Poland estimates World War II damage caused by Nazi Germany at 1.3 billion euros

German government rejects petition and considers the debate “closed.”

Poland on Thursday presented a report estimating the damage suffered by the state and its citizens during Nazi Germany’s occupation in World War II (1939-1945) at 1.3 billion euros.

The leader of the ultra-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has presented on Thursday the conclusions of the report prepared by a parliamentary commission, with which it is expected to claim from Germany a demand for reparations for those years, Polish media report.

“Germany invaded Poland and then caused us serious losses,” Kaczynski said during the ceremony held to present the report, which coincides in date with the 83rd anniversary of the invasion of the country ordered by Adolf Hitler and that triggered World War II.

“We cannot simply accept it and move on just because someone believes that somehow Poland is somehow below other countries,” the ultra-conservative leader has claimed, who has insisted that Germany never came to compensate Germany for the atrocities committed those years.

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The estimated sum is equivalent to more than twice Poland’s annual economic output. This is an old debate which Germany considers closed, since such reparation has been agreed upon in previous agreements.

In fact, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman has hastened to assure that “the government’s position has not changed” and therefore considers the issue “closed,” according to the DPA news agency.

Germany is merely assuming its “political and moral responsibility” for World War II and, in the case of Poland, considers that it waived compensation in 1953 and on other subsequent occasions.

Some six million Poles, half of them Jews, died in World War II, while Warsaw was razed to the ground. With the triumph of the Soviet Union, Poland was for four decades under a communist government, which gave up its claim to compensation from Germany in 1953.

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In recent months, this rhetoric of redress has intensified, which, on the other hand, tends to be a recurring practice among officials of the Polish government, which does not have a particularly peaceful relationship with Germany, especially because of Berlin’s criticism within the European Union.

This rhetoric has been denounced once again on Thursday by the leader of the opposition, former Polish Prime Minister and former President of the European Council Donald Tusk, who has assured that the report is part of the well-known “campaign against Germany” that PiS usually deploys.

“PiS is not really concerned about Germany’s reparations, but about an internal political campaign. Its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, makes no secret of the fact that he wants to increase support for his party with this anti-German campaign,” he said.

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