The chairman of the Law and Justice party, who was until recently Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Poland on Thursday estimated the financial cost of its World War II losses at 1.3 trillion euros. The ruling party chairman has disclosed his intention to “ask Germany to negotiate these reparations”.
These claims were dismissed a few hours later by the German government, which deemed the issue of Polish reparations closed.
The figure of 1300 billion euros [1700 billion Canadian dollars] was released at a conference devoted to reporting on Poland's losses in World War II.
Of this total, a very significant part is the compensation for the death of more than 5.2 million Polish citizens, underlined Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the ruling party, Right and Justice, who was until recently Deputy Prime Minister of Poland. He added that the process before Poland receives these reparations would be long and difficult.
According to the report, 2.1 million Polish citizens were deported to Nazi Germany to do forced labor. Each worked an average of two years and nine months.
As a result of the war, pseudomedical experiments and detention in concentration camps, 590,000 Polish citizens found themselves with disabilities.
Between 1939 and 1945, Poland lost 50% of its lawyers, 40% of its doctors and 35% of its professors. university.
Material losses were estimated at 170 billion euros [222 billion Canadian dollars].
Loss related to cultural and artistic property were valued at 4 billion euros [5 billion Canadian dollars].
Those of the banking sector were estimated at 19 billion euros [25 billion Canadian dollars]. Canadian dollars] and those of the insurance sector at 7 billion euros [9 billion Canadian dollars].
Since coming to power in 2015, the Law and Justice [PiS] party has often put forward the issue of war reparations. Work on this report began in 2017.
We have not only prepared a report which is an open document and will certainly be completed, but we have also taken a decision on further action, Kaczynski said. This action consists of asking Germany to negotiate these reparations. It is a decision that we will implement.
The Germans invaded Poland and did enormous damage. The occupation was unbelievably criminal, unbelievably cruel, and caused effects that in many cases continue to this day, the PiS president said again.
According to Berlin, Poland had waived war reparations offered by East Germany in 1953, which Polish conservatives dispute.
For the Poland's liberal opposition, the report is mainly intended for domestic political purposes, one year from the general elections.
The PiS initiative on war reparations appears since several years whenever the PiS needs to build a political narrative, said Donald Tusk, chairman of the main opposition Civic Platform (PO).
This is not about any reparations from Germany, but about a political campaign in Poland, he said, believing that Jaroslaw Kaczynski wanted to rebuild the support of the party in power on this anti-German campaign.
Kaczynski himself said it would take generations, so it's not a question of 'money for the Poles, said Mr. Tusk again.
The Second World War as seen by Radio-Canada