In Kielce, war reparations were discussed from Germany to Poland for losses incurred during World War II

An interesting debate was held at the “History Point” of the Institute of National Remembrance in Kielce, which was devoted to the issue of reparations from Germany for the losses that Poland and Poland suffered during World War II. The meeting was attended by Piotr Wawrzyk, Deputy Foreign Minister

The issue of the losses suffered by Poland as a result of German policies during the occupation was publicized and disseminated thanks to the prepared reparations report, which was published in 2022. It caused a lot of emotion and met with great interest not only in Poland, but also in the international arena. According to the data contained in the document, Poland lost more than PLN 6 billion.

Why did such an important issue appear in the public sphere only decades after World War II?

Finally someone discussed this topic. All predecessors, especially after 1989, lacked the courage, determination and ideas on how to deal with this problem

– said Piotr Wawrzyk, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

The minister stressed that Poland had taken special steps to remind the German state of the crimes committed by the Third Reich during World War II.

We have sent a note to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. It contains several important postulates. The individual losses suffered by Poland are listed. For all these arguments we get a one-sentence answer: “no topic”. This does not fit into any framework of bilateral relations. What is contained in this note is unacceptable to us. Therefore, we conducted an extensive informational and diplomatic campaign

– he says.

The first is to make the leaders of other countries realize the scale of Poland’s losses. As the deputy minister emphasized, there is still very little knowledge about this issue in the international arena.

This surprised our interlocutors, they were surprised that the losses were colossal and they were not compensated in any way. We see a desire for concrete cooperation. Thanks to remembering this topic by Poland, other countries wanted to raise the issue of the harm caused by Nazi Germany’s criminal policies. The Namibia issue and the reparations it received from Germany show that it makes sense for us to accept war reparations

– he admitted.

Piotr Wawrzyk admits that the reaction of our western neighbors may come as a surprise.

We observe the reaction of very nervous German diplomacy to our actions. German politicians took steps not to support the preparation of Polish exhibitions in the buildings of international organizations, where the issues of reparations and the losses suffered by Poland were discussed. Attempts were made to prevent meeting with us on this matter, and when they did, attempts were made to downplay the significance of Poland’s demands.

– added.

Historians have repeatedly warned that many German companies still in existence today benefited greatly from the policies of slavery and extermination during World War II. Many of them did not suffer any consequences.

We must realize that the uniforms of the Wehrmacht and SS units were sewn by the world famous company Hugo Boss. German soldiers chilled with Fanta, which was created in the Third Reich as a substitute for Coca-Cola

– said Dr. Tomasz Domański from Delegate of the National Memorial Institute in Kielce.

In the war economy of Nazi Germany, well-known brands such as Bosch, Siemens, Volkswagen, powerful arms company Thyssen Krupp or chemical company IG Farben, liquidated in 2012, which committed many crimes during World War II, including medical experiments on prisoners, actively participated in camps.

Many German company founders and directors held Nazi views. They often claim to be Aryans. Most of these people, apart from some cases, did not lose a single hair from their heads after the war. They continue their business activities. They have enormous wealth and have enormous influence in society. They also have great opportunities to influence public opinion

added the historian.

Doctor Tomasz Domański also reminded that millions of people worked for the German economy, especially Poles and Jews, who were exploited in the slave labor system for the Western colonialists. Death awaited many of them.
Polish losses were colossal.

During World War II, the Polish state lost almost 70% of doctors, more than 55% of lawyers, 28% of Catholic clergy

said Domansky.

The organizers of the meeting “Compensation or Justice? Reparations from Germany for Poland” are the Regional Office of the National Memorial Institute in Kielce, the Regional Center for International Debate in Kielce, the Stefan Artwiński Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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