The reparation game: what do Poland's demands addressed to Germany and Russia mean?

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The reparation game: what do Poland's demands addressed to Germany and Russia mean?
The reparation game: what do Poland's demands addressed to Germany and Russia mean?
19 September, 11:40Photo: Соцсети
The claims for damages that Poland is going to file against Germany and Russia testify to the strengthening of the role of this country in Europe.

Ivan Zubov

The sensational news spread around the media and social networks that Poland is imposing sanctions against Germany for refusing to compensate for the losses of the Poles in World War II. “Now, from next month, German ships will be banned from entering the territorial waters of Poland”, - the Minister of Infrastructure of this country allegedly said at a meeting with Polish port workers. However, it soon became clear that this news was fake. However, the problem of reparations has not disappeared, but on the contrary, it has worsened, because now Poland is demanding compensation not only from Germany, but also from Russia.

As Novye Izvestiya has repeatedly reported, in early September, Poland decided to officially demand reparations from Germany for the damage caused to it during World War II. This was stated by the head of the ruling party of Poland "Law and Justice" Yaroslav Kaczynski. Moreover, according to the results of polls, 47.2% of Poles - that is, almost half! - considered it right to raise the topic of war reparations from Germany. The amount that Poland is demanding from Germany is about $1.3 trillion.

Money in exchange for territory?

True, the German government announced that they did not intend to make payments to Poland: in Berlin, they believe that they have already paid fairly large reparations and there is no reason to question Poland's refusal of reparations in 1953.

The representative of the German Foreign Ministry also confirmed that Berlin considers the issue of reparations closed. At the same time, Germany continues to bear political and moral responsibility for the Second World War, he added.

Moreover, Germany threatened Poland with a revision of the borders after demands for reparations. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented on Poland's demand for new reparations to Germany:

“Looking at Donald Tusk (ex-Prime Minister of Poland), I would like to say how important are the agreements made by Willy Brandt (former German chancellor in 1969-1974) that the border between Germany and Poland is fixed forever after hundreds of years of history” .

He also emphasized that he would not want anyone to "dig through the history books to make revisionist boundary changes."

In response to this, Pole Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Deputy Chairman of the PACE, wrote that for many decades successive German governments frightened the Poles by revising the borders if the issue of reparations was raised, and Scholz did not "invent gunpowder".

But in general, the Germans were outraged by these intentions of Poland. Many Twitter commenters criticized the Polish government for this proposal, as Warsaw refused further reparations in 1953.

- Let's admit it. But then return all the German lands. And we will assume that we are in the calculation;

- Oh, and they already calculated this without the "rent" for Silesia, Pomerania and West Prussia?

- No problem, but could you please give us back Silesia, Pomerania, West and East Prussia in return?

- Want to chat about reparations? With great pleasure: how about a restitution demand on my part for the house of my grandparents in Breslau (now the city of Wroclaw. - ed.)?

- Well, in this case, you will have to underpay to the EU budget ;

- An agreement was signed that resolved all these issues. The Poles probably just ran out of money.

Russia also concerns reparations

However, the topic of compensation for Poland is not limited to Germany alone. Appetite, as they say, comes with eating. The resolution adopted by the Sejm, in which it demands reparations from Germany for the damage caused during World War II, also refers to the lack of compensation for the Soviet Union's aggression against Poland in 1939:

“The Sejm of the Republic of Poland states that Poland has not yet received adequate financial compensation and compensation for the material and non-material damage caused to the Polish state during World War II as a result of the aggression of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

These losses need to be identified and the necessary assessment provided, which will be the basis for taking appropriate measures against the Russian Federation.”

Polish President Duda said on this occasion:

“The losses suffered by Poland during the war, no one covered, because it is 6.2 trillion zlotys. Poland was successfully rebuilt in many places, but Warsaw was irrevocably destroyed by the Germans. It was a systematic, brutal demolition of the city. If someone today says that we are unnecessarily causing a conflict by demanding reparations, let the Germans be asked why they caused this conflict in 1939. Poland deserves compensation, that's all. And I think that in Germany they are also aware of this. Germany started World War II and attacked Poland. Russia joined this war later, so I think we should demand reparations from Russia as well. I think we should do it. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do this..."

Of course, there is logic in these demands, since Russia itself called itself the legal successor of the USSR. It is noteworthy, therefore, that apart from sharp criticism of the Polish leadership, there have not yet been any other arguments against this logic in Russia.

They are there, in Poland, they all went crazy!

For example, the Meister channel writes:

“We love the Poles very much, especially to read about the demands of Polish politicians to the outside world. Here is another brilliance of reason: the President of Poland, Duda, wanted to collect reparations from Russia for the Second World War.

“Germany started World War II and attacked Poland. Russia later joined this war, so I believe that we should demand reparations from Russia as well,” he said.

In general, everything goes in a given circle. The Polish elite feels impunity and begins to offend neighbors, then delivers major troubles to neighbors, as a result, neighbors cooperate and liquidate Poland. While the cycle is in the first stage. I wonder how long it will take this time…”

Channel " Catharsis " exclaims in righteous anger:

“That is, Poland wants reparations from us for World War II. Are they out of their minds?"

And State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called for studying the statements of the President of Poland on reparations for World War II and bringing him to justice for the rehabilitation of fascism and insulting historical memory:

“Poles, along with Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians, were exterminated in concentration camps, used for hard work. In January 1945, the inhabitants of Warsaw greeted the Soviet troops with flowers and tears in their eyes.

Our people, themselves starving, sent food to help Poland. This is our history. It cannot be crossed out."

Germany takes a backseat

Meanwhile, this collision testifies that Poland is becoming an increasingly influential player on the international, and above all, on the European stage. The analytical channel "Starshe Eddy" in its commentary drew a fairly adequate forecast of how the story with reparations will end for Europe as a whole:

“The entertaining Polish-German quarrels about reparations and a possible revision of border agreements are an inevitable consequence of an interesting process within NATO: the US is reorienting itself to Poland as the main ally on the continent. This process did not start yesterday, it was launched under Obama and intensified under Trump, who was dissatisfied with Germany, which was extremely reluctant to increase military spending.

Poland increased these expenses voluntarily and with a song, all the more receiving financial assistance from the West. Today, the Polish Army is approaching the Bundeswehr in terms of potential, and in some respects the Poles have already surpassed the Germans - for example, in terms of the number of tanks in service.

It was a matter of time before the question of when increased opportunity would translate into increased political ambition. It is not worth waiting for Poland and Germany to “seriously quarrel”, for us this is just a sign of a shift in the center of gravity of NATO towards Poland, which makes the situation more dangerous from the Russian point of view. And in order for Germany to realize the danger, the time has not yet come - neither the winter has come, nor the bankruptcy of the industry against the background of the loss of access to cheap electricity. Whether they realize it is unknown..."

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