Poland has decided to officially request reparations from Germany for the damages caused by the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. This was announced on Thursday by Jaroslaw Kaczyński, head of the main ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, according to Reuters. According to the agency, Warsaw estimates that the damage caused by the Nazi regime at the time amounts to 6.2 trillion zlotys (roughly 32 trillion crowns).
“We arrived at the amount using the most limited, most conservative method, so it would be possible to increase it,” Kaczyński said. According to him, the process of obtaining reparations will be “long” and difficult”.
About six million Poles, including three million Polish Jews, perished during the war. Warsaw was razed to the ground after the uprising in 1944, during which about 200,000 civilians lost their lives.
Germany is one of Poland’s biggest trading partners and an ally in the European Union and NATO. The belligerent attitude that PiS takes towards Germany has cooled the mutual relations between the two countries, writes Reuters. Their deterioration was also brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February this year and the related criticism of Berlin’s dependence on Russian gas and its slow aid to Kyiv.
PiS revived calls for compensation after taking power in 2015. In 2019, party MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk estimated that Germany owed Poland over $850 billion (19.6 trillion crowns), but Warsaw made no official demand at the time.