Poland seeks USD 1.3 trillion from Germany for World War II invasion, occupation
On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany bombed and invaded Poland, starting the war, which was followed by more than five years of cruel occupation. The report's release was the focal point of national commemorations of the anniversary. Since 2017, a group of about 30 economists, historians, and other specialists have collaborated on the paper.
Poland’s top politician said Thursday that the government will seek equivalent of $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of his country. As the country remembers 83 years since the start of World War II, the head of the Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, spoke at the publication of a long-awaited study on the costs to the nation of years of Nazi German occupation.
During the presentation of the study, Kaczynski stated, "We not only compiled the report, but we have also reached the choice as to the following measures. It will be a "long and not an easy journey," but it "one day will bring results," Kaczynski said, adding that "we will turn to Germany to initiate discussions on the reparations."
Germany argues compensation was paid to East Bloc nations in the years after the war while territories that Poland lost in the East as borders were redrawn were compensated with some of Germany’s pre-war lands. Berlin calls the matter closed.
Top leaders including Kaczynski, who is Poland’s chief policy maker, and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki attended the ceremonial release of the report at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, rebuilt from wartime ruins.
On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany bombed and invaded Poland, starting the war, which was followed by more than five years of cruel occupation. The report's release was the focal point of national commemorations of the anniversary.
Since 2017, a group of about 30 economists, historians, and other specialists have collaborated on the paper. Bilateral tensions have been brought on by the problem.
Poland's right-wing government argues that the country which was the war's first victim has not been fully compensated by neighbouring Germany, which is now one of its major partners within the European Union. The war was “one of the most terrible tragedies in our history'', President Andrzej Duda said during observances at the Westerplatte peninsula near Gdansk, one of the first places to be attacked in the Nazi invasion.
Poland’s government rejects a 1953 declaration by the country’s then-communist leaders, under pressure from the Soviet Union, agreeing not to make any further claims on Germany. A staggering 6 million Poles, including 3 million Jews, perished in the war, and the country's economy, infrastructure, and culture all suffered greatly.