A majority of Poles, 57 percent, fully support the government’s attempts to pursue Second World War reparations from Germany, with the government calculating that the material and humanitarian costs of the war amount to €1.3 trillion.
Only 19 percent are opposed to the government’s plan, and 24 percent are undecided, according to the poll conducted by the Social Changes agency for portal wPolityce.pl.
Additionally, 93 percent of the voters of the ruling conservatives (PiS) are in support, whereas only 28 percent of the main opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform (PO), hold that view. However, the voters supporting the other liberal party, Poland 2050, do support the reparations claim.
Interviewed by the portal Fronda.pl, the deputy foreign affairs minister, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, argued that Germany had spent the post-war period trying to cover up the truth about its crimes during World War II.
In order to reduce their responsibility, Germany emphasized that the crimes had been committed by “Nazis” rather than the Germans who had actively supported the ruling Nazi party. Curious and false constructs such as “Polish concentration camps” began to appear in the public space that helped to move the blame for the Holocaust away from Germans and Germany, he argued.
This is why, Mularczyk said, Poland is currently making the reparations matter international and seeking help from international bodies such as the UN and the Council of Europe.
Germany has responded that the matter of reparations is closed. Poland received a substantial portion of Germany’s eastern territory at the end of the war, which critics in Germany argue is a form of reparations of incalculable value. Poland argues that the war’s devastating effects on the Polish state set the country back by years if not decades.