EU splitting as Poland sparks huge war reparation row against Germany


While Poland is fighting EU institutions about the rule of law in the country, the government is also harshening its tone towards Germany, sparking more divisions in the EU.

The most recent example comes from Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the ruling PiS and deputy prime minister.

Quoting the popular novel “The Deluge” by Henryk Sienkiewicz, he is said to have said on Wednesday: “Europeans have suffered severe trials.

“Germany has put the cards on the table and wants to build a IV Reich.

“We will not allow that.”

Media critical of the government report that the words were applauded in a PiS parliamentary group meeting.

PiS politicians said on Thursday that these words had been used to “mobilise” people ahead of important votes and should be understood as a “metaphor” or “joke” that “should depict Germany’s striving for hegemony”.

Kaczyński’s words contradict some of his other statements.

In the past, the PiS boss had repeatedly praised Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor as the “best choice” from a Polish point of view.

Kaczyński also stated that the aim of Polish policy was to “catch up” with Germany in terms of living standards.

However, a performance by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki shows that the tone is getting rougher towards the big neighbour and most important trading partner.

The former banker, who has worked in Germany and Switzerland before, has now switched to the course of many party friends who are demanding war compensation from Berlin.

Last week he confirmed the establishment of a “Jan Karski Institute for War Damage”, named after the legendary courier of the Polish resistance during the Holocaust.

In addition, the parliamentary working group, which deals with the calculation of Polish war damage, will present the report on it, which has been announced for years, in February.

Morawiecki said: “The decision as to when, how and what to do with this report has not yet been made.”

There is also an ongoing poster campaign against Germany directed against the German ambassador in Warsaw, among others.

It reads: “Why do you Germans still separate the victims of your war crimes into better and worse ones?”

Germany had always refused to make reparations and compensation to Poland – apart from a “symbolic” payment to the former slave labourers in the Third Reich.

In contrast, this year they agreed to a payment to two ethnic groups in Namibia where the German colonial power committed genocide over 100 years ago.

The poster also added: “Isn’t that racism at its purest form?”

The logos of various right-wing media as well as that of the Polish Ministry of Culture appear on the poster.

German ambassador Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven is also pictured.

According to German legal opinion, the question of war damage has been conclusively contractually regulated.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg



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