US official asks government to support Poland's war reparations claim

Chris Smith, the US Republican congressman, has urged the US government to support Poland’s call for discussions with Germany over Poland’s losses in World War II.

Smith said he had been convinced to make such an appeal by a report regarding Poland's WWII losses authored by the Polish government.

On September 1, 2022, 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. 

The German Foreign Ministry has rejected Poland's claims and stated the matter is closed and that the German government would not enter into negotiations on the subject.

"In the settlements between Germany and other countries and groups since Potsdam, the US government has not taken a direct role in bilateral negotiations, nor has it supported specific valuations, amounts, or legal arguments," Smith, who is the chair of the United States congressional Global Human Rights subcommittee and the co-chairman of the Congressional Poland Caucus, wrote on his website. 

"Yet our government has always encouraged Germany to open discussions with claimants. We have put our weight behind the principle that compensation should be made and that these questions should be resolved according to substantive justice."

"I believe the US government should do the same for Poland, clearly signaling its support for a discussion of the Polish claim. It cannot stand that Poland, the country that suffered the most under Nazi Germany, should be one of the least compensated," the congressman wrote. 

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