Civilize Germany

What will happen next to Europe if Germany fails to be civilized? Will Germans be able to function peacefully in international relations if they do not come to terms with the past? These and other questions arise in the face of the refusal by the authorities in Berlin to pay war reparations to Poland. They are so justified that the Germans have already shown what they are capable of, which is symbolized by Auschwitz.

“Mass extermination of the population of Polish cities, pacification of villages, Intelligenzaktion, crime in the Piaśnickie and Szpęgawskie Forests, public executions, slave labor, kidnapping and Germanization of 200,000 Polish children, crimes against prisoners of war, on patients of psychiatric hospitals, the extermination of Warsaw, Gestapo torture chambers, or, finally, the robbery of works of art and the planned destruction of national cultural assets… Unfortunately, these examples of the activity of German criminals are only a fraction of the truth that is inconvenient for Germans” – the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, said in an interview for “Dziennik Bałtycki”. He reminded that the bill for these crimes and destruction is, according to experts’ calculations, over PLN 6 trillion.

Prof. Piotr Gliński is another Polish politician who raises this issue and another who meets with Berlin’s indifference. The compensation in question has not only not been paid by the Germans, but they do not intend to pay, and I must admit that I am full of admiration for the patience with which Polish politicians explain to the Germans why they should not delay in settling accounts with the past. Berlin remains deaf to these appeals from the Polish side, and even more – it makes efforts on the EU forum to disgust Poland and the current Polish government in Europe as much as possible, just so as not to pay. It really gives you a lot to think about.

The slave and forced labor of prisoners of concentration and extermination camps – prisoners of war – was used during the existence of the Third Reich by 90 percent of the then German companies. The largest of them are: Continental, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bayer, Agfa, Dr. Oetker, Hugo Boss, Allianz, Deutsche Reichsbahn, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, IG Farben concern. A total of 14 million people, including 3.2 million Poles, were forced to work for the German economy. In addition, there was massive looting – according to the estimates of the German historian Götz Aly, the resources plundered by the Germans would be worth at least EUR 2 trillion today.

These companies are still operating and earning a fortune, so it would not be a problem for them to pay reparations to Poles who, after all the looting, have not yet rebuilt the national wealth to the level at which he would have been if these crimes had not been committed by the Germans. Poland also did not fully rebuild the intellectual elites systematically murdered by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It must be said once again: we are the nation that suffered the most as a result of World War II, and the only one that did not receive any compensation or even material support for reconstruction after the war.

There is one more aspect, namely, by refusing to pay the reparations due to the Poles, the Germans themselves confirm that their mental roots are still deeply rooted in the Third Reich, and since they lost the war then, they decided on a different means of conquest: capital. The authorities in Berlin are trying at all costs to prevent Poland from growing too much economically. With full awareness, they use the fact that Poland, after their aggression, and then the period of communism, basically started from scratch, additionally robbed by pseudo-elites at the service of foreign capital. A financial injection of over PLN 6 trillion would allow for investments, and thus rapid development, which is already fast compared to Germany alone or other Western European countries. An economically strong Poland could seriously hinder Germany’s dominance not only in the region, but throughout Europe, and this is what Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his associates fear the most.

What is interesting, they do not pay attention to the fact that by refusing reparations they put themselves in the position of a robber and barbaric country, not a civilized European state capable of responsibly influencing the policy of the entire European Union. Civilizing Germany should now be a priority for all European countries, because otherwise they pose a threat to healthy cooperation within the EU, and perhaps even its peaceful existence.

Anna Wiejak

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