PM calls for reparations at ceremony marking 84th anniversary of WWII
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has used the 84th anniversary of start of WWII to demand reparations from Germany, saying they were necessary "to close a specific chapter in history."
Morawiecki was speaking at ceremonies in the central Polish town of Wielun, which was levelled by German bombers in the early hours of September 1, 1939.
Last year the Polish government presented a comprehensive report detailing the material losses suffered by Poland during the Second World War along with a pledge to demand money from Germany in reparations to the tune of EUR 1.3 trillion.
"Today, 84 years after the outbreak of World War Two, when we speak about executioners and victims, about punishment and suffering, when we use the most significant terms such as 'good' and 'truth', we demand not only remembrance, not only truth – we demand compensation," said Morawiecki.
He added: "This compensation in the form of reparations is necessary so that that a page of history, that chapter of history, can be closed, and so that those witnesses of the bombings who are still with us can consider the future in peace and not just recall the past with suffering.
"That is why we are here today: to demand justice and compensation," Morawiecki said. "Glory to the witnesses of those times! Glory and honour to the heroes! May those who have fallen be remembered forever!"
Prime Minister Morawiecki began his visit to Wielun before 4:40 a.m. It was at that time, on September 1, 1939, that an attack of German bombers on the town's All Saints Hospital began and killed 32 people. It is believed that they were the first victims of World War Two in Poland.