Poland escalates $1.3 trillion WWII reparations demand against Germany, files appeal with Council of Europe

A young Polish boy returns to what was his home and squats among the ruins during a pause in the German air raids on Warsaw, Poland, Sept. 1939, World War II. (AP Photo/Julien Bryan)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland had previously warned that it would bring its $1.3 trillion reparations demand to international bodies if Germany did not comply and pay up. Now, the country is moving forward with its threat.

Polish Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk announced that he has appealed to the secretary general of the Council of Europe for assistance with Poland’s reparations claim for damages incurred by Germany during the Second World War.  

Mularczyk posted on Twitter that he submitted a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of Europe, “to establish cooperation and support” on the matter.

Poland has produced a detailed assessment of the damages it incurred during the Second World War as a result of Germany’s invasion and occupation. The report estimates that the losses incurred stand at $1.3 trillion. In October, Poland submitted an official diplomatic note to Germany inviting the Germans to begin talks about compensation. 

According to Mularczyk, Germany has so far refused to engage in discussion about compensation. Mularczyk himself visited Germany in December to try to make progress on the issue; however, there was no response to the diplomatic note submitted by Poland. 

The lack of progress with Germany has now led Poland to attempt to bring the matter to the international stage in an effort to put new pressure on Poland’s neighbor. Mularczyk has since appealed to UNESCO over the recovery of stolen heritage and has now appealed to the secretary general of the Council of Europe.

He has requested that the Council of Europe should analyze the reparations claim as part of its work on human rights in order to establish a platform for discussion between Poland and Germany to resolve the matter of reparations. 

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