A Polish official said Friday that Germany could owe his country $850 billion for the damage it inflicted during World War II, the AP reports. Arkadiusz Mularczyk is leading a team in the parliament that is assessing potential reparations to Poland. Germany killed 6 million Polish citizens and caused great material losses during its nearly six-year occupation of the country. "We are talking about very large, but justified amounts of compensation for war crimes, for destroyed cities, villages, and the lost demographic potential of our country," Mularczyk said. Last year, Poland's ruling conservative nationalist Law and Justice party said the nation deserves compensation for its losses and set up a team of lawmakers under Mularczyk's leadership to estimate how much is due.
To date, Poland has not made an official demand. Germany has repeatedly said there is no legal basis for Poland's reparation claims because the matter was settled in a 1953 agreement. Poland's current authorities have argued the 1953 decision is invalid because it was dictated by Moscow when Poland was a satellite of the Soviet Union. Since then, Germany has paid some compensation to individual Poles who were forced laborers or victims of German pseudo-medical experiments during the Nazis' wartime occupation.