Germany, Poland play down reparations row

13th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2004, BERLIN - German and Polish politicians have played down a resolution by the Polish parliament calling on the government to take legal action aimed at making Germany pay war reparations for Nazi Germany's World War II invasion of Poland. The foreign ministries in Berlin and Warsaw said despite Friday's resolution by Poland's parliament the issue of German or Polish reparations was now closed. The Sejm resolution, which is not legally binding, is being seen by both sides as a reaction to p

13 September 2004

BERLIN - German and Polish politicians have played down a resolution by the Polish parliament calling on the government to take legal action aimed at making Germany pay war reparations for Nazi Germany's World War II invasion of Poland.

The foreign ministries in Berlin and Warsaw said despite Friday's resolution by Poland's parliament the issue of German or Polish reparations was now closed.

The Sejm resolution, which is not legally binding, is being seen by both sides as a reaction to plans by an organization of WWII German expellees, the Prussian Trustees, to file massive lawsuits against Poland.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Warsaw said the question of German reparations was no longer an issue. The Polish government wanted a solution to the German complaints "in a dialogue and in cooperation with German partners".

A German foreign ministry spokesman said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in a speech in Warsaw on August 1 had already rejected compensation demands on Poland by German expellees.

Franz Muentefering, chairman of Schroeder's Social Democrats, said there was "a certain amount of provocation" in the Sejm resolution.

Referring to Germany's support for Poland's membership of the European Union, he said there was "no reason for us to provoke each other in this way".

Friday's resolution by the Sejm called on the Polish government "to take the appropriate measures" on reparations with the German government.

It also rejected any legal basis for compensation claims against Poland by ethnic Germans forced to leave behind properties in territories handed over to Poland in the post-war period.

Poland had not yet received "financial recompensation and war reparations for the massive destruction and material and non-material losses called forth by German aggression, occupation, genocide and the loss of Polish sovereignty" the resolution said. 

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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