Sat, Sep 02, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Report denies Poland has right to war reparations

Reuters, BERLIN

German parliamentary legal experts, reacting to calls by some Polish politicians, have ruled that Warsaw has no right to demand Berlin pay reparations for World War II, according to a document obtained by a German newspaper.

The experts found any claims related to German crimes had become unfeasible at latest in 1990 when a treaty was signed by East Germany and West Germany, France, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US ahead of German reunification, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

The experts, who provide independent advice to the German parliament, said EU partner Poland “had, during the treaty negotiations, at least implicitly waived their right to assert them,” the paper cited the report as saying.

The experts said it was agreed back then that this treaty “blocks any reparation demands against Germany to the present day,” it reported.

In recent weeks, Polish politicians and officials have stepped up calls for compensation, but the Polish government has yet to officially demand any reparations.

Johannes Singhammer, the vice-president of the Bundestag lower house and a member of the Christian Social Union — the Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, commissioned the report.

“The Polish demand for reparations, which does not stand a chance from a legal point of view, is contrary to the joint future project between Germany and Poland and could instead have dangerous effects,” Singhammer told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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