Poland and Germany

Poland beoog om skadevergoeding van Duitsland te eis – dit kan nou sekerlik nie ‘n te aangename eis wees nie, maar ‘n welkome eis aan die nasate sowel die land self wat hulle tydens die oorlog verloor het.   Is interessant hoeveel Duitsland vandag vir invloei van immigrante doen in al die EU lande doen, maar daarteen skop om skadevergoeding te betaal aan die wat hul skade aangerig het tydens oorloë.   Of heropbou wat verwoes is.

German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Polish president Andrzej Duda at the chancellery in Berlin last week.

The president of Poland repeated his country’s demand for Germany to pay reparations over World War II, days before ministers from Berlin and Warsaw will sit down for bilateral talks.  “In my view, reparations payments are not a topic that’s been dealt with,” Andrzej Duda told the Sunday edition of Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper Bild.Citing two reports, one from former president Lech Kaczynski and another from the Polish parliament, Duda said that “the damage caused during the war was never compensated for”.He pointed especially to the capital Warsaw, which was “razed to the ground” by German troops. “It’s a question of truth and responsibility,” Duda said.

Berlin has often rejected claims for war reparations in the past, saying Poland officially renounced such demands in August 1953.

But the conservative party that holds power in Warsaw argues that their country was forced to sign the document by the Soviet Union.   On Friday, the two governments will hold a joint meeting in the Polish capital.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and several of her ministers will meet Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki and his cabinet.  In private, German diplomats suggest Poland understands there is little chance of securing cash reparations.

Instead, Warsaw hopes to strongarm Berlin into backing it in debates over the European Union budget or Brussels’ threats to punish Poland for failing to uphold the rule of law.


Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki,  welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, – she is visiting Warsaw amid calls by Polish officials that Germany pay Poland billions of dollars for damage inflicted by the Nazis during World War II.
The talks come amid some strains between the two neighboring states, with many in Poland still bitter about the wartime German occupation, which saw the killing of millions of Polish citizens and massive material destruction.    Polish officials say Germany owes Poland up to $850 billion (743 billion euros) in damages.  They feel Germans must pay for the murder of millions of Polish citizens.


March 2018

Warsaw has the right to demand reparations from Germany potentially worth $850 billion for destroyed property and people killed during World War Two, the politician in charge of reparations said on Friday.

The Polish ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has revived the issue of war reparations at a time when Israeli politicians accuse it of attempting to whitewash the role of Poles in German war crimes against Jews during the conflict.

German parliamentary legal experts said last year that Warsaw had no right to demand reparations.

The Polish government stopped short of making a direct claim to Germany but the issue could lead to tensions between the two EU governments, analysts say. Germany is Poland’s largest trade partner and Poland is the biggest recipient of EU aid.

“We are talking about very large but justified sums for war crimes, for the destroyed cities, the lost demographic potential of our country,” Arkadiusz Mularczyk, the head of the parliamentary committee on reparations, told Polsat News broadcaster.

Mularczyk said the value of reparations due from Germany could reach $850 billion but this sum could be revised as new estimates would be made later this year.

The PiS lawmaker said Poland, which came under Soviet domination for more than four decades after the war, never received war reparations from Germany.

PiS revived the issue at a time when U.S. senators approved a bill directing the United States to help in efforts aimed at the restitution of heirless Jewish property to assist Holocaust survivors.

September 2017

Germany should consider paying Poland as much as $1 trillion in World War II reparations, according to the Polish foreign minister.

Poland’s foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told local radio station RMF that “serious talks” were needed with Germany to “find a way to deal with the fact that German-Polish relations are overshadowed by the German aggression of 1939 and unresolved post-war issues.”

He said Poland’s material losses were about $1 trillion, or higher.




On September 1, 1939, the German army under Adolf Hitler launched an invasion of Poland that triggered the start of World War II (though by 1939 Japan and China were already at war). The battle for Poland only lasted about a month before a Nazi victory. But the invasion plunged the world into a war that would continue for almost six years and claim the lives of tens of millions of people.

Today, 75 years later, Hitler is regarded as one of history’s great villains. So it’s easy to forget how slowly and reluctantly the worlds most powerful democracies mobilized to stop him. France and Britain did declare war on Germany two days after the invasion of Poland, but it would take them another eight months before they engaged in full-scale war with the Nazis. The United States wouldn’t join the war against Hitler until December 1941, a full two years after the war began.

In the infamous 1938 Munich Agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed to Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland, portions of of Czechoslovakia with ethnic-German majorities (Czechoslovakia itself was excluded from the negotiations). Chamberlain claimed that the deal had averted another massive European war, but it only delayed the conflict while making Hitler more powerful when the war finally came.

Chamberlain’s accommodating stance in the 1938 negotiations convinced Hitler that the British and French wouldn’t seriously resist further annexations to his east. And in any event, Hitler calculated — correctly as it turned out — that he could conquer Poland before the Allies could do anything to stop him.

You might have expected a German invasion of Poland to set off alarm bells in Moscow. Germany and Russia were historic enemies, having fought each other during World War I. Moreover, Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin were theoretically at opposite ends of the political spectrum — the Communists and Nazis had viewed each other warily throughout the 1930s.

But the Allies’ handling of the Sudetenland crisis spooked Stalin. He feared that Hitler would seek to annex portions of the Soviet Union next. He thought that the Western Powers — who had no love for either Hitler or Stalin — would be happy to leave the Communists to face the Nazis alone.

So in August 1939, these historic enemies signed a non-aggression pact. The deal shocked the Allies, who had counted on the Soviet threat checking Hitler’s territorial ambitious. What London and Paris didn’t know was that the deal included secret provisions outlining how the two powers would divide up the smaller nations that lay between them — including Poland.

So when German troops crossed the border into Poland, Stalin not only didn’t object, he began making plans for his own invasion of Poland from the East.

According to historian Max Hastings, “Poland became the only nation occupied by Hitler in which there was no collaboration between the conquerors and the conquered.” Historians estimate that about 5.5 million Polish people died under the Nazi occupation of their country, half of whom were Polish Jews. Another 150,000 died under Soviet rule.
After World War I, the allies took territory away from Germany

Unfortunately, the defeat of the Nazis in 1945 did not bring about Polish freedom. Poland was “liberated” by the Soviet Union, which installed a repressive communist regime there. Poland would be trapped behind the Iron Curtain until the Polish people finally threw off Communist rule in the 1980s.


In Poland, German forces advanced at a dizzying rate. Employing a military strategy known as the blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” armored divisions smashed through enemy lines and isolated segments of the enemy, which were encircled and captured by motorized German infantry while the panzer tanks rushed forward to repeat the pattern. Meanwhile, the sophisticated German air force–the Luftwaffe–destroyed Polish air capability, provided air support for the blitzkrieg, and indiscriminately bombed Polish cities in an effort to further terrorize the enemy.

The Polish army was able to mobilize one million men but was hopelessly outmatched in every respect. Rather than take a strong defensive position, troops were rushed to the front to confront the Germans and were systematically captured or annihilated. In a famously ill-fated strategy, Polish commanders even sent horsed cavalry into battle against the heavy German armor. By September 8, German forces had reached the outskirts of Warsaw, having advanced 140 miles in the first week of the invasion.

The Polish armed forces hoped to hold out long enough so that an offensive could be mounted against Germany in the west, but on September 17 Soviet forces invaded from the east and all hope was lost. The next day, Poland’s government and military leaders fled the country. On September 28, the Warsaw garrison finally surrendered to a relentless German siege. That day, Germany and the USSR concluded an agreement outlining their zones of occupation. For the fourth time in its history, Poland was partitioned by its more powerful neighbors.

Despite their declaration of war against Germany, Britain and France did little militarily to aid Poland. Britain bombed German warships on September 4, but Chamberlain resisted bombing Germany itself. Though Germans kept only 23 divisions in the west during their campaign in Poland, France did not launch a full-scale attack even though it had mobilized over four times that number. There were modest assaults by France on its border with Germany but these actions ceased with the defeat of Poland. During the subsequent seven months, some observers accused Britain and France of waging a “phony war,” because, with the exception of a few dramatic British-German clashes at sea, no major military action was taken. However, hostilities escalated exponentially in 1940 with Germany’s April invasion of Norway and May invasion of the Low Countries and France.


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