Berlin dismisses Polish demands for World War II reparations

Germany acknowledges its responsibility for World War II and the “unspeakable crimes” committed by the Nazi regime, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Friday. On the issue of reparations, however, Seibert pointed to the 1953 deal where Poland relinquished its right to compensation. “From our perspective, this issue was settled in a definitive manner, both politically and legally,” he added.
Several Polish politicians have disputed the 1953 accord, saying that it was made under pressure from the former Soviet Union. On Thursday, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said that Warsaw was still mulling over its official position on asking for reparations. “In my opinion, Poland has the right to this (reparations) and the Polish state has the right to ask for them,” she told RMF FM radio. “We are ready to go ahead with this procedure,” she added, but pointed out that a “political decision” has yet to be taken.
Previously, Polish Foreign Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that Warsaw might ask for $1 trillion (some 830 billion euros) in reparations, while Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski speculated it might be “even more.” Warsaw has called for “dialogue” on the issue.
Poland and Germany have traded diplomatic blows over the policies enforced by the Polish Law and Justice party, with the tensions raised between the two neighboring countries. Berlin claims that the nationalist government in Warsaw is trying to limit judicial independence. PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has accused Germany of evading responsibility for the destruction it had dealt on Poland.

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