Germany has rebuffed the Polish Nationalist government’s latest push for extensive World War II reparations, saying in response to a diplomatic note that the matter was closed, the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw said on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said it responded to a letter sent by Poland on the matter in October and did not comment on the content of the diplomatic correspondence.
Poland estimates its World War II losses caused by Germany at $1.4 trillion and has demanded reparations, but Berlin has repeatedly said that all war-related financial claims have been settled.
“This response, to sum up, shows an absolutely disrespectful attitude towards Poland and the Poles,” said Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister, in an interview with the Polish News Agency.
“Germany does not pursue a friendly policy towards Poland, it wants to build its sphere of influence here and treat Poland as a vassal state.”
Asked about continuing dialogue with Germany regarding compensation, Mularczyk said it would continue “through international organisations”.
Some six million Poles, including three million Polish Jews, were killed during the war and Warsaw was leveled following a 1944 uprising in which around 200,000 civilians died.
In 1953, the then communist Polish leadership renounced all claims for war reparations under pressure from the Soviet Union, which wanted to free East Germany, also a Soviet satellite, from liability.
Poland’s nationalist ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party said the deal was invalid because Poland was unable to negotiate fair compensation. He has revived calls for reparations since coming to power in 2015 and has made promoting the victimization of wartime Poland central to his call for nationalism.
The combative stance towards Germany, often used by the PiS to mobilize its electorate, has strained relations with Berlin.
At a joint press conference with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau last October, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the pain caused by Germany during World War II was “passed down from generation to generation. generation” in Poland but that the question of reparations was closed.