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PM writes in German press war reparations are for unforgettable crimes

Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that the scale of destruction caused by Germany in Poland during the Second World War is underestimated and that Poland has never been compensated.
Stanisław Dąbrowiecki/PAP

Poland’s prime minister has written in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily that a war reparations claim his government has sent Berlin is to compensate for German crimes committed against the Polish nation that “must never be forgotten.”

Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that the scale of destruction caused by Germany in Poland during the Second World War is underestimated and that Poland has never been compensated.

“Time will never free the perpetrators from the obligation to compensate the party harmed,” Morawiecki wrote. “Even when his crimes seem difficult to quantify.”

“Not all nations of Western Europe fully understand the tragedy that World War II brought on Poland… from the Polish point of view, it was primarily a range of crimes, cruelties, and destruction, as well as irrecoverably lost development opportunities,” the prime minister continued, adding that the war had been “a crime planned from the start in cold blood, whose aim was intended to be the physical extermination of whole nations, the annihilation of whole states.”

He wrote that the Third Reich’s racist prejudice and sense of superiority ended in Poland’s greatest tragedy, eradicating the opportunities and hopes of the whole nation. Morawiecki also detailed the extent of Poland’s destruction.

“For this reason, we are now taking up the matter of war reparations, compensation for German crimes, committed against the Polish nation and Pol… In the name of justice and in memory of the victims, we have compiled a ‘Report on the losses borne by Poland in the years 1939-1945 as a result of the German attack and occupation’,” the prime minister wrote.

He added that the report was an account of “a stolen future,” arguing that the war’s lesson should be that crimes that go unpunished and forgotten foreshadow new crimes to come, going on to cite Russia’s war in Ukraine as an example.

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