and politically,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
“All issues concerning the reparations were agreed upon in the first post-war years; it is impossible to return to them today.”
Poland is not the only country that has recently taken a stance on WWII reparations. In 2015, Greece claimed that Germany owed to it, €278.7 billion ($330 billion) in World War II reparations. However, Berlin said it already paid war damages to Greece in the ‘50s and thus, rejected their claims.