Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a Polish MP and member of the Law and Justice party coalition on Wednesday said that the 2 billion euro paid by the German government to Poland in reparations for the occupation years of 1939 to 1945 is a joke, PAP reported.
“This is a tiny percentage of what Germany owes Poles and the Polish state,” Mularczyk, the chairman of a parliamentary committee assessing the amount of compensation paid by Germany for Poland’s wartime losses, told the weekly Sieci.
The amount was made public in a statement by German foreign minister Heiko Maas during a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
“Both the amount and the statement are a joke at the expense of the rule of law, dignity, respect for fundamental rights, the right to live, and the right to justice,” the Polish MP said.
Since Law and Justice—a national conservative, right-wing populist party—won the 2015 parliamentary election, it has raised the German reparations issue numerous times, creating friction with its wealthy and influential neighbor to the west. Essentially, the Polish government argues that the amount paid covers only a measly part of the massive destruction Poland suffered under Nazi rule.
“Polish estimates regarding all sums paid to Poles for forced labor or their suffering caused by the war were close to the German figure, but what we have now is a concrete figure,” said Mularczyk, who stressed that this was a very important moment since “no German politician has ever before revealed the exact amount” paid to Poland in reparations.
“Now, it will no longer be questioned after it has been officially revealed by a German politician,” Mularczyk continued.
According to FM Maas, the total amount of 2 billion euro included 140 million Deutsche marks for the victims of medical experiments, 1.3 billion marks for social insurance agreements, 500 million marks for the “Polish-German Reconciliation’ foundation,” 15 million euro in contributions to retirement benefits paid out to the Jewish Claims Conference, and 979 million euro in contributions to the “Memory, Responsibility, Future” foundation to pay former Polish forced laborers.
The MP stated that work was still underway on a Polish report concerning all losses Poland sustained by the German occupation during WW2. Mularczyk admitting the work on the report was very difficult and predicted that the final amount would reach up to a trillion US dollars.
“There was no county, no town, and no city in Poland that did not suffer huge losses,” he said.
Some 3 million Polish Jews were killed by the Nazis, but the country’s overall losses reached more than five million citizens – as much as 17% of the population.
West Germany paid reparations to Israel for confiscated Jewish property under the Nuremberg laws and forced labor and persecution. As of 1989, those reparations amounted to about $14 billion.