Poland to compile report on WWII losses caused by Soviet Union
Poland will set up a team to investigate the scale of losses incurred by the country at the hands of the USSR during World War Two, a deputy minister has told PAP.
Arkadiusz Mularczyk said on Wednesday that the team will be inaugurated at a conference which will be held on September 19-20.
Last year, Warsaw presented a report on the damage inflicted on Poland by Germany during World War Two and said Germany should pay its WWII victim PLN 6.2 trillion (EUR 1.34 trillion) in compensation.
Mularczyk said the new team will prepare a similar report with reference to the war damage caused by the Soviets.
He said historians had been "working for several months already, collecting data, working in archives, libraries."
The conference, to be held in Pruszkow near Warsaw, will be attended by academics form Poland and other countries, including Ukraine, Mularczyk explained, who will create partial reports with a view to establishing an initial estimate.
"We will present the categories of potential losses," he said.
The deputy minister went on to say compilation of the report was hampered by the fact that following the Second World War, Poland "became a country dependent on the Soviet Union." During the subsequent decades, "an estimation of the losses was absolutely never thought of" and there was "practically no work, no reports, so it must be said we are starting work almost from scratch," he said.
Mularczyk said the losses were "gigantic" and included not only material damage but also looted artworks, the embezzlement of funds from insurance companies and banks and their later exploitation, as well as the so-called 'liberation' after 1945, which also involved large-scale looting.
He said it was difficult to estimate a timeline for the report's publication as it depended on the team preparing it, who would also have to conduct research at archives in Belarus and Ukraine.
On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland under a secret Ribbentrop-Molotov pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany, signed just a month before. The Soviet invasion followed the Nazi attack on Poland on September 1, which started World War Two.