- Berlin continues to compensate victims and negotiate programs to support victims.
- “The fact that the German government is doing this and refusing to talk to Poland is inexplicable,” said Smith.
- Smith is a member of the “Polish” group in the US Congress, representing the 4th district in New Jersey
- More information can be found on the Onet homepage
In his opinion, although the US did not directly intervene in negotiations between countries regarding reparations in the past, and also did not support specific amounts and claims, the US openly supports the principle of reparations and should do the same this time.
“There is no way Poland – the country that suffered the most under Nazi Germany – would be one of the countries that received the least compensation,” Smith wrote in a statement posted on his website.
In it, the congressmen emphasized the enormous losses that Germany caused Poland, referring to the report of the parliamentary team of the Sejm last September, which, among other things, showed, with the deaths of more than 5 million Polish citizens, 80 percent destruction. Warsaw, or theft and destruction of bank and insurance company assets.
“To this day, Germany has not carried out the orderly return of these assets or the payment of compensation for their theft, as has the same procedure for plundered cultural items and works of art. (…) Only a symbolic sum was paid to a small group of “Polish people who were subjected to medical experimentation, forced labor, or met strict criteria that qualified them to other narrow categories. There was not even a forum where victims of Nazism of Polish origin could individuals brought charges against the Germans,” said the American politician.
Smith: Germany refuses to even start talks with Poland. It is inexplicable
“The German state did not directly pay compensation to the Polish state or conclude bilateral agreements on compensation, although Germany has signed bilateral agreements with several countries and international agreements with several victim groups,” he said.
However, according to Smith, it is not too late to pay reparations, because Germany accepted the provisions of the Potsdam Conference on the obligation to pay reparations and this obligation has not expired. In addition, in the opinion of Republicans, Berlin is still paying compensation to victims and is negotiating programs to support victims.
“The fact that the German government is doing this and refusing to talk to Poland is inexplicable,” said Smith.
Who is Chris Smith
Representing New Jersey’s 4th District, Chris Smith has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1980 and is one of the longest serving members of Congress. His main field of activity is the issue of human rights.
He is chairman of the global human rights subcommittee in the House of Representatives and co-chair of the Polish-American parliamentary team in the US Congress.
In the past, he was co-chair of the Helsinki Congressional Commission, and currently co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a congressional advisory body focused on advancing human rights.
Poland expects billions of zlotys from Germany. Berlin doesn’t want to hear it
In September last year On October 20, 2018, at the Royal Palace in Warsaw, a report on Polish losses as a result of German aggression and occupation in 1939-1945 was presented. It was prepared by a parliamentary team led by PiS MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk, who currently serves as Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
The total Polish losses caused by the German aggression and occupation are estimated at PLN 6 trillion 220 billion 609 million (about $1.5 trillion).
After the report was published, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an official diplomatic note to Berlin. In response, the German government stated that the issue of reparations and compensation for war losses was still closed and did not intend to enter into negotiations on this issue.
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