Germany should pay war reparations to Poland to facilitate a true Polish-German reconciliation, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), wrote in the French newspaper, Le Figaro.
In a text published in the French paper on September 1, the anniversary of the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Kaczynski said that Poland had suffered proportionally the biggest war losses in terms of human lives and material damage among all the countries invaded by the Germans.
“Therefore, Poland has a full and undisputable right to seek and obtain adequate compensation,” Kaczynski wrote.
“Poland should benefit from this in the name of a fundamental sense of justice, historical truth and true Polish-German reconciliation,” he added.
In a comprehensive report also published on September 1, Poland estimated German World War Two reparations at EUR 1.32 trillion.
Kaczynski went on to describe the atrocities committed by German troops in Poland and said the Third Reich’s ultimate policy was to exterminate the Polish nation.
“Under no circumstances can we forget the magnitude of the moral suffering and humiliation resulting from the explicit crimes committed by the occupiers, of course including the Holocaust; crimes that could not have been effectively prevented on a larger scale as any expression of insubordination, such as support for the persecuted Polish citizens of Jewish origin, was subject to the death penalty,” Kaczynski said.
“Despite what Germany maintains, Poland has never given up its war reparations claims,” Kaczynski said. “A unilateral declaration of the (Polish) Council of Ministers of August 23, 1953, did not have legal significance as it was never published in the Official Gazette or registered by the United Nations.”
In 1953, Poland relinquished all claims to war reparations from Germany under pressure from the Soviet Union, which sought to free its new satellite country, East Germany, from any burden. The current Polish government says the 1953 agreement is invalid as Poland was not a fully sovereign country at that time. Germany says the case of war reparations for Poland is closed.