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Greece and Poland Join Forces to Seek German War Reparations

German war reparations Poland Greece
Retreating Greek soldiers, April 1941. Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-163-0318-09 / Bauer, CC BY-SA 3.0 de/Wikipedia

Poland is seeking the help of Greece to demand World War II reparations from Germany, according to press reports in Poland.

Polish state television TVP, reported that a major international conference on German war reparations will be held in Greece in June with the participation of Polish, Italian, Greek, and Serbian lawyers.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk told Polish Radio 24 on Tuesday that “We are launching an international discussion.”

Mularczyk stressed that in the background of Poland’s political actions in regard to obtaining war reparations from Germany, there is a kind of battle for historical memory. He added that besides striving to obtain reparation funds, Poland is also trying to educate and inform people about WWII history.

“5.4 million people died in Poland as a result of acts of aggression by the German Nazi occupying power, while 330,000 died in Greece.”

“This quantitative difference is visible in other areas too. Both Poland and Greece share a similar fate of so-called ‘small allies’. In terms of reparations, they have been marginalized. Right up to today,” Muarczyk pointed out according to TVP.

Poland and Greece can cooperate on German war reparations

Earlier, Polish Ambassador to Greece Artur Lompart said in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the issue of reparations from Germany for damages suffered during World War II has never been closed in Greece. He noted that it is a field for cooperation between Poland and Greece.

During her recent visit to Berlin, President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou raised the issue of war reparations once again.

At her meeting with her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in January, she stressed “the utmost importance of the issue of war reparations and the occupation loan.”

She added that a dialogue on the issue “will be to the benefit of both countries and the resolution of past disputes will help strengthen bilateral cooperation for the future.”

In the fall of 2022 Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said during a visit to Poland that the issue of Germany paying war reparations to Greece for its crimes during World Wars I and II “remains open”.

Greece’s top diplomat stated this in Warsaw during a meeting with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau. He noted that the solution of this issue is fundamental for Greek society as it “will be beneficial for all the countries involved and the EU in general.”

According to a report published in 2017 by the Greek Interparliamentary Committee for the Investigation of German Claims, the government in Athens should claim EUR 269.5 billion in reparations from the German government for losses suffered during World War II.

In turn, a Polish report on the losses suffered by Poland as a result of German aggression and occupation during World War II calculates that Warsaw could seek EUR 1.53 trillion for the losses sustained.

The report was published on September 1, 2022. A month later, Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau sent a diplomatic note to Berlin regarding war reparations, demanding compensation for tangible and intangible losses.

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