“By applying for war reparations, we are therefore claiming the right to exist, which was denied to our ancestors 84 years ago. We cannot allow it to be called into question again in the future” – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said, referring to the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which we celebrated September 1. In a special recording, the head of the Polish government once again reminded why Poland asked Germany for reparations and explained the consequences of the Germans not paying the money.
“I think about the barbarity that started World War II, but every year I am more amazed and horrified by the fact that this war began in the way it did. Because World War II did not start with a battle or regular clash of troops. Already its first seconds brought the first war crime – a harbinger of what this whole conflict was” – reminded Mateusz Morawiecki. He emphasized that, apart from Poles, “the Germans murdered the entire nation of Polish Jews.” “Their culture, their faith, their language have disappeared. They are no longer among us today, so an entire nation can be annihilated” – he lamented.
He reminded that “the Germans dropped 46 tons of bombs on the sleeping city of Wieluń. In one day, 75 percent of the buildings were reduced to rubble”. “More than a thousand people died – civilians, because there was no military unit in the city, no military target that would justify this attack” – he noted.
“Those who managed to survive lost the homes in which they were born, and with them their family heirlooms and memories. Many of them never returned to their homeland. The future was taken from the murdered, abruptly breaking the line of their lives. What was taken from the survivors was the past, irretrievably buried in the ruins of cities” – the head of the Polish government noted. At the same time, he pointed out that “today we have a duty to stand up for this taken away, burnt future and past”. “We must protect it and fight for it. As long as we are fighting for their fate, we are fighting for our existence. That is why we have applied to Germany for war reparations, so that justice will finally be done. This should not shock anyone. The victim has the right to demand compensation from the perpetrator for the harm caused to her, thus opening up a chance for our western neighbor to close the darkest chapter in its history” – he explained.
“But how do you measure the immeasurable?” – he wondered. “Approx. PLN 6.2 trillion is the amount estimated by the parliamentary team led by MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk. If we find this amount difficult to imagine, it is because the terror spread in 1939-45 by the German occupier in Poland was unimaginable. We asked Germany for war reparations also because we must stand up for historical truth at a time when it finds fewer and fewer defenders” – Morawiecki said.
The Prime Minister emphasized that “the government of Law and Justice ensures that the Polish-German reconciliation based on forgiveness and real compensation for terrible harm is recorded in the historical memory of future generations”.
“Call for reparations is not only a call for Germany to moral and political responsibility, and not only a demand for historical truth on the international forum. It is – again, I emphasize – simply an existential issue. It is a matter of our to be or not to be” – he noted.
Noting the position of Germany, according to which the topic of reparations has been closed forever, the head of the Polish government reminded that “in 2021 Berlin agreed to pay compensation by Germany for the genocide committed by them at the beginning of the 20th century, i.e. over 100 years ago, in present-day Namibia”.
“The international community wants relations between states to be governed by law in the 21st century. There is no place for exploitation, domination, imperialism or hegemony in them. Equality is the foundation of international law. Without the spirit of equality, international law is fiction, and through them, institutions are façades behind which naked violence is hidden” – Mateusz Morawiecki explained.
“By applying for war reparations, we are therefore claiming the right to exist, which was denied to our ancestors 84 years ago. We cannot allow it to be questioned again in the future” – he concluded.