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    Poland to push Germany for WWII reparations, says minister

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    Poland will continue to pursue war reparations claim against Germany for WWII reparations despite Berlin saying the issue is closed, the Polish agriculture minister said on Wednesday.

    In September, the Polish government presented a report detailing the material losses suffered by Poland during the Second World War along with a pledge to demand money from Germany in reparations to the tune of EUR 1.3 trillion.

    A month later Poland’s foreign ministry sent a diplomatic note to Germany demanding compensation for the destruction.

    But in a note delivered to the Polish Foreign Ministry on January 3, the German Foreign Ministry rejected Poland’s claims, and stated that the matter is closed and that the German government would not enter into negotiations on the subject.

    Responding to the German note Henryk Kowalczyk, the agriculture minister, said: “It would be difficult to expect another position. That does not mean that the matter is closed for Poland. We will still continue to push the issue of war reparations, after all, we have not received any compensation in this regard, and there are other international forums, among others the UN. I am not at all surprised that Germany refused. That does not mean that our efforts in this area have ended.”

    Kowalczyk went on to say the issue would probably be taken up at an EU level but said he did not expect much success there.

    Also speaking on public radio on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said history was not closed. “Germany would like to close it, but some of the destroyed buildings have still not been rebuilt,” he said.

    He went on to say that as a lawyer he had rarely encountered debtors who accepted their liabilities in the first instance, adding that, “now there is the issue of discussion, of how those reparations should be conducted and in what way to make Germany pay them.”

    Przydacz also said Poland would use all its diplomatic weight to exert pressure on Berlin.


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