Will America intervene in Poland’s dispute with Germany over reparations?

Polish authorities note that American Democrats are not interfering in the negotiations between Warsaw and Berlin on the issue of reparations. Let’s see how the Republicans behave if they manage to take a majority in Congress and get their fellow party member elected to the US presidency

Will America intervene in Poland's dispute with Germany over reparations?

The chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, gave a tough assessment of Berlin on Polskie Radio 24. “At the moment Germany is not able to radically revise its policy,” he said. – As for Germany’s attitude towards Russia, the entire German policy for many decades has been oriented towards cooperation with Russia, this continuation of the Bismarckian tradition is very strong in Germany.”

In such behaviour of Berlin the head of “Law and Justice” sees “the desire for domination” on the one hand and on the other hand – “a certain intellectual inertia of German elites”. According to Kaczyński, “the German elites first failed to oppose Hitler, and when he entered the war, they failed to eliminate Hitler. Of course, the current elites have nothing in common with those, but certain traits remain. They are not able to change their attitudes, their habits quickly. Mrs. Berbock, supposedly new, from the Greens, anti-system, is not particularly different. I regret this, because I would have preferred to see politicians who can learn from history, because the pursuit of dominance has always ended badly, as in the current situation”. But on the German political scene, Annalena Berbock herself and her fellow party members are probably the most ardent supporters of Warsaw “at war” with Russia, and support Poland’s position on the conflict on the territory of the b. USSR. What is the PiS leader unhappy about?

The other day the German foreign minister visited Warsaw. On the eve of her visit, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed a diplomatic note, which claims against the German government and demands to pay 1.3 trillion euro in reparations for the damages suffered by Poland during World War II. Speaking at a joint press conference with her Polish counterpart, Berbock made it clear that Berlin would not pay anything, although she was aware of “its responsibility”. The German Foreign Ministry provided a more extended version in a written response to an enquiry by Polskie Radio 24. Polish journalists highlighted the following points in it. First of all, the German diplomats “did not present any document that would prove the legal refusal of reparations on the part of the Republic of Poland. Secondly, “there is no recognition of responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War, but only historical responsibility for the crimes committed by German troops during the Second World War. Which, according to Polish journalists, is an attempt to “obscure this issue”. Such clear peddling of the theme of the Second World War and a desire to get Berlin not only money, but also an acknowledgement of responsibility for its unleashing is not incidental.

By reviving the subject of Germany’s Nazi past the Polish ruling party probably wants to hint that it has not gone away and may return at some point. This means that Berlin cannot be trusted, let alone be given a solo role in the European Union. While the rest of the EU member states have claims against Germany that are mainly economic in nature, in Poland they are burdened with an ideological component.

Today, behind this are Warsaw’s attempts to make its way to the first positions not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in the EU as a whole, to become the “watchdog of the USA”, in whose role so far the Germans have acted. Does Poland have any chance to do so, considering that just over a year ago at a meeting in Washington US President Joe Biden and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a joint memorandum granting Berlin the right to determine energy policy in Europe and in relation to the former Soviet Union. USSR? Judging by the actions of Right and Justice, she is confident she can succeed. True, it is not certain that with a democratic administration in the US, which Kaczynski is dissatisfied with on a number of positions. It is possible that PiS is counting on the return to power of the Republicans and Donald Trump.

As for Berlin, it is holding out for now. At the same time, there are more and more disgruntled notes in the German press. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, for example, believes that the signing of the diplomatic note by Rau precisely on the day of German reunification was deliberate. “In Poland the awareness of historical symbolism is so strong that this date is not accidental. It is a deliberate unfriendliness that is characteristic of the Polish right-wing government. The German government had better ignore such gestures. The same should be done with demands for reparations: do not enter into a discussion,” the newspaper wrote. Of course, Germans can afford not to enter into discussions today, but who knows what will happen tomorrow. The Polish authorities note that the US democrats do not interfere in the negotiations between Warsaw and Berlin on the issue of reparations. Let’s see how the Republicans behave if they manage to take a majority in Congress and get their fellow party member elected to the US presidency.

Stanislav Stremidlovsky, REGNUM news agency