Politics, World, Europe

Polish report backs WWII reparations campaign

Parliamentary bureau insists on legal validity of reparations claim despite German rejections

Polish report backs WWII reparations campaign A general view from former Nazi-German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland

By Ilker Girit


Poland has the legal right to demand compensation from Germany over WWII losses, a Polish parliamentary report claimed on Monday.

The report prepared by lawmaker Arkadiusz Mularczyk said Poland "suffered the greatest material damage and human losses" in the war.

It also said recent suggestions that such claims had expired or were limited by the statute of limitations were “unfounded”.

"Therefore, it is reasonable to argue that the Republic of Poland is entitled to seek compensation from the Federal Republic of Germany," the document added.

It is the latest salvo in a long-running spat between Warsaw and Berlin, with Germany’s government on Friday rejecting suggestions it should pay reparations.

Some German government officials have claimed there is no legal grounds upon which to demand compensation.

Although Germany insists the Polish government waived its right to war reparations in 1953, Monday’s report said that decision had been made under Soviet pressure.

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in late 2015, claims Poland never received compensation for catastrophic damage and loss of life during WWII.

Polish officials said nearly six million Poles were killed between 1939 and 1945 under German occupation.

Losses and material damage during the war amounted to approximately $48.8 billion, Monday’s report added.

The issue of WWII reparations has resurfaced amid ongoing tensions between Poland and its European partners.

A political row broke out between Warsaw and the EU after Poland's parliament agreed on controversial judicial reforms in July.

The EU claimed Poland was moving away from democratic standards, warning that the rule of law in the country was in danger.

Poland's government has also objected to EU plans to distribute asylum-seekers across member states.

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