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Germany reiterates issue of WWII reparations for Poland is closed

"The position presented by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, delivered on October 4 in Warsaw during a conference with the head of Polish diplomacy, Zbigniew Rau, remains valid," said the spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office.
Albert Zawada/PAP

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has said again, in a comment on the details of Poland’s recent diplomatic note on reparations for its wartime occupation by Germany, that the topic is a closed issue for the German government.

The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday that “In its diplomatic note sent to the Federal Republic of Germany on the compensation for damage caused by Germany as a result of its aggression and occupation in 1939-1945, the Republic of Poland demands compensation for material and non-material losses amounting to 6 trillion 220 billion 609 million Polish zlotys (EUR 1.32 trillion).”

In the note, Poland also demanded that Germany will compensate “victims of German aggression and occupation, as well as their families, for the losses and harm suffered” and that it will take “systemic measures” to “return cultural property seized from Poland and currently located on German territory.”

Poland also wants Germany to return the “assets and liabilities of Polish state banks and credit institutions seized by the German state in 1939-1945,” according to the statement.

The Polish foreign ministry said that the note used the term “compensation” rather than “reparations” because, “the first term is much broader and covers both reparations under international law and other claims described in the note”.

Asked by PAP to comment on the details of the note, the German Foreign Ministry said later on Friday that “the issue of war reparations from the point of view of the federal government is closed.”

“The position presented by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, delivered on October 4 in Warsaw during a conference with the head of Polish diplomacy, Zbigniew Rau, remains valid,” said the spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office.

Baerbock and Rau met a day after the Polish foreign minister signed a formal note to the government in Berlin, demanding compensation for losses Poland sustained during the war. Baerbock said then that the question of WWII reparations for Poland was a closed issue at the governmental level.

On September 1, the Polish government presented a comprehensive report detailing the material losses suffered by Poland during the war along with a pledge to demand money from Germany in reparations.


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