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    Reparations

    The issue of World War II reparations for Poland is an issue hotly debated in Poland. So far Germany officials claims that the problem was solved long ago and that all Berlin may do now is to condemn the German war crimes and apologize. But any financial commitment is out of question. Two German writers, Karl Heinz Roth and Hartmuth Ruebner, challenge this position and demand that the German government address the problem in a serious way.

     

     In a book titled “Displaced – Suspended – Rejected. The German reparations debt on the example of Poland and Greece” the authors discuss the issue of the responsibility of present day Germany for countless war crimes, from the murder of the civilian population to the demolition of property.
    The German Federal Republic claims that the issue has been resolved by the 1953 treaty between two communist puppet states: East Germany and the People’s Republic of Poland. According to the writers the pact does not take into account West Germany and the issue was not addressed by the 1990 reunification treaty because that was not a peace conference. 
    According to Roth and Ruebner, so far Germany has come away very cheaply from the issue of war reparations for Poland and Greece. They think that both countries have the right to raise claims and demand multi-billion reparations from Germany. 
    The Polish Parliament set up a Commission to assess the damages and produce a report on claims. So far there are no firm numbers, but the range is from 800 billion to 2 trillion Euro.

     

    Roth and Ruebner’s book is the first serious attempt on the German side to address the Polish and Greek reparation claims.
     

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