Poland demands £1.2tn in war reparations from Germany
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Poland’s nationalist government has made a renewed push for further reparations from Germany for the Second World War. The Foreign Ministry in Warsaw stated that Berlin’s response to a diplomatic letter from Poland stated that the matter was closed.
Poland’s government has estimated that Germany still owes the country 6.2trillion zlotys which equates to £1.2trillion due to Polish losses during the war.
Berlin has repeatedly denied the claims and adamantly stated that all financial reparations have been settled.
A statement from Poland’s foreign ministry said: “According to the German government, the matter of reparations and compensation for war losses remains closed, and the German government does not intend to enter into negotiations on this matter.
“The government of the Republic of Poland will continue its efforts to settle debts resulting from German aggression and occupation in the years 1939-1945.”
The claims from Poland have emerged from the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS) which states that the nation was unable to negotiate the compensation it was owed at the time of the talks.
The PiS has made demands for reparations from Germany since it came to power in 2015.
As a result, relations between Warsaw and Berlin are strained due to Poland’s aggressive stance.
As a vital arm of its nationalist values, the party have made Poland’s wartime suffering a key issue.
On Tuesday, the Polish government asked the United Nations to support its appeal for war reparations.
In 1953, Poland was under communist rule which saw its leaders renounce every claim to war reparations due to pressure from the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union wanted to free East Germany and a Soviet satellite from any responsibilities due to the war.
Six million Poles were killed during the Second World War, half of these were Polish Jews.
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Warsaw was decimated during intense fighting in the 1944 uprising which killed 200,000 civilians.
The Warsaw Uprising was an attempt by the Polish underground resistance to free the capital from German occupation.
The uprising was the largest military effort by any European resistance group during the war.
Though the counter offensive was ideally timed with a German retreat but a change in operations by the Red Army allowed the Germans to regroup and defeat the Polish resistance and out of spite, decimate Warsaw.
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