Polish official seeks to layaside tensions with Berlin
20 September 2004
WARSAW – Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament Jozef Zych was due to travel to the German capital Berlin Monday to meet with German legislators in the Bundestag in a bid to ease tensions which have crept into bilateral relations in recent months, reports said Monday.
Commenting Zych’s mission on Monday, Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz noted “dialogue is always worthwhile”.
“It is bad that for so many months that in the Bundestag and the Sejm legislators in both parliaments did not meet and talk,” Cimoszewicz was quoted by the Polish PAP news agency as saying.
Polish-German relations were unsettled earlier this month when the Polish parliament passed a resolution calling on the Polish government to open talks with Germany on possible war reparations for losses Poland suffered during Nazi Germany’s WWII invasion and occupation.
Both the Polish and German governments subsequently declared the matter of war reparations “closed” on both sides. But the Polish government said it would appraise the cost of the massive human and material losses Poland suffered during WWII.
The Polish parliament passed the war reparations resolution in reaction to the plans of a group of Germans expelled from Poland after WWII to launch massive civil lawsuits seeking compensation from Poland for lost properties.
Poland never received war reparations for material losses suffered under the Nazis, despite a guarantee in the 1945 Potsdam Agreement it would share in the Soviet Union’s portion of reparations.
But loyal to the Soviet Union, Poland’s communist regime forfeited the country’s right to war reparations in 1953.
Subject: German news