German FM's statement about WWII compensation a joke - Polish MP

“This exactly is a tiny percentage of what Germany owes Poles and the Polish state," Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a Law and Justice MP and head of a parliamentary committee assessing the amount of compensation paid by Germany for Poland’s wartime losses, told the weekly Sieci. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

An MP from the governing party has described the EUR 2 billion paid by Germany to Poland for WWII reparations as a joke and not enough.

The amount was revealed in a statement by Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, during a plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“This exactly is a tiny percentage of what Germany owes Poles and the Polish state," Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a Law and Justice MP and head of a parliamentary committee assessing the amount of compensation paid by Germany for Poland’s wartime losses, told the weekly Sieci.

"Both this amount and the statement are a joke made of the rule of law, dignity, respect for fundamental rights, the right to live and the right to justice," he said.

The MP’s pointed criticism of the EUR 2 billion sum could add friction to Polish-German relations. Since coming into office in 2015 Law and Justice has frequently raised the topic of German reparations and compensation for the massive levels of destruction Poland suffered at Nazi hands during WWII.

"Polish estimates regarding all sums paid to Poles as a result of forced labour or suffering caused by the war were close to the German figure, but what we have now is a concrete figure," said Mularczyk.

He said that this was a very important moment as "no German politician has ever before revealed the exact amount."

"Now, it will no longer be questioned after it has been officially revealed by a German politician," Mularczyk continued.

He added that, according to Maas, the total of EUR 2 billion, included 140 million German marks for the victims of medical experiments, 1.3 billion marks for social insurance agreements, 500 million marks for the 'Polish-German Reconciliation' foundation, EUR 15 million in contributions to retirement benefits paid out to the Jewish Claims Conference and EUR 979 million in contributions to the 'Memory, Responsibility, Future' foundation for former Polish forced labourers.

The MP stated that work was still under way on a Polish report concerning all losses to Poland caused by the German state during WWII. Admitting that the work on the report was very difficult, Mularczyk said one could speak about "hundreds of billions of US dollars, reaching a trillion."

"There was no county, no town, and no city in Poland which did not suffer huge losses," he said.