Poland May Demand Germany 'Pay Terrible Debt They Owe'

Analysis of whether to make reparations claim due by Aug. 11
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2017 11:19 AM CDT
People stand on the city's main intersection holding burning flares to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.   (Alik Keplicz)

(Newser) – Poland is looking into demanding reparations from Germany for the massive losses inflicted on Poland during World War II. Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a lawmaker with the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), said Wednesday the Polish Parliament's research office is preparing an analysis of whether to make the claim and will have it ready by August 11. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said a day earlier that Germans should now "try and pay back the terrible debt they owe to the Polish people," reports the AP. World War II, which began with the German invasion of Poland in 1939, killed nearly 6 million Polish citizens and wrought huge material loss on the country, including the near destruction of Warsaw.

Radio Poland quotes Macierewicz as saying, "There is no doubt that the first months [of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising] ... were genocidal in character. This was not part of a battle against insurgents; people were simply murdered ... house by ... house, apartment after apartment." The Local reports PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski similarly suggested the idea of reparations in a Thursday radio interview while also swiping at the Museum of the Second World War, which NPR reports was commissioned by EU head Donald Tusk and opened in Poland in March; it's been criticized by PiS as not focusing enough on how the country resisted the Nazis. For a primer on what Germany has paid in reparations, see this 2015 CNBC report. (Read more World War II stories.)

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