Poland sets up parliamentary group for WWII reparations

Lazy eyes listen


Poland has formed a parliamentary group to work on World War II reparations from Germany and Russia, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mulyarczyk.

The group’s members include Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

According to Mulyarczyk, the new commission would be in responsibility of demanding reimbursement from Berlin, which refused to discuss the matter last year, as well as assessing the amount of compensation to be sought from Moscow.

The official stated on X (previously Twitter) on Friday that “the struggle for justice” remained a moral and legal commitment nearly 80 years after the war’s end. Mulyarczyk went on to say that the lack of reparations “casts a shadow” not just on interstate relations, but also on international relations.

A report on the losses suffered by Poland as a result of the German invasion and occupation during World War II was presented last autumn. Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed a diplomatic note to the German government, demanding PLN 6.2 trillion (about $1.5 trillion) as compensation for damages.

However, Berlin stated at the start of this year that the subject had been closed and permanently settled under a German reunification pact signed in 1990. That response, according to Mulyarczyk, was “absolutely disrespectful.”

Last September, Polish President Andrzej Duda stated that Warsaw “should demand reparations from Russia as well,” adding that there was “no reason why we shouldn’t pursue it.” The Russian position is equally firm. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, joked that if Moscow used the same strategy as Warsaw, it could use the Polish invasion of Russia during the Time of Troubles in the late 16th and early 17th centuries as justification for its own claims.

Last September, Konrad Wnek, director of the Poland’s Institute of War Losses, told Gazeta Polska Codziennie that work on the Russian reparations campaign was ongoing, and that a full report would be ready in two or three years. He noted that “changing the perception of the Soviet Union” as a member of the anti-Hitler coalition and liberator would be difficult, not only for Polish historians but also for the general public.