Poland is sending diplomatic notes on reparations from Germany for World War II to almost fifty states, Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland Arkadiusz Mularczyk said on November 23.
At his press conference, Mularczyk recalled that Poland sent Germany a diplomatic note in early October on the consequences of the German aggression and occupation of 1939-1945 and their settlement. Berlin has not yet provided an official response to this request, he stressed.
For this reason, Warsaw sends diplomatic notes to almost 50 member states of the European Union, NATO and the Council of Europe, in which the addressees are informed about the legal, factual and moral basis of the Polish demands, Mularczyk said.
He expressed his confidence that the diplomatic notes circulated on Wednesday would form the basis of "an open debate about respect for human rights and reparations."
The Polish government will act consistently in this matter and its goal is to inform the international community, the deputy minister explained. He added that this action is not aimed at increasing tensions between Poland and Germany and that the distribution of the note "is aimed at achieving elementary honesty, justice and treating Poland as a partner."
A September report by a Polish parliamentary committee, which was the main source for the October note sent to Berlin, estimated the "material and non-material" damage from the war at PLN 6,200 billion (€1.3 trillion).
Mularczyk indicated that a German translation of the report would be widely distributed to the German elite, German media and think tanks. He stated that the Polish-German agreement, which entails the payment of reparations and the return of stolen works of art, cannot be replaced by "words that express only moral responsibility".
Mularczyk said that Poland, which had suffered the severe consequences of World War II, should receive reparations or compensation.
In response to the report of the Polish parliamentary committee, the German government already in September confirmed that it considers the damages case closed.
Following an agreement between the former German Democratic Republic and the former Soviet Union in 1953, the government of the then Polish People's Republic made a declaration renouncing its share of German reparations to the Soviet bloc.
According to the current Polish government, the declaration, made under pressure from the USSR, was not published at that time in the Polski Juridical Gazette, but was published only in the Communist daily Trybuna Ludu in August 1953. Therefore, this declaration, according to the current Polish leadership, is not a mandatory source of international law.