Poland raises WWII compensation as German FM visits

AFP 11 December 2021

Poland on Friday called on Germany’s new government to consider reparations for World War II during the German foreign minister’s first visit to Warsaw. Poland’s governing conservatives relaunched the issue of reparations in 2017, insisting that Germany had a “moral duty”. But Germany believes the case was closed in 1953 when Poland, then a Soviet satellite, relinquished its claims for reparations to the former communist East Germany. However, on Friday Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said Poland “expects the new German government to be ready to take responsibility, including through discussions on compensation and reparations”. “We need to resume talks on the restitution of cultural assets stolen by Germany, and the development of a possible system of compensation for monuments of Polish culture,” he said at a joint press conference with Annalena Baerbock. Baerbock said Polish-German friendship within the European Union was “priceless” and not a given after the “immeasurable losses suffered by Poland during the war and the occupation”. She said Germany’s new coalition government agreement referred to “German culpability and responsibilities and to Germany’s obligations”. “It is our historic task to cultivate peace and friendship in an open and sincere manner,” she said. After the press conference, the minister laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.
© website copyright Central Registry 2024