A Polish diplomat said Warsaw wouldn’t support Berlin’s potential UNSC permanent membership unless it paid reparations for WWII
Poland would find it “difficult” to back Germany’s candidacy should it be put forward as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk said. The diplomat explained that Warsaw expects Berlin to pay reparations for the damage inflicted on Poland by the Nazis during WWII.
In an op-ed piece published by Newsweek on Thursday, Mularczyk described the issue as still dividing Poles and Germans, with the blame lying squarely with Berlin. According to the article, the Nazi occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1945 claimed 5.2 million lives, with millions more forced into slavery. By the end of WWII, the Polish population was approximately 30% lower than at its start, Mularczyk wrote. The country’s economy took more than three decades to recover to its pre-war level, he added.
“Despite Poland suffering the greatest human and material losses of all European countries during the war, it did not receive any reparations,” the diplomat lamented, noting that Berlin provided redress to “all other World War II victim states after the Potsdam Conference in 1945.”
Mularczyk argued that “it would be morally questionable and an obvious contradiction for Germany to play the role of a guarantor of peace if it avoids liability for its World War II crimes.”
The Polish deputy foreign minister expressed optimism that the two countries would eventually settle the issue. However, with Berlin so far refusing to even begin such discussions, “its candidacy for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council would be absurd,” Mularczyk concluded.
In June, the Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, claimed that the US was considering a proposal for expanding the UN Security Council. This would presumably involve the inclusion of nations such as Germany, Japan, and India as potential permanent members.
Poland has been pressing Germany to address WWII-related damages since last autumn when its parliament voted to seek 6.2 trillion zlotys ($1.36 trillion) in compensation from its neighbor. In May of this year, Mularczyk criticized Germany for what he deemed a “cowardly” stance in refusing to engage in discussions regarding the issue.
Berlin, for its part, insists that the issue was resolved when Warsaw waived its right to restitution in 1953 under a deal with East Germany, with the definitive settlement achieved under a 1990 treaty on German reunification.
October 06, 2023 at 02:48PM