Poland puts its WW2 losses at $1.3 trillion, demands German reparations

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Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski delivers his speech at the political convention of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in Marki near Warsaw, Poland on June 4, 2022. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

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WARSAW, Sept. 1 (Reuters) – Poland estimates Germany’s World War II losses at 6.2 trillion zloty ($1.32 trillion), the leader of the country’s ruling nationalists said Thursday, saying Warsaw formally demand reparations.

Germany, Poland’s largest trading partner and a fellow member of the European Union and NATO, has previously said all financial claims related to World War II have been settled.

Poland’s new estimate surpasses the $850 billion estimate by a ruling party legislator from 2019. The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has called for compensation multiple times since it came to power in 2015, but Poland has no official claims for reparations.

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“The amount presented was assumed using the most limited conservative method, it would be possible to increase it,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Law and Justice (PiS), told a news conference.

The combative stance towards Germany, often used by PiS to mobilize its supporters, has strained relations with Berlin. It intensified after Russia invaded Ukraine amid criticism of Berlin’s reliance on Russian gas and its slowness in helping Kiev.

About six million Poles, including three million Polish Jews, were killed during the war and Warsaw was razed to the ground after an uprising in 1944 that killed about 200,000 civilians.

The German government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In 1953 the then communist rulers of Poland renounced all claims for reparations under pressure from the Soviet Union, which wanted to free East Germany, also a Soviet satellite, from all obligations. PiS says the agreement is invalid because Poland was unable to negotiate fair compensation.

Donald Tusk, leader of Poland’s largest opposition Civic Platform party, said on Thursday that Kaczynski’s announcement was “not about reparations”.

“It is an internal political campaign to rebuild support for the ruling party,” he said.

PiS still leads in most polls, but its lead over the Civic Platform has narrowed in recent months amid criticisms of its tackling rising inflation and an economic slowdown.

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Reporting by Alan Charlish, Marek Strzelecki, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw, Thomas Escritt in Berlin; Editing by Alex Richardson, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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