Nazi Warsaw damage bill soars

15th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2004 , WARSAW - The Polish capital Warsaw suffered a staggering USD 45.3 billion (EUR 35 billion) in estimated material damage under Nazi German occupation during the Second World War, according to a report published by the Warsaw mayors office. There would be no such report if not for the actions of certain German groups," Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski said, indicating he was referring to the Prussian Trustees, a group of Germans who lost property in German territories given by the Allies to Pol

16 November 2004

WARSAW - The Polish capital Warsaw suffered a staggering USD 45.3 billion (EUR 35 billion) in estimated material damage under Nazi German occupation during the Second World War, according to a report published by the Warsaw mayors office.

There would be no such report if not for the actions of certain German groups," Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski said, indicating he was referring to the Prussian Trustees, a group of Germans who lost property in German territories given by the Allies to Poland after WWII.

Outrage erupted in Poland last year after the group threatened to launch massive compensation law suits against Poland for lost properties.

The move in turn led the Polish parliament to call on the government to seek war reparations from Germany.

Both the Polish and German governments have emphatically stated there is no basis in national or international law for any possible individual compensation or reparations claims.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also vowed the German government would act against any such legal claims lodged against Poland.

This position was backed up by an expert legal analysis made public last week.

If there are any cases brought before the courts concerning compensation against Poles, we will begin operations connected with similar claims against Germans," Kaczynski said Monday. Our calculations can be helpful," he added.

We treat this matter seriously," he said. I stress we did not begin this."

Kaczynski also noted the USD 45.3 billion estimate accounted for material damage only. Massive human, cultural and communications losses were not included in the estimate calculated under the supervision of historian Professor Maciej Falkowski.

Warsaw was the first European capital to fall to Nazi Germany in September 1939 and bore devastating losses under 5 years of occupation which saw nearly 90 percent of the city razed to the ground and its population decimated.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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