Poland has escalated its demands for World War II reparations from Germany from "billions" a month ago, to "about $1 trillion" today as Poland’s foreign minister demanded "serious talks" were needed with Germany.
Relations between Berlin and Warsaw have been on edge recently over issues including Germany’s push to share responsibility for refugees across Europe - which Poland has rejected - to the European Commission’s infringement procedure against PiS plans to have more control over the judiciary. Last month the EU sued Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, forcing them to accept refugees even as the rest of Europe turns a blind eye to the 100 thousand refugees that have made landfall in recent months in Italy.
But, as The Independent now reports, the rhetoric is heating up.
Poland’s foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told local radio station RMF that “serious talks” were needed with Germany to "find a way to deal with the fact that German-Polish relations are overshadowed by the German aggression of 1939 and unresolved post-war issues."
He said Poland’s material losses were about $1 trillion, or higher.
Polish defense minister Antoni Macierewicz also accused European critics of trying to “erase” the fate of the Poles at German hands during the war “from the historical memory of Europe”.
The country’s right-wing government has dismissed a 1953 resolution by Poland’s former communist government which dropped any claim to reparations from Germany, and are instead claiming that Germany is “shirking” its moral responsibility.
Around six million Polish citizens, including about three million Jews, were killed during the war and much of Warsaw was destroyed.
Interstingly, an independent Ibris poll found that 51 per cent of Polish people objected to repatriation claims against Germany, while 24 per cent were in favour. Critics of the government say they are talking about reparations to divert attention from their nationalistic agenda.